The Roman Catholic Church is known for its reports concerning alleged appearances of Mary and angels claiming to deliver important messages from God. What should also warrant our attention is the fact that some of these supernatural phenomena do indeed seem real. Consider, for example, the visions of Fatima. In 1917, three Portuguese shepherd children began experiencing visions for a period of six months from an entity claiming to be Mary, with the final occasion taking place in the sky with the guise of a trembling, dancing sun within the vicinity of 70,000 people.
The best method of determining the validity of these so-called miracles is to compare the substances of those messages to the inspired pages of Scripture. We have been called to test and prove all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21). We have been called to test the spirits to see whether they originated from God (1 John 4:1-4). The Bible is to function as our final spiritual standard of authority (1 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). No professed prophet is to be embraced at face value, even if he or she is performing seemingly wonderful signs and wonders (Deuteronomy 13:1-5). Scripture also speaks of false miracles that are only intended to deceive (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 13:11-17). Multitudes can be deceived by these.
Unfortunately, such is the case with the Church of Rome welcoming and encouraging its members to unquestioningly accept the veracity of these so-called Marian apparitions. The Fatima episodes serve as a great illustration as to why these visions should categorically be rejected on the grounds of being blasphemous. In other words, they are blatantly unscriptural and unchristian. Consider the implications of this message attributed to the Lady of Fatima:
"Our Lady said that many souls would be saved from Hell and the annihilation of nations averted if, in time, devotion to Her Immaculate Heart were established..." (Fatima.org)
Nowhere does the gospel mention anything about devotion to the heart of Mary. Nowhere does the New Testament ascribe supernatural powers and roles to the mother of Jesus Christ. Mary is not venerated by anyone in Scripture. Never do we see prayers dedicated to beings other than God in Scripture, nor does He ever grant us permission to partake in such activity. God is our strength and refuge (Psalm 46:1). He is our help and deliverer (Psalm 40:17). We should trust only in God (Psalm 62:1-8; 73:24-26). The Scriptures testify to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (John 5:39-40). In fact, not even the Holy Spirit points to Himself. He points to Christ (John 16:13). Consider further explanation of the messages announced by the visions at Fatima:
"He also explained to them the great importance of praying and making sacrifices in reparation for the offenses committed against God. He told them: 'Make of everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication, for the conversion of sinners." (Fatima.org)
"The children were also told to pray and sacrifice themselves for sinners, in order to save them from hell." (Fatima.org)
"Our Lady said it was necessary for those persons to say the Rosary in order to obtain..reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
On the contrary, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ was already full atonement for all our sins (Hebrews 10:10-18). He is our High Priest who continually makes intercession for us (Hebrews 7:24-28). He is able to completely save all of those who come to Him by faith. We can approach God with confidence because of what His Son accomplished on our behalf (Hebrews 4:14-16). We cannot establish our own righteousness (Romans 9:30-10:4). We cannot simply merit God's grace and good favor. The notion that we must atone for sin should be offensive to us in the highest degree. It certainly is to Christ. Thus, the messages proclaimed by the visions of Fatima are totally heretical.
"She showed Her Heart, surrounded by piercing thorns (which represented the sins against Her Immaculate Heart), to the children, who understood that their sacrifices could help to console Her." (Fatima.org)
The biblical problem of sin is defined as the threat of mankind suffering eternal condemnation as a consequence for breaking the commandments of God. This stuff regarding sins being committed against the "immaculate heart" of Mary is simply made up. It is entirely fictional. Mary has clearly been elevated to the level of deity, conflating her will with the will of God. It needs to be understood that God was not by any means obligated to save us. He could have refused, if He so wanted to. He did not have to choose Mary. God could have found another faithful Jewish woman, if He so desired.
Notice also that these Roman Catholic apparitions commonly advise the faithful to feverishly meditate on the Rosary, which is just another way to glorify Mary. If these were at all given by God, then they would directly point us to Him, considering that God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:4-5). Instead, they exalt themselves. At best, these so-called Marian apparitions are spurious messages infested with half-truths. At worst, they are demonic utterances used to deceive the public and provoke God to wrath. This is merely another episode of Satan being caught masquerading as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Consider the words spoken by the mother of Jesus during the wedding feast at Cana:
"His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (John 2:5)
In other words, the biblical Mary pointed to Jesus Christ Himself. Thus, these Marian apparitions could not possibly be the real mother of Jesus.
One of the Fatima apparitions is reputed to have said the following:
"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world. Only I can help you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."
But the truth of the matter is that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only One who can offer us assistance (John 14:6; Acts 4:10-12; 1 Timothy 2:5-6). He came to save His people (Matthew 1:21). He does not need anybody's help. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He is our righteousness. He is our salvation (Hebrews 5:9). Furthermore, the final restoration of the world to its original state of perfection cannot and will not happen until the second coming of Christ. Yet, Catholics boldly display this mindset in regards to Mary.
In short, the point of this article is to demonstrate why all of these Roman Catholic apparitions should be rejected. They distract the attention of millions to Christ. This is clearly the promotion of a false gospel, which is no small deal (Galatians 1:6-12). These visions are sheer blasphemy. We would do well to adhere to the words of the Apostle Paul:
"Let no one disqualify you, delighting in self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions, inflated without reason by his fleshly mind." (Colossians 2:18)