A red trickle from the left eye of a concrete statue of the Virgin Mary at a Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church in Sacramento California has attracted a steady stream of
visitors hoping for a miracle.
One parishioner, Ky Thruong, however, interpreted it as a foreboding sign. "There's a big event in the future — earthquake, flood, a disease," Truong said. "We're very sad."
To the Roman Catholic faithful and also some ecumenical Protestants, such manifestations fit into a global pattern of phenomena centered around the Virgin Mary. Author Jim Tetlow, in his book, Messages From Heaven, catalogs tens of thousands of such events. Some are simply tears on a stone statue. Others involve ongoing visions and complex messages from a spectacular apparition.
Most of the appearances exhibit similarities. A beautiful lady, robed in light, appears and calls herself Mary, Queen of Heaven, Mother of the World, Queen of Peace, etc. She often chides the unpeaceful world for its strife and divisions. She claims to offer peace and hope to a troubled world.
Tetlow says that hundreds of millions are responding to this message by bringing their troubles to the thousands of shrines set up to honor the Virgin Mary. The more famous shrines such as Fatima, Lourdes, Guadeloupe, and Medjugorje attract millions of visitors each year.
Tetlow references a 1997 Newsweek cover story: "In many ways, the 20th century has belonged to Mary. From almost every continent, visionaries have reported more than 400 "apparitions" of the Virgin — more than in the previous three centuries combined."
These appearances are not confined to Roman Catholic countries. Apparitions in Africa have created a following even among the Muslims. After the apparitions raise awareness, even Hindus and Muslims turn out to honor statues of the "Queen of Heaven."
Tetlow's book, as well as a video by the same title, starts out as an impartial examination of the phenomena. Gradually he builds his case that these appearances cannot be biblical. At the end he exposes the subtle deception presented by this demonic goddess spirit behind the apparitions.
In great detail, Tetlow shows how the messages of the "Lady of Light" promote the pagan messages of Catholicism that contradict the teachings of Scripture. She emphasizes the worship of the Eucharist, promotes her own worship, and her ability to grant salvation.
"The apparitions of Mary, taken as a whole, portray a powerful, glorious Queen who comes in Christ's name, wielding all His power and attributes," Tetlow concludes.
The book and tape are both useful witnessing tools to use with Roman Catholics who need to be gently guided to see how these apparitions are not of God, but clever demonic deceptions promoting the unbiblical paganism of Roman Catholic teachings.