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Bishop Approved Apparitions with Vatican Recognition


Traditionally Approved

40 - 999 1400 - 1499
1000 - 1099 1500 - 1599
1100 - 1199 1600 - 1699
1200 - 1299 1700 - 1799
1300 - 1399 1800 - 1899

Vatican Approved
Bishop Approved
Coptic Approved
Approved for Faith Expression
Apparitions to Saints
Unapproved Apparitions

Vatican Recognition (after Investigation and approval by Local Bishop)*

* Please note: As established in the Council of Trent (1545-63), the local bishop is the first and main authority in the judgement of the authenticity of apparition claims. Vatican approval is not required for an apparition to be considered authentic. After an episcopal approval, the Vatican may do nothing but it may release an official statement or after some time give non-written forms of approval such as a papal visit with the crowning of the associated icon or a gift such as a golden rose, the approval of the construction of (or elevation of an existing shrine to) a basilica, the establishment of a feast day, or the canonization of the associated visionary.

Positive judgments by the local bishop (but not yet by the Vatican) theoretically are able to be reversed by a subsequent bishop - but this has never happened in the history of the Church. Negative judgments (Constat de non supernaturalitate) and rulings of no evidence of supernaturality (Non constat de supernaturalitate) have later been changed to positive judgments on a few rare occasions with the ruling of a subsequent bishop.

If a Marian apparition is recognized by the bishop, it means that the message is not contrary to faith and morals, that Mary can be venerated in a special way at the site and that the faithful can believe with confidence in the supernaturality of the event. But, because belief in a private revelation is not required by the church, Catholics are at liberty to decide how much personal spiritual emphasis (if any) to place on apparitions and the messages they deliver.

Click here for more on the discernment of apparition claims.


Guadalupe, Mexico (1531)

Title: Our Lady of Guadalupe

Feast Day: December 12th

Investigated: 1666, 1723

First Apparition:
Dec 9, 1531

Approved: 1555 by Archbishop Alonso de Montúfar (1551-1572)

Last Apparition:
Dec 12, 1531

Visionaries: St. Juan Diego (57), Juan Bernardino

Number of Apparitions: 5

Miracles & Signs: Tilma of Juan Diego with imprint of image of Virgin; conversion of millions of indians

Summary: Mary proclaimed herself "the Mother of the true God who gives life" and left her image permanently upon the tilma of Juan Diego, a recent convert to Christianity.

Lezajsk, Poland (1578)

Investigated: Henryk Firlej, Bishop of Przemysl (1631-1635)

First Apparition:

Approved: Maciej Pstrokonski, bishop of Bishop of Przemysl (1601-1608) built a larger church on the site of the apparition in 1606; Henryk Firlej, Bishop of Przemysl (1631-1635) confirms the supernatural origin of the miracle; On September 8, 1752, Pope Benedict XIV himself crowned the image with Waclaw Hieronim Sierakowski, Bishop of Przemysl (1742-1760), who afterwards personally blessed the crown.

Last Apparition:

Visionaries: Thomas Michalek (woodcutter)

Number of Apparitions: 2

Summary: A pious woodcutter saw a bright light in the forest. Tthe Virgin asked him to alert the authorities to build a church. Thomas, scared, did nothing. The Virgin, then, appeared again, asking him to take action and ending his silence. Thomas went to the authorities but was not believed. After the death of the curate who was against the vision, a chapel was finally built by the parish priest.

Siluva, Lithuania (1608)

Title: Our Lady of Siluva

Feast Day: September 8th

Investigated: 1612

First Apparition:

Approved: Aug 17, 1775 by Pope Pius VI.

Last Apparition:

Visionaries: 4 children

Number of Apparitions:
Many over 4 years

Miracles & Signs: Complete conversion of Calvinist town; blind man cured.

Summary: One summer day, in 1608, a number of children were playing while tending their sheep in a field on the outskirts of the village of Siluva. They beheld a beautiful young woman standing on the rock holding a baby in her arms and weeping bitterly. The town which had lost its Catholic identity to the Calvinists over the course of 80 years was restored to the Faith.

Laus, France (1664)

Title: Our Lady of Laus / Our Lady of Happy Meetings

Feast Day: September 27th

Investigated: 1665, 2007

First Apparition:

Approved: May 4, 2008
Bishop Jean-Michel di Falco of the Diocese of Gap

Last Apparition:

Benoite (Benedicta) Rencurel (17)

Number of Apparitions: Many (over 54 years)

Summary: Benoite Rencurel, a poor shepherdess, was born in 1647. The Virgin Mary started appearing to her in 1664 and continued visiting her throughout the rest of her life. The Blessed Mother told her to “pray continuously for sinners.”

Rue du Bac, Paris, France (1830)

Title: Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

Feast Day : November 27th

Investigated: 1836

First Apparition:
July 18, 1830

Approved: July 13, 1836 - Archbishop Hyacinthe-Louis de Quélen of Pari

Last Apparition:
Nov 27, 1830

St. Catherine Laboure (24)

Number of Apparitions: 2

Miracles & Signs: Miraculous Medal; Prediction of Paris Revolution (1871); incorruptible body of Catherine Laboure

Summary: In the chapel of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Mary showed herself three times to novice Catherine Laboure. Laboure said she was commissioned by the Virgin to have the medal of the Immaculate Conception or "Miraculous Medal" made in order to spread devotion to Our Lady.

Rome, Italy (1842)

Title: Our Lady of Zion

Feast Day : November 17th

Investigated: Feb 1842

First Apparition:
Jan 20, 1842

Approved: June 3, 1842 by the Vicar General of Pope Gregory XVI, Cardinal Patrizi

Last Apparition:
Jan 20, 1842

Marie Alphonse Ratisbonne (28)

Number of Apparitions: 1

Summary: Marie Alphonse Ratisbonne, an anti-Catholic Jew, befriended a baron in Rome and began wearing the Miraculous Medal as a simple test. On Jan 20, 1842 while waiting for the baron in the church Sant Andrea delle Fratte, Ratisbonne encountered a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He converted to Catholicism, joined the priesthood, and began a ministry for the conversion of Jews.

La Salette, France (1846)

Title: Our Lady of La Salette

Feast Day : September 19th

Investigated: 1846

First Apparition:
Sept 19, 1846

Approved: Nov 16th, 1851 by Mgr de Bruillard

Last Apparition:
Sept 19, 1846

Maximin Giraud (11), Melanie Mathieu (14)

Number of Apparitions: 1

Summary: Six thousand feet up in the French Alps, Mary is believed to have come to Maximin and Melanie while they tended sheep. Her appearance in sorrow and tears called for conversion and penance for sins.

Lourdes, France (1858)

Title: Our Lady of Lourdes

Feast Day : February 11th

Investigated: 1858

First Apparition:
Feb 11, 1858

Approved: Jan 18, 1862 by Bertrand Severe Laurence, Bishop of Tarbes

Last Apparition:
July 16, 1858

St. Bernadette Soubirous (14)

Number of Apparitions: 18

Miracles & Signs: Healings, Conversions, Incorruptible body of St. Bernadette.

Summary: At the Grotto of Massabielle, the Virgin showed herself 18 times to Bernadette Soubirous. Under the title "the Immaculate Conception," she called for penance and prayer for the conversion of sinners.

Filippsdorf, Czech Republic (1866)

Title: Help of Christians

Feast Day: January 13th

Investigated: 1866

First Apparition:
January 13, 1866

Approved: Bishop's commission examined the miraculous event and recognized the healing and supernatural character. Church was elevated to minor basilica and consecrated by Pope Leo XIII in 1885.

Last Apparition:
January 13, 1866

Visionaries: Magdalene Kade (31)

Number of Apparitions: 1

Miracles & Signs: Cure of Magdalene and many others at the shrine.

Summary: Magdalene Kade, an orphaned 31 year woman bedridden due to many illnesses, received a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary who immediately cured her. A bishop's commission examined the miraculous event and recognized the healing and supernatural character. In the period between 1870 and 1885 a neo-Romanesque church was built and was elevated to minor basilica by Pope Leo XIII, who officially consecrated it and dedicated to Mary, "Help of Christians."

Pontmain, France (1871)

Title: Our Lady of Hope

Feast Day: January 17th

Investigated: 1872

First Apparition:
Jan 17, 1871

Approved: February 2, 1872 - Casimir-Alexis-Joseph Wicart, Bishop of Laval

Last Apparition:
Jan 17, 1871

Visionaries: Eugene Barbadette (12), Francoise Richer (11), Jeanne-Marie Lebosse (9), Eugene Friteau (6)

Number of Apparitions: 1

Miracles & Signs: Prussian army halts advances after soldiers see Virgin in the sky.

Summary: Mary appeared on a farm to students at the nearby convent school. Mary's message was written on a banner that unfurled from her feet: "But pray my children. God will hear you in a short time. My Son allows Himself to be moved by compassion.

Gietrzwald, Poland (1877)

Title: Our Lady of Gietrzwald

Investigated: 1877

First Apparition:
June 27, 1877

Approved: Bishop Filip Krementz 1878; Warmian Bishop, Jozef Drzazga Sept 11, 1977

Last Apparition:
Sept 16, 1877

Justyna Szafrynska (13), Barbara Samulowska (12)

Number of Apparitions: 9

Miracles & Signs: Healing spring; return of piety and devotion to the villagers; Primate of Poland Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski is cured on 100th anniversary of apparitions.

Summary: In 1877, the Virgin Mary appeared to two girls over the course of 3 months and encouraged a return to prayer.

Knock, Ireland (1879)

Title: Our Lady of Knock

Feast Day : August 21st

Investigated: 1879, 1936

First Apparition:
August 21, 1879

Approved: In 1936 Archbishop of Tuam, Dr. Gilmartin's investigative commission returns a positive verdict.

Last Apparition:
August 21, 1879

Visionaries: 18

Number of Apparitions: 1

Miracles & Signs: 300+ miraculous cures

Summary: During a pouring rain, the figures of Mary, Joseph, John the Apostle and a lamb on a plain altar appeared over the gable of the village chapel, enveloped in a bright light. None of them spoke. At least 15 people, between the ages of 5 and 75, saw the apparition.

Fatima, Portugal (1917)

Title: Our Lady of Fatima / Our Lady of the Rosary

Feast Day : May 13th

Investigated: 1919

First Apparition:
May 13, 1917

Approved: October 13, 1930 (Dom Jose Alves Correia da Silva, Bishop of the Diocese of Leiria-Fatima)

Last Apparition:
October 13, 1917

Visionaries: Lucia dos Santos (9), Jacinta Marto (8), Francisco Marto (7)

Number of Apparitions: 6

Miracles & Signs: Dancing Sun, Healings, Conversion of Russia, Incorruptible body of Jacinta.

Summary: While tending sheep, Lucia de Santos and her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, reported six apparitions of Mary, who identified herself as "Our Lady of the Rosary." Mary urged prayer of the rosary, penance for the conversion of sinners and consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

Beauraing, Belgium (1932)

Title: The Virgin with the Golden Heart

Feast Day : August 22nd

Investigated: 1949

First Apparition:
Nov 29, 1932

Approved: July 2, 1949 by André Marie Charue, Bishop of Namur

Last Apparition:
Jan 3, 1933

Visionaries: Fernande Voisin (15), Andree Degeimbre (14), Gilberte Voisin (11), Gilberte Degeimbre (9)

Number of Apparitions: 33

Miracles & Signs: Miraculous cures, fireball

Summary: Mary is believed to have come 33 times to the playground of a convent school to five children. Identifying herself as "the Immaculate Virgin" and "Mother of God, Queen of Heaven," she called for prayer for the conversion of sinners.

Banneux, Belgium (1933)

Title: The Virgin of the Poor

Feast Day : May 31st

Investigated: 1935-37

First Apparition:
January 15, 1933

Approved: March 19th, 1942 Bishop Kerkhofs of Liege; Aug 22, 1949

Last Apparition:
March 2, 1933

Mariette Beco

Number of Apparitions: 8

Summary: In a garden behind the Beco family's cottage, the Blessed Mother is said to have appeared to Mariette Beco (age 11) eight times. Calling herself the "Virgin of the Poor," Mary promised to intercede for the poor, the sick and the suffering.

Kibeho, Rwanda (1981)

Title: "Nyina wa Jambo" (Mother of the Word)

Investigated: April 1982

First Apparition:
Nov 28, 1981

Approved: June 29, 2001 (Bishop Augustin Misago of Gikongoro)

Last Apparition:
Nov 28, 1989

Visionaries: Alphonsine Mumureke (17), Nathalie Mukamazimpaka (20), and Marie Claire Mukangango (21)

Number of Apparitions: Many

Summary: The apparitions began in November 1981 when six young girls and one boy claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus. But only the visions of the first three -- 17-year-old Alphonsine, 20-year-old Nathalie, and 21-year-old Marie Claire -- have received Bishop Misago's solemn approval. Because there were reservations about the other four visionaries, and the supposed visions of Jesus, Bishop Misago didn't confirm the authenticity of either those visions or visionaries.


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