The Year of Faith will end on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, November 24, 2013. In his Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, Pope Benedict said, “Let us entrust this time of grace to the Mother of God, proclaimed ‘blessed because she believed’ (Lk 1:45).” In these articles during the Year of Faith, I have been focusing on apparitions of Our Lady, who always leads to her Son. In this article, I want to give a brief account of several apparitions that are less well known.
Certainly we are all familiar with the conflicts in the Middle East. If we are attuned to the news, we are aware of other conflicts in the world. To many of us, they may seem so very far away, and while we may pray for these situations, we may have missed the fact that in many of these countries, Catholics are being persecuted, they are truly suffering! In the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict wants us to look again at the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Our Lady is treated in Lumen Gentium. This document focuses on her motherhood; and because Mary is the Mother of all the faithful, it should not be surprising to us that she has appeared not only in the Western Hemisphere, but all over the world.[i] These little overviews will, I hope, increase your desire to know more about her, and to know about our brothers and sisters who are suffering for the faith. My catechetical goal in this article is that we all become even more aware of the geographic universality of the Catholic Church.