Mary crowned Queen of Heaven
Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
Alleged Marian appearances have increased dramatically since the 19th century. The following are a few of the more prominent of the hundreds of these appearances: In 1858, Mary allegedly appeared to a 14-year-old girl in Lourdes, France. In 1917, she allegedly appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal, giving them her peace plan. She promised that if her requests were heeded, a time of peace would come upon the world (Bob Guste, Mary at My Side, Twenty-Third Publications, pp. 51-52). She said: “Because the world is thirsting for unity in all things, the Lord and Master will give to the nations of the world a spiritual unity. Thus He sendeth Miriam, also called Mary, as queen of all nations” (Midnight Call, November 1984, p. 17). Between 1945 and 1959, Mary allegedly appeared 56 times to Ida Peerdeman, in Amsterdam, proclaiming herself “Mother of All Nations” or “Lady of All Nations” and proclaiming, “European nations unite.” In 1976, Mary allegedly appeared to Maria de Mianchini in Finca Betania, Venezuela. Bathed in light, the apparition said, “I am the reconciler of all people.” Beginning in June 1981, she allegedly appeared as “a beautiful woman” to six young people in Medjugorje in Yugoslavia. Calling herself “The Queen of Peace,” she warned that the world is on the brink of catastrophe and claimed, “I have come to bring peace to the world” (“Is Mary Really Appearing at Medjugorje?” New Covenant, Dec. 1988).
In 1958, a 66-foot-tall Madonna entitled “Our Beloved Woman and Queen of Europe” was dedicated in the northern Italian mountains of Serenissima. It depicts Mary as the sun queen crowned with a 12-pointed star, falsely depicting her as the object of John’s vision in Revelation 12.
Mary was highly exalted by John Paul II, the most popular pope in history and the pope who dramatically furthered ecumenical unity. His was the “most Marian papacy in history.” Soul Magazine, July-August 1992, reported: “Pope John Paul II, from the first time that he stood on the balcony of St. Peter’s and addressed the crowds shortly after he was chosen, has called the world to give new attention to Our Lady.” He gave glory to Mary for saving his life after an attempted assassination, and in May 1982 John Paul II traveled to Fatima and consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He had the Latin words meaning “I AM TOTALLY YOURS” embroidered on his robe, and in his autobiography he said this referred to his total devotion to Mary.
Marian shrines have increased in popularity in recent decades. More than 4.5 million pilgrims visit Fatima each year, while more than 4 million visit Lourdes. By 1996, an estimated 20 million had visited the isolated village of Medjugorje, the scene of alleged Marian visitations that began in 1981. Groups and organizations dedicated to Mary have grown rapidly in recent decades. In 1992, there were over 1,200 of them in the USA alone (Christian News, Oct. 25, 1992, p. 21).
The Blue Army of Fatima, founded in 1949, has 20 million members who are dedicated to consecrating their lives to Mary, to praying the Rosary daily, and to wearing brown scapulars with images of Mary. The organization promotes its cause through a monthly magazine and by carrying Mary statues around the world. The Marian Movement of Priests, has a membership of 100,000 priests out of the 400,000 priests of the Roman Church (Jim Tetlow, “Will Mary Unite All Religions?” Endtime Issues Newsletter, Nov. 17, 2005, p. 19; cited from Robert Congdon, The European Union and the Supra-Religion).
The veneration of Mary is a prominent theme of the charismatic movement. In June 1979, Light of Life, India’s most influential evangelical magazine, reported on the charismatic “renewal” in the Roman Catholic Church. When the “renewed” Catholics were asked if their views of Mary had changed, they responded as follows: “Nothing has happened to the great Mother of God. SHE STILL REMAINS QUEEN OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, RESPECTED, LOVED AND VENERATED.” At the massive New Orleans ’87 charismatic conference, which I attended with media credentials, Mary was highly exalted. Many books were available in the sales area promoting Medjugorje, Fatima, and Lourdes, and there was no warning to the 40,000 in attendance representing 40 denominations that these Marian “visitations” might be unscriptural demonic delusions. The late David du Plessis, the most prominent ecumenical Pentecostal of this generation, visited Medjugorje and accepted the apparitions as genuine, saying, “I was quite satisfied from what I saw that this is a working of the Holy Spirit” (New Covenant, Oct, 1984).
The book Is the Virgin Mary Appearing at Medjugorje? by Rene Laurentin (The Word Among Us Press, 1984) lists many other charismatic leaders who accept the Marian apparitions as genuine. Mary is also becoming a focus of interfaith unity. Fatima, which was once solely a Roman Catholic shrine, is now becoming “a multi-faith centre where Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Pagan religions can rest at ease with each other” (“The Portugal News Reports the Facts on Fatima Congress,” The News, Portugal’s English Language Online Newspaper, Nov. 15, 2003; quoted from Congdon, The European Union and the Supra-Religion). In October 2003, the Vatican and the United Nations co-sponsored an interfaith congress at the Fatima shrine. It was entitled The Present of Man -- The Future of God, and participants included “Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, Buddhist, and African Pagan representatives.” The shrine’s rector said, “The future of Fatima, or the adoration of God and His mother at this holy Shrine, must pass through the creation of a shrine where different religions can mingle ... the Shrine of Fatima is not indifferent to this fact and is already open to being a universalistic place of vocation” (Ibid., Congdon). The Hindu representative, Ansshok Ansraj, speaking to the congress in Fatima, pointed out that “in the Far East millions of Hindus are getting ‘positive vibrations’ from visiting Marian shrines without endangering their faith” (“Fatima to Become Interfaith Shrine,” The News, Portugal’s National Weekend Newspaper in English, Nov. 1, 2003). Jacques Dupuis, a Catholic priest who was one of the principle speakers of the Fatima congress, observed, “The religion of the future will be a general converging of religions in a universal Christ that will satisfy all.”
The Dalai Lama prayed at the Fatima shrine in May 2004.
Mary is also popular in the Muslim religion. She is the “most honoured woman in Islam” and is believed to have been immaculately conceived. Sura 126 of the Koran says Mary is “chosen over all women in the world.” The 19th Surah is named for her.
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