Blessed Virgin Mary
For many Christians today, the thought that the leaders of the Protestant Reformation believed in the Immaculate Conception of Mary or her bodily Assumption into heaven would seem ludicrous, even more bewildering would be the devotions many of the Reformation’s leaders had for the Blessed Mother. Believe or not it, they did. In this month of December when Catholics celebrate three feast day’s commemorating the Mother of our Lord, perhaps it is time to remind our separated brethren of the truths their founder’s believed.
Sometime ago when I was writing my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, I showed a friend of mine, who is an Evangelical, a homily about the Virgin Mary delivered in the 1500s. I asked him who gave that homily, “probably some pope,” he exclaimed. No, I said it was Martin Luther. He replied, “Dave I trust in almost everything you say, but I am going to have to call you out on this one. I mean isn’t that what the Reformation was all about, ending superstitions like those about Mary?” His mouth dropped when I showed him the passages. I am sure many of today’s Evangelicals, especially of the Calvinist lineage, would have the same reaction.
April 2, 1968 A.D. the Blessed Virgin Mary began appearing on top of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the Zeitoun District of Cairo, Egypt. An estimated one million people were able to witness the numerous Marian apparitions that occurred during a two year stretch ending in 1971 A.D.
Both Christians and Muslims witnessed Our Lady of the Light appear on top of the domed church. Even then President Nasser of Egypt witnessed it himself and ordered a complete investigation, intimidating and pilfering the church. They came up with no evidence of any hoax. In the end even he, a Muslim, admitted to this reality.
From my limited understanding, this is the only instance I can recall where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in front of largely non-Catholics. In my humble opinion is that the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria was founded by Saint Mark the Evangelist, the one and only of the same gospel, and that many, many saints were buried beneath that church in Zeitoun, Egypt.
Hence the special importance of why the Blessed Virgin Mary chose that particular church, the Virgin Mary Church in Zeitoun. Having an unbroken apostolic tradition with the blood of many martyrs sanctifying the beautiful church where these apparitions occurred.
(Biretta Tip: Canterbury Tales)
To learn more about the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Zeitoun, Egypt, click here.
Salvete AC readers!
Buckle Up! Because here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:
1. Newspapers outlets and news agencies are reporting that Pope Benedict XVI has signed off on the laicization of Father Tomislav Vlasic. Tomislav Vlasic is one of the leading priests alleging that apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary have been appearing continuously to six Croat seers since June 24, 1981 in the Bosnian town of Medjugorje. These apparitions are continuing to this day and has been visited by an estimated 30 million pilgrims. An estimated 40,000 messages have been conveyed to the seers by the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Officially the Vatican has not decided on the matter of these alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Vatican has recently taken over the case of reviewing these allegations from the local Bosnian diocese.
I won’t argue with the genuine conversions and sincerity of many believers that have occurred at Medjugorie. Though I have a couple doubts concerning these apparitions which I will write to in a separate posting for a later date.
2. Quote of the Day:
“We do know that at the end of time, when the great conflict between the forces of good and evil takes place, Satan will appear without the Cross, as the Great Philanthropist and Social Reformer to become the final temptation of mankind.”
– Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Life of Christ, p. 10)
Kind of sucks the wind out of your sails doesn’t it if you believe in the redistribution of wealth and all.