The Marian Apparitions' Plan to Unite All Religions
Under the Catholic Church
by: Jim Tetlow
She appears as a living, breathing, three-dimensional lady enveloped in exquisite light. Visionaries and seers describe a beautiful, young woman glowing in radiant splendor. Seers, while describing her as brilliant to behold and arrayed with every splendor, admit that the "Queen of Heaven" transcends human description. Visionaries also report seeing strange lights and glorious visions that often accompany an apparition. Visions of angels, glowing orbs, tongues of fire, mysterious solar phenomena, and peculiar luminous clouds have been sighted. Because of the tremendous pleasure and joy experienced by seers during an apparition, the term ecstasy is the word most often used to describe this event. Those who have witnessed her, admit that they are paralyzed and enraptured by her beauty and charm. Numerous healings and miracles have been reported at apparition sites around the globe. In addition, the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary has repeatedly announced that the most significant signs and wonders are yet future! She admits that she has not yet revealed her full glory to the world. She predicts heavenly signs and events that the whole world will witness in the very near future.
My sign is emerging. God wills it thus. Only my children recognize it, as it reveals itself in secrecy, and they praise the Eternal One for it. Today I cannot reveal my power to the whole world. I must withdraw with my children. In secrecy I will perform miracles on the souls until the number of sacrifices has become full. …Then I can reveal myself to the whole world…
Soon, I will come, my children! Soon, I will be in your midst with a great light. I will enlighten the entire world. Many souls will cry because they did not listen to my call.…
I will pass above everyone in a cloud and everyone will see me. What will become of those who insulted me and made a laughing stock of me?…
I will come soon, my sons, to travel through the entire world. I will give a great sign in the sky for those who will still want to be saved. All those who have recourse to me, who have a look of repentance, this will be sufficient to save them.
The Numbers are Staggering
Consider that 15 to 20 million Marian followers visit a single shrine in Guadalupe, Mexico, every single year! The shrine is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, who appeared in 1531 to seer Juan Diego. On December 12th 1999, the anniversary of the Virgin Mary's appearance, 5 million pilgrims visited the shrine to pay honor to Our Lady. In addition, 1999 marks the first time in church history that the feast of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe is being celebrated by all bishops and priests in the Western Hemisphere. In an apostolic exhortation delivered during his visit to Mexico in January, Pope John Paul II elevated December 12 to a holy day for the Catholic Church. In war-torn Bosnia, an estimated 30 million pilgrims have visited Medjugorje since the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary began in 1981. Besides the six visionaries who regularly receive messages from the Virgin, thousands of pilgrims claim to see signs and wonders; experience healing; and hear the voice of Mary at Medjugorje. Visiting Medjugorje is a painstaking task involving many hours by bus over war-torn roads. The millions of pilgrims who venture to Medjugorje do so with the knowledge that their pilgrimage will be difficult and dangerous - yet they continue to come in droves. In Conyers, Georgia, seer Nancy Fowler has received up to 100,000 visitors to her farm on a single day. The pilgrims come from all over, many traveling great distances to hear the most recent message from the Blessed Mother. At the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, in Emmitsburg, Maryland, attendance has increased to 500,000 per year.
Marian Apparitions Everywhere
Marian apparitions from almost every state in America are being reported - many of these sites are drawing thousands. From New York City to San Francisco numerous reported visitations from the Queen of Heaven have been documented. The sheer number of Marian followers and their determination to hear from the Virgin reveals that these individuals are not merely curious sightseers, but rather a huge, growing flock of Marian disciples.
Five and one-half million pilgrims visit a single apparition site in Lourdes, France annually. Poland's Marian shrine Our Lady of Czestochowa (a favorite of Pope John Paul II) draws an estimated five million pilgrims a year. A single apparition site in Knock, Ireland, has drawn millions who come to pray to Our Lady of Knock and visit the Apparition Gable. This Marian shrine in Ireland has been honored by four popes this century, including Pope John Paul II, who went on pilgrimage to Knock in 1979.
In Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico, a location where the Virgin Mary reportedly appeared more than 40 years ago, multiplied thousands of religious devotees come from all over the world. The site has become so popular that preparations are underway to construct a statue of the Virgin twice as high as New York's Statue of Liberty. A local newspaper reports that:
The grand scale heroic statue of Our Lady of the Rosary, part of the projected 500-acre Mystical City complex, will top at 1,500 feet. It will have room inside to contain radio and TV stations, various chapels, apartments, a food court, conference rooms and an observation deck. At the famous apparition site in Fatima, Portugal, pilgrims numbering more than 1 million are in attendance during the October 13th anniversary of the 1917 apparition.
On May 31st, 1999, thousands gathered in Amsterdam to celebrate the 3rd International Day of Prayer of the Lady of All Nations. Dozens of priests, bishops and cardinals presided over the event, where thousands of participants from over 70 countries and 6 continents converged to honor the Lady of All Nations. This apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared to visionary Ida Peerdeman numerous times. Her main message was that she wants the Church and pope to officially proclaim the Lady of All Nations as Co-Redemptrix. To date, millions of faithful Marian advocates have petitioned the pope to officially name her Co-Redemptrix.
Growing Worldwide Popularity
The popularity of the Virgin and her messages has grown to mammoth proportions. Marian historians are quick to point out that apparitions of Mary have been recorded throughout the centuries, but never in the history of Marian apparitions has she appeared with such consistency and frequency as in our day.
In 1997, Newsweek ran a cover story on the Virgin Mary. In the article they write: "In many ways, the 20th century has belonged to Mary. From almost every continent, visionaries have reported more than 400 'apparitions' of the Virgin - more than in the previous three centuries combined. Taken together, these visions point to what the Marian Movement believes is a millennial 'Age of Mary.'"
We might expect this phenomenon to occur in countries that are predominately Catholic, but apparitions are being reported from Japan to Africa, from Korea to Australia, from Iraq to Israel, from Egypt to Syria. Whether looking deep within the former Soviet Union or among the peoples of India, one thing is found in common - they are all allegedly being visited by a woman who calls herself Mary, the Queen of Heaven, Our Lady. Father Robert Faricy, quoted in the book Queen of the Cosmos, states:
Never in the history of Christianity has the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to so many people over so long a period of time with such regularity. Moreover, it seems that the apparitions at Medjugorje have ushered in a new Marian age. There are reports of her appearing everywhere.
In his book Call of the Ages, author Thomas W. Petrisko writes: "Millions and millions on all continents of the globe have heard and responded to the Virgin Mary's apparitions and messages. Indeed, there is a significant upswing in attendance at Marian shrines everywhere."
The Rev. Charles Dickson, Ph.D., a Lutheran minister, reported this trend in Queen Magazine: "people around the world are traveling enormous distances to demonstrate in person their veneration of the Mother of Our Lord." He goes on to state that France alone has 937 pilgrimage shrines and that at the most popular Marian shrine in France, attendance has increased 10 percent in two years. And while devotion to Mary is most noticeable in Catholic countries, Marian devotion is attracting an enormous following from every religion, race and nation.
All My Children
A consistent message given by the hundreds, and possibly thousands, of apparitions currently appearing worldwide is one of peace, unity, and tolerance. At Medjugorje, the apparition of Mary has stated:
Dear children, today I invite you to peace. I have come here as the Queen of Peace and I desire to enrich you with my Motherly Peace. I invite you to become carriers and witnesses of my peace to this unpeaceful world. Let peace rule in the whole world.
In another message, Mary told the seers: "Tell this priest, tell everyone, that it is you who are divided on earth. The Muslims and the Orthodox, for the same reason as Catholics, are equal before my Son and I. You are all my children." Mary's message of peace and unity is one that a distressed and perplexed world craves.
Her reported messages in Betania, Venezuela typify her words of hope given around the world: "My children, I am giving you a piece of Heaven. Betania, Venezuela. It is for everyone, not only Catholics.… My message is of faith, love, and hope. More than anything, it brings reconciliation between people and nations. It is the only thing that can save this century from war and eternal death."
Charles Dickson, author of A Protestant Pastor Looks at Mary, writes: A Muslim student visiting Rome wants especially to see the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Surprised? The poetry of a Syrian mystic is replete with Marian devotion. Surprised? Martin Luther recommended prayer to Mary. Surprised? An American Pentecostalist minister begins to visit shrines of Marian apparitions. Surprised? Muslims refer to Mary as il-Sittneh, or Our Lady. Surprised? A chapter in the Koran is named after her. Surprised? Mary's deep kindness as a mother is portrayed in Chinese art. Surprised? And now a Presbyterian minister has written a book recommending praying the rosary. Still surprised? … a closer investigation of both past history and current events points out that Mary has a universal appeal that transcends our cultural, geographical, and even religious boundaries.
"Mary" Promises Unity
Almost all of the apparitions have stated that Mary is going to usher in a new era of peace and unity. Under her mantle all people will gather in peace and solve the problems facing the world. Her emphasis on unity and ecumenism has garnered attention from the media. The Los Angeles Times reported in their December 25, 1998 issue in an article entitled “Mary's Rising Popularity Goes Beyond Faith” that:
A growing number of Americans from all Christian denominations are reaching out to the Virgin Mary as a comforting conduit of spirituality and a symbol of peace in troubled times.… Reported sightings of Mary have steadily increased across the globe in recent years.… Her maternal gaze seems to have an ecumenical appeal.… It's not just Roman Catholics who are interested in Mary and following the apparitions.… Each day, thousands of people bring their troubles to the sites where the Virgin is claimed to have appeared.
One of the best witnessed series of apparitions occurred at a Coptic Orthodox church in Zeitoun, Egypt, a suburb of Cairo. People from many countries and of varied religious backgrounds witnessed the apparitions from 1968 to1973. It is estimated that the total number of witnesses numbered in the millions! Moslems, Copts, Roman Catholics, Protestants, and others were overwhelmed by the Lady who seemed to be composed of light. Moslems chanted from the Koran: "Mary, God has chosen thee. And purified thee; He has chosen thee above all women." At Zeitoun, as well as countless other sites around the globe, the phenomenon attracts people from every conceivable background and the message seems to clearly be one of unity and ecumenism.
The Queen's Appeal
In 1996, Life Magazine featured Mary on the cover and asked these questions: "Why are two billion Hail Marys said daily? Why did five million people, many non-Christian, visit Lourdes this year to drink the healing waters? Why did more than 10 million trek to Guadalupe to pray to Our Lady? … Why the apparitions? Why are Mary hymns creeping into Methodist songbooks? … What is it about Mary?" The Life article goes on to list numerous apparitions and to quote various statistics. For instance, Life notes that "In Italy, 50 weeping Madonna statues have been reported in the past two years."
Life Magazine notes that Mary's popularity is not just among Catholics: "One of the intriguing aspects of the latest rise of Mary is this: The emotional need for her is so irresistible to a troubled world that people without an obvious link to the Virgin are being drawn to her. It's not news that Muslims revere Mary as a pure and holy saint - she's mentioned 34 times in the Koran, … but to see large numbers of Muslims making pilgrimages to Christian Marian shrines is a remarkable thing. Interdenominational Marian prayer groups are springing up throughout the world."
Why does she appeal to so many? Is it possible that many are drawn by the numerous reported miracles, signs, and wonders? In a world that seeks interaction with the supernatural, it is no surprise that many flock to the miraculous. These miracles, if true, would rival the miracles performed in Moses' day. Consider that at several apparition sites, a phenomenon known as "the Miracle of the Sun" has been seen by hundreds of thousands.
Miracle of the Sun
At Fatima, on October 13, 1917, there were 70,000 people who witnessed the sun apparently fall from the sky. These eyewitnesses claim that they watched as the sun fell from heaven toward the crowd and then return to its normal position in the sky. Many thought this was signaling the end of the world and were sure they would perish. Here is a brief recount of the events at Fatima:
Just when it seemed that the ball of fire would fall upon and destroy them, the miracle ceased and the sun resumed its normal place in the sky, shining forth as peacefully as ever. When the people arose from the ground, cries of astonishment were heard on all sides. Their clothes, which had been soaking wet and muddy, now were clean and dry. Many of the sick and crippled had been cured of their afflictions.
The Miracle of the Sun is a common, albeit fantastic, event at many apparition sites. It happened before a crowd of 100,000 in Puerto Rico on April 23, 1991, which was the 38th anniversary of the apparitions there, and it happened again in the Philippines on March 5, 1993, in front of a crowd of 300,000. Similar events have been recorded at such apparition sites as Medjugorje, Bosnia; Denver, Colorado; Lubbock, Texas; and Conyers, Georgia.
The Miracle of the Sun is one of many supernatural phenomena reported at apparition sites around the globe. Here is an abridged summary of the miracles reported at just one apparition site:
The appearances of the Mother of God in Medjugorje have been accompanied by a number of miracles, including physical healings (now numbered at 360), reports of the sun dancing or spinning in the sky, rosary links and medals that apparently change from silver to gold, and other phenomenon. … Just as Christ worked miracles during his earthly life to authenticate his teaching and ministry, so Our Lady of Medjugorje seems to be using them to validate her presence and messages, which, as always, direct us to her Son.
When Mary Speaks, Rome Listens
These apparitions and the supernatural phenomena associated with them, have not gone unnoticed by high level Church officials. In 1984 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the head of the Roman Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), declared that, "one of the signs of our times is that the announcements of 'Marian Apparitions' are multiplying all over the world."
Even the current pope has stated, "If I wasn't a Pope, I'd be in Medjugorje already." The pope has visited numerous Marian shrines and apparition sites and his Marian devotion is truly remarkable. In his book, Crossing The Threshold of Hope, the pope writes: "I think what I have said sufficiently explains the Marian devotion of the present Pope and, above all, his attitude of total abandonment to Mary - his Totus Tuus."
Pope John Paul II believes that if victory comes to the Universal Church it will be brought by Mary. In his book, Crossing The Threshold of Hope, he makes this unexpected statement:
After my election as Pope, as I became more involved in the problems of the universal Church, I came to have a similar conviction: On this universal level, if victory comes it will be brought by Mary. Christ will conquer through her, because he wants the Church's victories now and in the future to be linked to her. I held this conviction even though I did not yet know very much about Fatima. I could see, however, that there was a certain continuity among La Salette, Lourdes, and Fatima - and, in distant past, our Polish Jasna Gora. And thus we come to May 13, 1981, when I was wounded by gunshots fired in St. Peter's Square. At first, I did not pay attention to the fact that the assassination attempt had occurred on the exact anniversary of the day Mary appeared to the three children at Fatima in Portugal and spoke to them the words that now, at the end of this century, seem to be close to their fulfillment.
The pope credits the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima with saving his life during the 1981 assassination attempt. Shortly after the assassination attempt, Pope John Paul II, consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (38) The pope's consecration was done in response to the request made by Our Lady of Fatima. Furthermore, in October, 2000, the pope ordered the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the Vatican for the Great Jubilee. On Sunday October 8th, Pope John Paul with 1500 bishops - the largest group to assemble since Vatican II - entrusted humanity and the 3rd millennium to Our Lady of Fatima!
Global Network - Global Power
With the exponential growth in apparitions around the world, the number of Marian groups and conferences are mushrooming. One group alone, the Blue Army, boasts over 20 million members. Another group known as the Marian Movement of Priests is supported by at least 400 cardinals and bishops, and more than 100,000 priests, and millions of religious and faithful around the world. The statistics are more than impressive, they may represent the greatest spiritual movement in centuries. With conversion as her goal, the apparition of Mary claims to be appearing around the world. Father Stefano Gobbi, the head of the Marian Movement of Priests, often receives messages from Mary confirming her global manifestations: “With extraordinary signs which I am giving in every part of the world, through my messages and through my so frequent apparitions, I am pointing out to everyone the approaching of the great day of the Lord."
Wherever she appears, the Queen of Heaven makes it clear that she has come for ALL her children, not just Catholics. Protestants, Muslims, and individuals from other religious affiliations often go to apparition sites skeptical, only to find that they too have been touched by Mary. Many non-Catholics have actually converted to the Roman Catholic faith after an apparition experience. As Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragicevic has conveyed, Mary has come for all of us.
It is very important to emphasize that the Blessed Mother came for all of us. Mary's messages refer to the whole world. Her messages throughout have been that we must pray for all religions, because we know that we have divided ourselves by religion.
Concerning the growing number of apparitions worldwide, noted Marian author Michael Brown wrote: "[During the second half of the 20th century Marian apparitions] grew to remarkable proportion … if every daily or weekly apparition is counted in cases where a seer had more than one, the number would not be calculable. The French periodical Le Monde once estimated twenty-one thousand apparitions between 1976 and 1986!"
Twenty-one thousand apparitions! If true, that would constitute the greatest display of paranormal activity in the history of the world. With hundreds of millions of followers and thousands of alleged apparitions taking place in our generation, could heaven be sending us a wake-up call?
Testing the Spirits
Those who are familiar with the Word of God know that we are to be cautious when dealing with alleged heavenly visitors. The Apostle John reminds us: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God". Furthermore, the New Testament repeatedly warns of deception, in the name of Christ, in the last days. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. The principal way to test these reported "Messengers From Heaven" is to test their messages with the Bible. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness".
Messages From Heaven
We will examine a few messages from apparitions which have received full Church approval. The following Marian messages derive from apparition sites which have received the Catholic Church's approval and endorsement. Each quote from the Queen of Heaven is preceded with a **. Her message is followed by, and contrasted with, the Word of God.
** I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved.
I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior.
** I boldly assert that His suffering became my suffering, because His heart was mine. And just as Adam and Eve sold the world for an apple, so in a certain sense my Son and I redeemed the world with one heart.…
As for our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name, the Holy One of Israel.
** [Jesus] wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.…[Lucia recalled,] Before the palm of the right hand of Our Lady was a heart encircled by thorns which seemed to have pierced it like nails. We understood that it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary outraged by the sins of humanity, for which there must be reparation.
But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. …there is no longer an offering for sin.
The Marian apparitions clearly contradict the teachings of Scripture. The apparitions' thousands of messages portray a Queen who possesses all of Christ's distinct characteristics. She is said to be our Mediator, our Intercessory, our Advocate, our Coredeemer, our Suffering Servant, and many other titles that reveal her deceptive agenda. Some proponents of the Marian apparitions might protest this line of reasoning. Is it fair to focus only on those messages that contradict Scripture? Shouldn't we applaud the apparition of Mary for the good, biblical messages she has sent? Shouldn't we focus on the transformed lives and the good fruit? To answer that question, let's consider how Satan has tempted in the past. When tempting Jesus, Satan accurately quoted Scripture. Satan knew that he couldn't deceive Jesus with an outright lie, but that he must use subtle deception. Likewise, Satan often mixes a subtle lie in with truth. He is the master of deception. Not many within the church would worship or follow him if he were to appear wearing a red suit and carrying a pitchfork. No, the grandest of all deceptions are those that are mostly true. While the bulk of the apparitions' messages seem harmless, even biblical, is it possible that subtle deception mixed with truth might lead many down a pathway that leads to eternal destruction? Satan may encourage good and noble deeds as long as they ultimately compromise our relationship with Jesus and His Word. The Bible states emphatically that God will not share His glory with another: "I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images."
The Queen's Agenda
As history comes to a close, the Queen of Heaven, who is counterfeiting the Mary of the Bible, has a specific agenda. She has made several remarkable predictions, but perhaps none so controversial as her proclamation that the Roman Catholic Church will declare her Coredemptrix. The Lady of All Nations, as she is called by the faithful, made this remarkable prediction to visionary Ida Peerdeman:
Once more I am here. - The Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate is now standing before you. I have chosen this day: on this day the Lady will be crowned. Theologians and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, listen carefully: I have given you the explanation of the dogma. Work and ask for this dogma. You should petition the Holy Father for this dogma. …On this date "the Lady of All Nations" will receive Her official title of "Lady of All Nations."
Pope John Paul II Refers to Mary as "Co-Redemptrix"
Additionally, the present pontiff, Pope John Paul II has applied the title "Co-Redemptrix" to the Blessed Virgin Mary on at least five occasions, including papal teachings accompanied by profound theological treatments on the unique participation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the redemption of humanity by Jesus Christ. It is rumored that the pope may announce Mary as "Co-Redemptrix" very soon. According to many Marian theologians, the Co-Redemptrix doctrine will be the last and final Marian dogma, and it will usher in her triumphant reign promised at Fatima. Authors Ted and Maureen Flynn explain what they and many other Marian theologians believe will soon take place.
The last major event will be the proclamation of the Blessed Mother as Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate - the last and final Marian dogma of the Catholic Church.
Dogma, then Peace
As we have briefly highlighted, the Queen has promised to bring peace and unity to all her children. This will not occur, however, until she is proclaimed the Coredemptrix.
** When the dogma, the last dogma in Marian history, has been proclaimed, “the Lady of All Nations” will give peace, true peace to the world. The nations, however, must say My prayer in union with the Church. They must know that "the Lady of All Nations" has come as Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. So be it!
Once she is proclaimed Co-Redemptrix by the Pope, the Queen will unite all religions under her mantle.
Queen Over All
Marian advocates often quote Saint Louis de Montfort, who was a great devotee of Our Lady. Saint Louis de Montfort predicted that:
The power of Mary over all devils will be particularly outstanding in the last period of time. She will extend the Kingdom of Christ over the idolators and Moslems, and there will come a glorious era in which Mary will be ruler and queen of human hearts.
Catholic visionary Mary of Agreda, who wrote the classic Mystical City of God, conveyed what was told to her about the final era of peace:
Before the Second Coming of Christ, Mary must, more than ever, shine in mercy, might and grace in order to bring unbelievers into the Catholic Faith. The powers of Mary in the last times over demons will be very conspicuous. Mary will extend the reign of Christ over the heathens and Mohammedans, and it will be a time of great joy when Mary, as Mistress and Queen of Hearts is enthroned.
Rome will Rule
When the apparition of Mary speaks of unity, she means unity under the Roman Catholic Church. It is under the Church of Rome that “Mary” wishes to establish world unity.
Both humanity [the whole world] and the Church [the Roman Catholic Church] will experience this new era, you will as of today see my light becoming stronger and stronger, until it encircles the whole earth, ready now to open itself to the new day, which will begin with the Triumph of my Immaculate Heart in the world.
A true reunification of Christians is not possible unless it be in the perfection of truth. And truth has been kept intact only in the Catholic Church, which must preserve it, defend it and proclaim it to all without fear.
Furthermore, Pope Pius IX made this remarkable prediction in 1878 concerning Mary's role to establish the world under her Church, the Roman Catholic Church:
We expect that the Immaculate Virgin and Mother of God, Mary, through her most powerful intercession, will bring it about that our Holy Mother the Catholic Church…will gain in influence from day to day among all nations and in all places, prosper and rule from ocean to ocean, from the great stream to the ends of the earth; that she will enjoy peace and liberty…and there will be then one fold and one shepherd.
Queen of Muslims?
Think of the regions of our world today that are potential time bombs - powder kegs waiting to be ignited by some religious dispute. Can anyone imagine how religious differences could be resolved in these areas? Who alive on planet earth today could act as a mediator or diplomat that has the ability to bring about a peaceful resolution? Certainly for such an historic event to occur, a supernatural miracle would be required. There are some who are saying that Marian apparitions and the messages that “Mary” gives from heaven provide such a possibility. While the title of this section may seem strange to the reader, it is appropriate, as we will see. How could "Mary" have any influence on the millions of Muslims who follow Allah? Those who have studied the Muslim's holy book, known as the Koran, may be aware of the answer. First, the Koran portrays Jesus Christ as a prophet, unique in His preincarnate nature, miraculous birth, miracles and moral stature. Muslims revere Jesus Christ. As the Koran states:
The angels said to Mary: "God [Allah] bids you rejoice in a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and in the world to come, and shall be one of those who are favored. He shall preach to men in his cradle and in the prime of manhood, and shall lead a righteous life."
It is interesting to note that in the Koran, Jesus is almost exclusively referred to as "Jesus son of Mary," rather than “Son of God.” The Koran vehemently denies that Jesus is the Son of God, yet it holds both Jesus and Mary in high esteem. More important to our context, is the fact that Mary is arguably more highly honored than Jesus in the Koran and in the Muslim world. The Muslims, like the Catholics, refer to her as "Our Lady." She is also venerated as a pure and holy saint in the Islamic world. Furthermore, Mary is mentioned no less than 34 times in the Koran. In addition, the 19th surah (chapter) of the Koran is named after Mary. Based on these facts alone, it is apparent that “Our Lady” is surely seen as blessed above all women by orthodox Muslims. In addition, consider the following three quotes taken directly from the Koran:
1. And remember the angels' words to Mary. They said: "God has chosen you. He has made you pure and exalted you above womankind."
2. The Messiah, the son of Mary, was no more than an apostle: other apostles passed away before him. His mother was a saintly woman.
3. Whereupon he [Jesus] spoke and said: "I am the servant of God. He has given me the Book and ordained me a prophet. His blessing is upon me wherever I go, and He has exhorted me to be steadfast in prayer and to give alms as long as I shall live. He has exhorted me to honor my mother and has purged me of vanity and wickedness"
Muslims and Apparitions of Mary
While it is apparent that Mary is considered by adherents of the Islamic faith to be the most blessed woman ever, does this necessarily imply that Muslims would respond to Marian apparitions or signs and wonders as many Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians have done? Would Muslims listen to these apparitions and heed the messages? In order to answer this question, we can consider an apparition of Mary that appeared to millions of Muslims in the 20th century.
A Sign to Mankind
Think about the implications - millions of Muslims responding to an apparition of Mary, falling to their knees and quoting from the Koran. Why did these followers of Allah respond to these signs and wonders? Why were they so sure that this apparitional woman was Mary? If events like these repeat in the 21st century for the entire world to behold, will the Islamic community follow "Mary"? While we can't state with certainty what will happen, the following quotes taken directly from the Koran may lend some insight:
1. We [Allah] made the son of Mary and his mother a sign to mankind, and gave them shelter on a peaceful hillside watered by a fresh spring. Apostles! Eat of that which is wholesome, and do good works: I have knowledge of all your actions. Your community is but one community, and I am your only Lord: therefore fear me. Yet men have divided themselves into factions, each rejoicing in his own doctrines. Leave them in their error till a time appointed.
2. And to the woman [Mary] who kept her chastity, We [Allah] breathed into her of Our spirit, and made her and her son a sign to all mankind. Your community is but one community, and I am Your only Lord. Therefore serve Me. Men have divided themselves into factions, but to Us shall they all return."
In addition, the Koran appears to lay a heavy emphasis on past and future signs as evidence that the Day of Judgment is at hand. The Koran states:
The Day of Reckoning for mankind is drawing near, yet they blithely persist in unbelief. They listen with ridicule to each fresh warning that their Lord gives them: their hearts are set on pleasure… Yet though We showed them signs, the communities whom We destroyed before them did not believe either. Will they believe?
Concerning this "Hour of Doom," which appears to be the Day of Judgment, Allah states: "We will show them Our signs in all the regions of the earth and in their own souls, until they clearly see that this [The Koran] is the truth."
Is it possible that signs from "Mary" will persuade Muslims that she is a sign from Allah? Could this be one of the "lying signs and wonders” that Jesus warned about? Is it reasonable to speculate that the Queen, through signs and wonders could convince many Muslims to become part of a world religion that contains the name of Christ? Might these same false signs and wonders deceive the world?
Muslims and Catholics
The Koran infers that Allah inspired the Bible, though Jews and Christians have corrupted the text. Also, it is interesting to note that both Muslims and the Roman Catholic Church believe that Allah and the God of the Bible are the same. Quoting from the Catholic Catechism we read:
The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day.
How will the Muslims be included in this plan of salvation? Could the apparitions that perform numerous signs and wonders, impact “Christians” and Muslims who worship the same God? Could they possibly unite on this basis? Insight from the late Catholic priest Father Malachi Martin, in his popular book, The Keys of this Blood, may help answer these questions:
In reckoning the future of Islam, Pope Paul takes into account that as a genuinely religious faith, it preserves certain fundamental truths that the Holy Spirit reveals to all people of good will; and that, in God's providence, Islam can be a threshold from which its adherents can be prepared to accept the only historical revelation made by God in this world. There will come a day, John Paul believes, when the heart of Islam - already attuned to the figures of Christ and of Christ's Mother, Mary - will receive the illumination it needs. In the meantime, the Pontiff knows that Islam will stand against him and his church and his geopolitical vision.
An Old Mother for a New Age
It is one thing to see how Muslims and Catholics could find common ecumenical ground based on signs, wonders, and miracles associated with Marian apparitions. No doubt this would be one of the greatest religious miracles in history, encompassing half of the world's population. But there is another large group that would need to be tied into the one world religion.
There are hundreds of millions of people in the world today who believe in the gods of Eastern religion. These would include the millions who have converted to Eastern religion through what is commonly called the New Age Movement. It is interesting that Hindus, Buddhists, Native American Indian religions, New Agers and other similar groups already emphasize goddess worship and the earth as our living, breathing "Mother." These groups teach that all religions are similar and that we must unite to solve the myriad of problems facing mankind.
The book entitled Mary's Message to the World contains hundreds of revelations from "Mary," which fall in line with both New Age thinking and Eastern religious beliefs. Though many Catholics would deny that this is the same Mary that appears at Catholic apparition sites, the major Catholic Marian apparitions have never discredited a single apparition around the world. On the contrary, all apparitions emphasize that she is appearing everywhere with the same message. Mary's Message to the World can be found at almost any New Age bookstore and may represent one of the bridges between the Catholic Mary and the “Mary” who espouses New Age thinking. Here are a few of "Mary's" messages to the world:
Each religion is worshiping, underneath the outer trappings, its Creator. It is the same Creator! Whether you pray facing the east or facing an altar, or on Saturday or Sunday, it is all worship…Allow us to view the world as a whole and each nation, each religion, as part of this Great Whole. Be tolerant, one of the other. All religions are man-made, inspired by the Creator. All words which have been written in the Holy Books have been written by men in unity with the Creator.
Once more, not surprisingly, "Mary's" message is to unite: "It is imperative that the world join together at this time to pray to God. Pray for peace on Earth and among men. I seek to embrace all people with my love. I wish to encircle all people on Earth in a safety net which will save your souls." And finally this proclamation: "It is only as a whole unit that mankind can advance. Soon a giant leap forward will occur."
Reemergence of the Goddess
Within New Age and Eastern Religious circles, many acknowledge the great importance and reemergence of the goddess. She has always played a major part in their beliefs and worship. And accordingly, books like The Goddess Re-Awakening are predicting her triumphant come-back:
But the presence of the Goddess herself has never departed from her holy place in our consciousness, and now, as we enter what many feel to be a “new age,” we sense that the Goddess is somehow making her way back to us. But in just what guise is so far unclear.”
Furthermore, those who hold Eastern and New Age beliefs are open to whatever form this returning goddess might assume. According to Caitlin Matthews, author of Sophia Goddess of Wisdom, this goddess has appeared in many varying forms in the past, and is sure to return soon. Matthews writes:
I have accordingly looked for the Goddess of Wisdom under many names and titles, including Nature, the World-Soul, the Blessed Virgin and the Shekinah, as well as her more usual designations. Each of them has retained some part of the Goddess's image which, like a shattered mirror, waits to be reassembled…Nothing is going to delay the Goddess's second coming, whether in the guise of Sophia or under any other form.
The re-emergence of the Divine Feminine - the Goddess - in the twentieth century has begun to break down the conceptual barriers erected by orthodox religion and social conservatism. For the first time in two millennia, the idea of a Goddess as a central pivot of creation is finding a welcome response. Author Carol Christ explains more about this enthusiastic response for the re-emergence of the Divine Feminine in her book Rebirth of the Goddess:
One of the most unexpected developments of the late twentieth century is the rebirth of the religion of the Goddess in western cultures…In America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, hundreds of thousands of women and increasing numbers of men brought up in biblical religions are rediscovering the language, symbols, and rituals of the Goddess.
Buddhist and Hindu Goddesses
An entire book could easily be written describing the rebirth of the goddess currently taking place in cultures and religions around the world. However, for the purposes of this article, a few more examples of the widespread worship and significance of this female deity will be sufficient. For example, Buddhists have a profound and intimate adoration for their female Savioress who is called, Goddess Tara:
Perhaps because such a concept was too abstract for many people, there gradually grew up within Mahayanna Buddhism a need for a female figure…This figure came to be Tara, the Savioress, whose name means star. Veneration of Tara seems to have begun around the seventh or eight century in India…The worship of the Goddess Tara is now one of the most widespread of Tibetan cults … from highest to lowest, the Tibetans realize with Tara a personal and enduring relationship, unmatched by any other single deity… Tara, in other words, is the Divine Mother of Tibetan Buddhism, a tender, beautiful, intimately and personally concerned deity who protects all who turn to her...
This description of the Goddess Tara is remarkably similar to the descriptions given by visionaries who see the “Blessed Mother”. And Buddhism is not unique when it comes to their worship and affection given to their beloved goddess - all of the Eastern Religions worship female deities. For example, the Hindu religions are unmatched in their veneration of goddesses, as author David R. Kinsley describes:
One of the most striking characteristics of the ancient and multifaceted Hindu religious traditions is the importance of goddess worship. A considerable number of goddesses are known in the earliest Hindu scriptures, the Vedic hymns. In contemporary Hinduism the number and popularity of goddesses are remarkable. No other living religious tradition displays such an ancient, continuous, and diverse history of goddess worship.
There is no end of documentation with regard to the importance of the female deities to the religions and cultures of the world. Whether we refer to the holy woman of Native American Indians, known as the “White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman," or we refer to the "Shing Moo" or "Holy Mother" of the Chinese, one thing is consistent, all are worshipping a powerful, yet loving goddess.
Who Is this Queen?
The Book of Revelation warns about a counterfeit religious system. Bible-believing Christians call this global religion the counterfeit bride. John the apostle labeled this false church the harlot. The Scriptures also indicate the harlot is associated with a "queen." In Revelation chapter 18 we read:
For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, …In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, 'I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.' Therefore her plagues will come in one day; death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her."
John is not the only prophet who saw there was a queen and that this queen would be judged for the whole world to see at the end of the age. The prophet Isaiah also warned about a deceiving woman called the “virgin daughter of Babylon” who would be judged by God. In the 47th chapter of Isaiah we read:
Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called Tender and delicate. Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, take off the skirt, Uncover the thigh, Pass through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame will be seen; I will take vengeance, and I will not arbitrate with a man. As for our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name, the Holy One of Israel. Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for you shall no longer be called The Lady of Kingdoms.
Who is this "Lady of Kingdoms" that Isaiah is prophesying about? Apparently she is a female entity that has played a deceptive role and is somehow connected to the pagan religious practices of ancient Babylon. Isaiah's words bring a strong retribution and condemnation upon those who have rejected the true Redeemer, the “Holy One of Israel” - the LORD of hosts is His name.
We know from biblical history that a queen, (the Queen of Heaven) has played a significant role in deluding people of the past. Is it possible that this same Queen of Heaven will delude the world once more? Is the apparition of Mary paving the way for such a delusion?
Return of the Goddess
For those who are still not willing to heed the warnings of the Bible about the reappearance of a Babylonian-like church, consider the following quote taken from the book Myths of the Female Divine Goddess:
But Goddess has never died, and one of the major spiritual and psychological phenomena of our time has been her reemergence as a significant presence in our lives. She has founded a central place in several of the great worlds religions - particularly, Catholicism and Hinduism. Goddess has been revived in modern cults, the spiritual ancestors of which are the earth cults of Demeter, Isis, and Asherah. She has made herself known in the metaphors, the myths, of modern science - particularly, psychology and climatology. She has expressed herself politically and sociologically in the drive for a new wholeness - a new spiritual, psychological, and physical ecology - that is the power behind what we call the women's movement. Goddess is returning because she is needed. The return of Goddess in the patriarchal religious context is most clearly illustrated in the progress of the Virgin Mary from her original status in the New Testament as humble birth-giver and grieving mother to that of immaculately conceived Queen of Heaven. The progress was not an easy one. It was consistently resisted by the Church, which in the gospels - the biography of Jesus - finally approved in the fourth century, gave Mary a minor role. But once the divinity of Jesus was established, it was inevitable that Mary, his mother, should be seen as Goddess by a folk mind familiar with the goddesses Asherah, Demeter, and Isis. As Jesus emerged as the New Adam, the new redeeming and edible fruit on the tree - cross that had replaced the forbidden fruit the tree of knowledge in the old Garden of Eden, Mary logically became the sinless New Eve, the balancing feminine principle to the male redeemer. A belief that she had been immaculately conceived, a belief the Roman Catholic Church accepted as dogma only in 1854. Over the centuries, other folk traditions attached themselves to Mary. Special goddess cakes were offered up to her, as they had been earlier to Asherah.
Or finally one more quote from the same book that will further document that Babylonianism is being revived in the name of Christianity:
But as Queen, Mary grew in power. She was the Church itself, in which Christ was contained. She became in a sense the Bride of Christ and was often referred to as such. Once again, Goddess has emerged in union with the sacrificed son-lover. Churches were named for her more often than for other saints or for Jesus. Statues and paintings of Mary became and remain objects for both private and public adoration. In these works, Mary is depicted more often as crowned queen than as humble maiden. Sometimes she holds the crowned Christ-king on her lap, much as Isis held the pharaohs of Egypt on hers. Many of the Virgin Mary paintings and statues, especially in France, depict a Black Madonna, linking Mary to other Black Goddesses whose color reflects the dark earth of Goddess's origins. To these objects of devotion, magical powers and sometimes strange rituals and celebrations have been attached.
It is apparent from reading these statements that a revival of Babylonism in the name of Christ is now underway. The Bible indicates that this harlot's false religion will encompass the globe. Her counterfeit church will consist of people from all nations, multitudes, and tongues. But God's call is to "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues" Revelation 18:4). That is our prayer for all those who have been led astray.