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There's Something About Mary - Miraculous Apparitions of the Feminine Divine
September 4, 2002 7:53 AM   Subscribe

There's Something About Mary. Miracles fascinate me, especially stories of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fatima, Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadalupe and Medjugorje--the list is extensive and ever-growing. Skeptics scoff, agnostics ponder and various scientific theories are propounded.
posted by y2karl (19 comments total)

 
I draw no conclusions but do wonder--why are most Christian (I would say Catholic but Zeitoun is a Coptic church) miracles involve visions of Mary? Are there recent stories of miracles associated with other religions? And how often do they involve the feminine Divine?
posted by y2karl at 8:00 AM on September 4, 2002


If one says the Blessed Virgin had appeared to them they are interviewed by local TV stations, newspapers, magazines, etc.
If one says God appeared to them they are interviewed by psychiatrists, psychologists and nurse Ratchet types. Have you noticed that recently images of Christ have been appearing in sliced tomatoes?
posted by flatlander at 8:10 AM on September 4, 2002


Don't forget Clearwater!

(Self link)
posted by bondcliff at 8:18 AM on September 4, 2002


Shame on you Bondcliff! A self link goes against everything the Metafilter site stands for! I will send this to the link police -

;)
posted by Macboy at 8:28 AM on September 4, 2002


OK, guys scoff and laugh. The Zeitoun apparition's of another order. Jeez, you wouldn't believe all the awful MIDI Ave Marias I've run across lately...
posted by y2karl at 8:28 AM on September 4, 2002


I checked the bylaws and I think it's ok as long as you admit it's a self-link, Macboy.
posted by bondcliff at 8:33 AM on September 4, 2002


y2karl: Actually, Christian miracles depend greatly on the particular culture and church of the people who see it. You're right that we seem to get a lot of Marian miracles, but my impression is that they seem to be associated with Catholic, and very often Latino Catholic churches (which have a pretty high degree of Marianism -- the Coptic church example here is an exception).

Orthodox churches tend to have ichor- and oil-seeping icons. Weeping Jesuses (Jesii?) are more universal across churches, but my impression is that they're less common in protestant churches than Catholic (as are stigmata, visions of various sorts, angels, visitations from saints), maybe because of the smaller stress on iconography and on the powers of saints. I think that speaking in tongues, however, is an almost universally protestant -- and pentecostal -- miracle. So, in short, I wouldn't say that visions of Mary are typical Christian miracles any more than there's a typical Christian church.
posted by ptermit at 8:35 AM on September 4, 2002


I think that speaking in tongues, however, is an almost universally protestant -- and pentecostal -- miracle.
While toungues is more popular (if thats the right word) in the Protestant church s it is also a Catholic thing. I think it is true that visions of Mary and stigmata miracles/visions are the more popular miracles in the CC, I have personally known and heard some Catholics who can speak in toungues.
posted by jmd82 at 8:48 AM on September 4, 2002


Y2karl asked: Are there recent stories of miracles associated with other religions?

Muslims report seeing the arabic words for Allah appearing in nature from time to time. A very famous one is the honeycomb. (scroll down)

The Miracles Page has recent examples from Hindus, Buddhists and more.
posted by BinGregory at 8:55 AM on September 4, 2002


Now that's more like it--thanks!
posted by y2karl at 9:01 AM on September 4, 2002


Behold - the Miracles Page delivered unto me a pop-under proclaiming my eligibility to receive a FREE Spider-Man DVD. At last! A true sign!
posted by yhbc at 9:08 AM on September 4, 2002


I think that speaking in tongues, however, is an almost universally protestant -- and pentecostal -- miracle.

Speaking in tongues is also one of the qualifications necessary to prove demonic possession and be granted an exorcism in the Catholic church.
posted by Kellydamnit at 9:52 AM on September 4, 2002


jmd82: Thanks; I stand corrected.
posted by ptermit at 9:58 AM on September 4, 2002


y2karl, et. al.
My wife just finished reading " Our Lady of the Lost and Found," by Diane Schoemperlen. From what my wife says (I have not read it, she quickly passed it on to my Mom.), it is an interesting, fictional, twist on this topic.
posted by jaronson at 10:05 AM on September 4, 2002


The best book on this subject is probably John Cornwell's "Powers of Light, Powers of Darkness."

I spent a week in Medjugorje, professionally, in the middle of the war, and it was one in some ways of the most horrible places I have ever been to. I can't quite forget the teenage boys with icons of the Queen of Peace pasted on their gun butts, tossing a hand grenade around outside the church. There's a couple of stories up on my website if anyone's interested.

From the Cornwell book it would appear that Catholic Marian visions come in a fairly narrow band of latitude, and usually to peasant girls in their early teens who have lost a father-figure within the last two-three years.

I did speak briefly with one of the Medjugorje girls, who struck me as remarkably sane. But that didn't convince me that I was really talking to someone who talked to the mother of God once a week.
posted by alloneword at 10:37 AM on September 4, 2002


I always liked Mr. Show's "Miraculous Money Eating Madonna"...
posted by Espoo2 at 10:49 AM on September 4, 2002


it would appear that Catholic Marian visions come in a fairly narrow band of latitude, and usually to peasant girls in their early teens who have lost a father-figure within the last two-three years--and in countries suffering great economic, political and social strife, it would seem as well, alloneword, although there is the case of Juan Diego. It's interesting, too, that in his vision, the Lady spoke Nahuatl--and that the geographical center of her worship is associated with an Aztec goddess. The apparitions in Zeitoun are something else again--although the strife is a given, father figureless pre-teen girls are absent and Copts and Muslims alike are witnesses. I did speak briefly with one of the Medjugorje girls--Well, you must have some stories! Your site and book look interesting, well worth lingering over. I am impressed.
posted by y2karl at 11:56 AM on September 4, 2002


One of the best explorations of the issues underlying stigmata, devotion and "miracles" is Ron Hansen's great short poetic novel, Mariette in Ecstasy.

However tempting it may be to fixate on the question surrounding the authenticity of Mariette's stigmata, to do so would be to skein only the surface of Ron Hansen's haunting novel. There are more profound mysteries in Mariette in Ecstasy: What feeds the human compulsion to connect with the divine? How closely related are religious rapture and sexual ecstasy? And why, through the ages, have we persistently searched and yearned for miracles? Ron Hansen doesn't presume to know the answers to these questions, and we, too, can only wonder.
posted by mediareport at 11:05 AM on September 5, 2002


well i just got back from medjugorje on the fifth of this month...........funny how you guys seem to be talking about it huh? i went to see one of the visionaries on apparition hill , it was very dark and crowded...people were chanting hail marys and then it went silent when (i think it may have been ivan)received the message..............i dont really want to say anything pro or con what is taking place there...but i guess i will...the previous reference to gun toting kids tossing hand grenades is certainly interesting considering fr slavko used to run around the outside of the church telling smokers to put their cigarettes out , so i cant see anyone getting away with hand grenades.
from what i saw , there is a large sign on the outside of the town prohibiting people bringing guns in.
i cant really see a devout croat population ignoring that.
its too hard to describe what medjugorje is like in words.
it really is a thing that has to be experienced.
what will be very interesting is the judgement the catholic church makes on the apparitions and messages,large numbers of pilgrims visit there and if the church were to say that the visions etc were false it would be very divisive indeed.
there were about three things i saw there that had a personal meaning for me and i would rather not discuss them here.
i guess we all have to wait for the churches decision and i suppose find out what the 10 secrets are......
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:59 PM on September 7, 2002


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