Are the apparitions of Mary really Mary?

by Matt Slick

Are the Roman Catholic approved apparitions of Mary really Mary, the mother of Jesus?  No, they are not.  Now, before you dismiss this article as the ravings of a rabid Protestant, please consider the facts about what the apparitions actually teach and compare them to scripture.

First, the Roman Catholic Church elevates Mary to a very high level.  Here are just a few of the statements about her.

  • Mary is full of grace: "The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" should herself be "full of grace," (Catechism of the Catholic Church 722).
  • Mary is the all holy one: "By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the 'Mother of Mercy,' the All-Holy One," (CCC 2677).
  • No Better way than to look to Mary: "After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary," (CCC 972).
  • Mary is Queen over all things: "She is "Queen over all things," (CCC par. 966).
  • Mary delivers souls from death: "...You [Mary] conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death," (CCC 966).
  • Mary sits at the right hand of Christ: "...she is the supreme Minister of the distribution of graces. Jesus "sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high" (Hebrews i. b.). Mary sitteth at the right hand of her Son...," (Pope Pius X, 1835-1914, Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, 14).

None of what is said in these quotes can be found in Scripture. Such excessive loyalty to Mary has laid the psychological foundation for people to believe whatever supernatural occurrence manifests regarding her alleged appearances. Instead of examining Scripture, they bow the knee to the Mary.

Second, there are several apparitions that are officially declared, by the Roman Catholic Church, to actually be appearances of Mary. A few of them are as follows:

  • Guadalupe, Mexico (1531)
  • Siluva, Lithuania  (1608)
  • Laus, France (1664)
  • Rue du Bac, Paris, France (1830)
  • Lourdes, France (1858)
  • Fatima, Portugal (1917)

Third, when we look at what the apparitions say, we find serious problems. Let's take a look at Guadalupe and Fatima.

  1. 1531, Guadalupe Mexico, appearance to Juan Diego.
    1. "Know, know for sure, my dearest, littlest, and youngest son, that I am the perfect and ever Virgin Holy Mary.”  (
    2. “I am truly your merciful Mother, yours and all the people who live united in this land and of all the other people of different ancestries, my lovers, who love me, those who seek me, those who trust in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their complaints and heal all their sorrows, hardships and sufferings.” (
    3. “Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? (
  2. 1917, Fatima, Portugal. In 1917 three children (Jacinto Marto, Lucia Santos, and Francisco Marto) said that an apparition of Mary appeared to them that was brighter than the sun.
    1. Are you willing to offer yourselves to God to bear all the sufferings He wants to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and for the conversion of sinners?” (
    2.  "I will take Jacinta and Francisco shortly; but you will stay here for some time to come. Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne," (
    3.  “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often to Jesus, especially whenever you make a sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” (

When we analyze the words of these two apparitions we find unbiblical and idolatrous statements.  The Guadalupe apparitions tell people that those who love "Mary", seek her, trust in her, etc., will be healed by her.  The apparition is not pointing to Jesus.  It is not proclaiming God as the healer.  Instead, the apparition points to itself and asks "Do you need anything more?"  The implication is that Mary is all we need.  But, we need much more than Mary.  We need Jesus. 

In the Fatima apparition, the heresy of works righteousness is taught when the childrens' suffering is to be "an act of reparation for the sins" by which God is offended. This is heresy. It is Jesus who performed the act of reparation when he died on the cross. We don't make reparation for our sins before God.  Jesus did that.

  •  Heb. 9:13-14, "For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through bthe eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
  • Heb. 10:14, "For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified."

Also, sins against Mary are mentioned.  Really?  Where is that in scripture?  Our sins are against God. This is why Jesus, God in flesh (John 1:1, 14) became one of us and died on the cross for our sins (1 Peter 2:24), because our sins are against him and he is the one who forgives us. There's nothing in the Bible about sinning against the "immaculate heart of Mary". This is idolatry.


The fact that the Roman Catholic Church lacks the ability to distinguish between truth and error regarding these apparitions is a demonstration that it is apostate. It is not leading its people to the cross of Christ. Instead, it is promoting idolatrous worship of apparitions that teach false doctrines. The Roman Catholic Church needs to repent.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.