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Jewish Journal

Catholic Church says 1859 Virgin Mary visit authentic

by Brad A. Greenberg

December 17, 2010 | 8:46 am

From the Los Angeles Times:

Amid a patchwork of Wisconsin farmland half an hour’s drive northeast of Green Bay is a modest shrine with a brick chapel, a school and a flow of pilgrims speaking of profound healing power.

The power is said to come from the Virgin Mary, who appeared to a Belgian immigrant 151 years ago where the shrine now stands. But all believers had to show for it were years of anecdotes—and the canes, wheelchairs and crutches left behind in the chapel’s crypt by those who claimed they had been healed.

Now, the Roman Catholic Church has issued a decree: The apparition in 1859 was authentic.

I’m skeptical, to say this least. I’ve written about enough perceived apparitions—even got called out to one in the curtains of a San Bernardino window—to know that people see what they want to see. Not to say that shadows don’t give the appearance of something being there.

This apparition sounds like it was an actual physical visit from the Virgin Mary, which makes me even more skeptical, and the “investigation,” which amounted to historical research, that the Catholic Church performed is not going to persuade me otherwise.

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