Are you still freaked out by the snake/pyramid video? I am. Back in 2000 (?) when I visited Chichen Itza, there were no YouTube videos to watch in advance of touring the ancient ruins. Blogs weren’t a thing either. I am learning so much during these 40 days of Mary.
I am not done with Our Ladys and snakes, though, not by a mile.
All “Our Lady”s are apparitions or visions of the Virgin Mary denominated by the place where the vision took place, examples of which are Our Lady of Fatima or Our Lady of Medjugorje. Our Lady of Guadalupe, however, appeared to the peasant Juan Diego on a hill called Tepeyac; she gave him the name by which she wished to be called.
The first Marian apparition took place in Zaragoza, Spain to one of my favorite saints, Saint James the Greater (the fisherman). Legend has it that the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, also in Spain, was built above a field where his bones where found centuries after his martyrdom in Jersusalem. (That is a story for another day.) This first version of Mary is called Our Lady of the Pillar and the apparition took place while Mary was still alive. Per Wikipedia, she bilocated. Perhaps she was actually in her house near Ephesus, Turkey with James’ younger brother, John, the Beloved Disciple? During his crucifixion, Jesus specifically entrusted his mother to John:
John 19: 27 “Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.”
Prior to the vision, James was apparently disheartened by his efforts to evangelize. But not after!
In a map published in the December, 2015 National Geographic article on the Virgin Mary by famous journalist Maureen Orth, China has not had one confirmed supernatural Marian sighting. They are overdue and this does not surprise me. The United States has only one confirmed apparition (in Wisconsin) and that has only been recently validated by the local bishop, not yet the Vatican.
According to the article, “To be worthy of belief and church support, apparitions must be deemed miraculous with a high degree of certainty and in line with church doctrine, and found to have had a positive impact.” However, “[T]he faithful aren’t required to believe in apparitions.”
I believe in miracles so I am solidly on Team Mary.
Herewith concludes Day 12.