You’ve probably heard of apparitions like Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, and Our Lady of Fatima. But there are lots of other places where people claim Mary has appeared.
[See also: 4 Literally Awesome Facts About Our Lady of Guadalupe]
Here are just 5 examples of approved Marian apparitions that aren’t very well-known, but that should be.
1) Our Lady of Hope: Just for kids!
In the midst of the Franco-Prussian war on the evening of January 17th, 1871, with enemy soldiers heading toward their village of Pontmain, France, two boys were helping their father with some work in their barn. The older boy, Eugène Barbadette, stepped outside and saw a beautiful woman in the sky wearing a blue dress with golden stars and a golden crown on her head.
His father and younger brother, Joseph Barbadette, came out. Though their father couldn’t see anything, Joseph could see the woman right away. Their mother came out, but couldn’t see anything. The parents went and got their local school teacher, who also couldn’t see anything. Suspecting that Mary was only appearing to children, they went and got two girls, Françoise Richer and Jeanne-Marie Lebosse. Without knowing anything about what the boys had seen, the two girls immediately saw the woman and described her just as the boys had.
Word quickly spread through the village, and a big crowd gathered. Though no adults could see her, all the children were able to see her. As the crowd prayed the rosary, the children saw a banner unfurl beneath the woman that said: “But pray, my children. God will hear you in time. My Son allows Himself to be touched.” When the adults heard the children read the message, they all spontaneously began singing a Marian hymn. The woman just laughed and joined in the singing.
Here’s how Wikipedia describes what happened next:
“When the crowd began “My Sweet Jesus,” her expression changed to profound sadness and a red crucifix appeared in her hands, with the words “Jesus Christ” above it. Her eyes mournfully contemplated the cross during the hymn. As the people sang the “Ave Maris Stella,” the cross vanished and her smile returned, though with a touch of melancholy. Two small white crosses then appeared on her shoulders before Our Lady disappeared behind a cloud.”
Then, as their prayers and hymns were ending, about three hours after the apparition had started, the lady disappeared.
Amazingly, it was that very evening that enemy soldiers on their way toward Pontmain inexplicably decided to turn back. An armistice to end the war was signed just a few days later.
[See also: Why Are Demons So Afraid of Mary?]
2) Our Lady of La Salette: Honor Sundays and God’s name!
La Salette, France was just a small village with about 800 people in the mid-19th century. On September 19th 1846, two herders, Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvat, returned home and said they had seen a beautiful lady weeping bitterly. She was dressed in a white robe with pearls, had a gold colored apron, white shoes, a high head-dress, and a crucifix hanging from her neck.
And she gave them a message: she told them that she wanted people to respect the Sabbath and the name of God, and that if they didn’t, Europe would experience a famine. That following winter, many parts of Europe did indeed suffer a famine.
[See also: 8 of the Oldest Images of the Blessed Virgin Mary]
3) Our Lady of Laus: Adore Christ in the Eucharist!
Benoite Rencurel was born to a poor family in 1647 in an area of France called Laus. When she was 17 and tending to her family’s flock of sheep, St. Maurice (an early Christian martyr) appeared to her and told her that if she went to a nearby valley she would see Mary.
When she arrived at the valley with her sheep, Mary holding the infant Jesus appeared to her. At first, Mary said nothing. Benoite, not knowing what to do, offered her some bread. Mary just smiled, and then disappeared. Mary and Jesus appeared to Benoite every day over the course of the next four months.
At one point, Mary directed Benoite to a old, crumbling chapel in her village and told her to have it restored and dedicated to the worship of her Son (Jesus). She asked for there to be Eucharistic adoration, for people to do penance, and for a house for priests to be built so people could receive the Sacraments there.
Our Lady of Laus was approved by the Holy See in 2008.
[See also: 31 Beautiful Paintings of Mary Nursing the Baby Jesus]
4) Our Lady of Knock: Behold, the Lamb of God!
It was around 8pm on August 21st, 1879 in the village of Knock, Ireland, and it was raining. A group of about 15 people, ages 6 to 75, were outside the local parish, Church of St. John the Baptist, when suddenly a vision appeared against one of the outside walls.
Mary was there, a few feet off the ground, wearing a crown with her hands up in the traditional orans position. To her right was St. Joseph, and to her left was St. John the Apostle, wearing a mitre. Next to them was an altar with a small lamb on it, surrounded by angels.
Despite the heavy rain, the group remained at the vision, praying the rosary. The ground around the vision remained dry, and the figures remained bright even as the sun went down. The figures didn’t move, but remained still in their original pose. After two hours, the vision vanished, and the place became dark and wet.
[See also: Uncanny: Watch this Parrot Say the “Hail Mary”]
5) The Virgin of the Golden Heart: “Do you love my Son?”
On November 29th, 1932, a small group of children ages 9 to 15 were walking to school in Beauraing, Belgium. Just as they got to school, one of them noticed a beautiful woman in a long white robe by a railroad bridge by the school and pointed it out to the other children. The children saw the lady 32 more times over the next few weeks in various places around their school.
The woman called herself the “Immaculate Virgin,” requested for a chapel to be built at the site, exhorted the children to “pray, pray, pray,” and showed them her heart, which was golden. In the last vision, the woman asked one of the children, “Do you love my Son?” and “Do you love me?” After the child answered said yes, the woman said, “Then sacrifice yourself for me,” and vanished.
[See also: 13 Beautiful Non-White Depictions of the Blessed Virgin Mary]