Today we’re continuing our discussion about apparitions, particularly the apparitions of Mary, which have been going on over the centuries and are manifesting themselves around the world at an astounding rate these days. For example, the number of pilgrimages to the alleged visitation sites is staggering: 20-30 million to Medjugorje since 1981. Five million faithful visit Lourdes, France every year. A half million visit the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes here in the US. Five million travel annually to Poland’s shrine of Our Lady of Jasna Gora. Over a million people show up at the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on the anniversary of that apparition. Each year, 20 million – now, last week I mistakenly said 5 million – no, 20 million visit the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Guadalupe, Mexico. A woman named Nancy Fowler has had as many as 100,000 people show up at her Georgia farm on any given day because of her alleged visitations of Mary. It’s been estimated that there have been more than 8,000 notable visitations of the Virgin Mary since the first century.
Now, Dave, before we get into the significance of those really astounding figures, the Mary who is supposed to be appearing is the mother of Jesus whom we know from the Bible. So let’s go over the biblical perspective of Mary. I mean, she certainly was blessed of women, but how far can we go with that?
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