by Father John Wang
The 101 Times #51
created the human race out of love, and He has constantly maintained
communication with humanity from the very beginning. He talked to Adam
and Eve. He spoke with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the prophets.
Ultimately, He revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ, the
Eternal Word. (Hebrews 1:1-2).
manifested His Will and His plan of salvation for the human race
through revelation which the Church calls public. Public Revelation, as
recorded in Holy Scripture in both the Old and the New Testaments, and
handed down by sacred tradition, is perfect and complete. It cannot be
further perfected and completed.
Public Revelation has not been made completely explicit; it remains for
Christian faith to gradually grasp its full significance over the
course of the centuries (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, second
edition, No. 66).
All Through The Ages
there cannot be any new Public Revelation, all through the ages there
have been so-called private revelations. God has not interrupted His
communication with the human race.
private revelations, given through private individuals, are not
essential to our salvation, since we have everything we need from
Public Revelation. They do, however, furnish assistance in prayer and
in Christian life and help people live the biblical teachings more
fully in a certain period of history. Through them, God's people are
urgently reminded of the importance of love, repentance, prayer,
sacrifices, and obeying God's commandments.
invisible God communicates with humans in different ways. Apparitions,
visions, and locutions (speakings) are some of them. The Church does
not deny the possibility of private revelations. The Church does view
them with extreme caution, and approaches them with a certain amount of
healthy skepticism. When being studied, all available scientific means
and tools are used to ascertain credibility and authenticity of these
Eight Approved Apparitions
From 1900 to 1996:
And now approved
Amsterdam, Holland and
Kibeho, Rwanda, Africa, where Our Lady appeared
as "Mother of the Word" from 1981 to 1989.
Apparition in 1929 to Sr. Lucy of Fatima of what takes place at Holy Mass.
Our Lady, Queen of Peace
Hidden Presence of God
in 1563, the Ecumenical Council of Trent required the establishment of
a diocesan commission to study apparition claims. The commission was to
verify whether or not the alleged apparitions manifest a hidden
presence of God, renew community life, convert hearts, reawaken and
stimulate faith, and renew hope and dynamism in the Church.
The final evaluation was to fall into one of three categories:
Constat supernaturalitas, that is to say, the apparition is recognized,
approved and declared "worthy of belief" by the Church.
Nonconstat supernaturalitas, which means the supernatural character of
the apparition in question is not evident. The Church takes a neutral
stance in this case. The apparition is not condemned because there is
nothing contrary to the faith.
3. Constat non-supernaturalitas,
which would mean the claimed apparition is false, and hence not worthy of belief.
Norms In Judging Apparitions
Feb. 25, 1978, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith issued
norms for proceeding in judging alleged apparitions and revelations
along similar lines. This document asks the diocesan commission to
probe the moral certainty of the miraculous and exceptional occurrence
beyond human explanation, the honesty, sincerity, mental soundness, and
moral conduct of the seers, the content of the messages received by the
visionaries, and the fruit generated by the claimed apparition.
1900 to 1966, 386 cases of apparitions were submitted to the Holy See
for decision. To date, 86 decisions have been handed down: eight,
approved; 11, neutral; 68, negative; 299, no decision made. The eight
approved apparitions include Fatima, in Portugal; Beauraing and
Banneux, in Belgium; Akita, in Japan; Syracuse, in Italy; Zeitun, in
Egypt; Manila, in the Philippines (according to some sources); and
Betania, in Venezuela. . .
. .The Church teaches that Public Revelation must be accepted by every
Christian, but the Christian faithful are free to accept or reject
private revelations. The Church, however, considers authentic private
revelations as a gift of God, and sees in them a valuable aid to
spiritual growth. The Church, admits the possibility of private
revelations, and does not want to suffocate anything that bears good
fruit. The Holy Spirit works freely.
considering the matter of private revelation, therefore, extremes must
be avoided. That is to say, one should shun the attitude of both naive
credulity as well as automatic incredulity. The safest way of
discernment is to follow the decision by the Magisterium of the
Jesus, Mary, I love You; Save souls!