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Selected article 1

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The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio
Since the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Calvary until today, a number of people have claimed to have had visions of Christ and personal conversations with him. Some people make similar claims regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary. Discussions about the authenticity of these visions have often invited controversy. The Catholic Church endorses a fraction of these claims, and various visionaries it accepts have achieved beatification, or even sainthood.

The very first reported visions of Christ, and personal conversations with him, after his resurrection and prior to his ascension are found in the New Testament. One of the most widely recalled Resurrection appearances of Jesus is the doubting Thomas conversation (John 20:24-29) between him and Thomas the Apostle after his death. The last book of the Bible itself is simply based on a series of visions. In the Book of Revelation, the author, often identified as John of Patmos, recorded visions that became part of the New Testament.

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Virgen de Fátima.JPG
Our Lady of Fátima (Portuguese: Nossa Senhora de Fátima) is a famous title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary as she appeared in apparitions reported by three shepherd children at Fátima in Portugal. These occurred on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May 13. The three children were Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto.

The title of Our Lady of the Rosary is also sometimes used to refer to the same apparition (although it was first used in 1208 for the reported apparition in the church of Prouille), because the children related that the apparition called herself "Lady of the Rosary". It is also common to see a combination of these titles, i.e. Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima (Portuguese: Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima).

The events at Fátima gained particular fame due to their elements of prophecy and eschatology, particularly with regard to possible world war and the conversion of Soviet Russia. The reported apparitions at Fátima were officially declared "worthy of belief" by the Catholic Church.

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Notre-dame-du-Laus (basilique - 2).JPG
The apparitions of Our Lady of Laus between 1664 and 1718 in Saint-Étienne-le-Laus, France by Benoite Rencurel, a young shepherdess, are the first Marian apparitions to be approved in the 21st century by the Catholic Church.

The apparitions were recognized by the local Catholic bishop on September 18, 1665, and the construction of a church for pilgrims was approved. Formal approval came from the bishop of Gap, France on May 5, 2008. Currently, the site where the apparitions took place receives more than 120,000 pilgrims a year.

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Portal:Private revelation/Selected article/4 Our Lady of Akita is the title of Marian apparitions reported in 1973 by Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa in the remote area of Yuzawadai, near the city of Akita in Japan. The messages emphasize prayer and penance. Sister Sasagawa stated that the Virgin Mary told her: "Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach."

An unusual nature of the apparitions was that unlike other cases, the entire nation of Japan was able to view the tears of the statue of the Virgin Mary on national television.

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Portal:Private revelation/Selected article/5 On March 25, 1945, a vision of the Virgin Mary appeared to a woman named Ida Peerdeman in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. “The Lady of All Nations” is a title used to describe this Marian apparition. Over the course of Ida’s life, Mary appeared to her fifty-six times. However, the visions did not end with Our Lady. After Mary stopped appearing to her on May 31, 1959, Peerdeman received what she called “Eucharistic Experiences” for twenty-six years, where she was given divine revelation most times during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. One hundred and fifty one Eucharistic apparitions were reported. All in all, two hundred and seven apparitions were experienced through Ida Peerdeman.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe, Extremadura
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe), also the Virgin of Guadalupe (Virgen de Guadalupe) is a Roman Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary. The tradition relates that in the 16th century, on 9 December 1531, Juan Diego, a recently-converted Aztec peasant, had a vision of a young woman, a lady, while on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady in the vision asked him to build a church where they stood on the hill. Juan Diego told the local Bishop, Juan de Zumárraga, of the apparition; doubtful, he asked for proof. Juan Diego later returned to the Tepeyac desert hill; again, the lady appeared to Juan Diego, who told her of the bishop’s request for proof of her apparition. The lady then instructed Juan Diego to go to the hill top, where he found Castillian roses — native to Durango, the bishop’s Spanish home town — and which did not bloom in winter. Juan Diego cut the roses, placed them in the apron of his tilma cloak, and delivered them to the bishop; an imprint of the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on the tilma, formed by the soil and the Castillian roses.

The tilma icon is displayed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is among the most-visited Marian shrines in the Roman Catholic religious world.[1] The icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe is Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural image...

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Selected article 7

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Fr. Tomislav Vlasic in Medjugorje.
Tomislav Vlašić, formerly Rev. Father Tomislav Vlašić, OFM, (born January 16, 1942)[2] is a former Franciscan friar and Catholic priest from Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 1981 on, he was an advisor to the seers of the alleged Marian apparitions of Medjugorje. In 2009 he was laicized after accusations of sexual misconduct.[3]

Vlašić was ordained a Franciscan priest in the former Yugoslavia in 1969, and became the associate pastor of a parish in Čapljina.[2] In 1976 Vlašić had an affair with a Franciscan nun, Sister Rufina. When she became pregnant, he sent her to Germany and urged her to keep his paternity a secret. She gave birth to their son in 1977. Her letters to Vlašić fell into the hands of her landlord, who sent them to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, a personal friend of his, at the Holy See.[4]

In 1981 Vlašić went to Rome to participate in an international meeting of the Charismatic movement. There he was told in a "prophecy" that he would become the center of a great movement, with the help of the Virgin Mary. When reports of Marian apparitions emerged from the village of Medjugorje, Vlašić left his assignment at Čapljina for Medjugorje without the knowledge or consent of the local bishop.[2]

Vlašić immediately involved himself in the alleged Marian apparitions, presenting himself as the spiritual director of the visionaries...

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Selected article 8

Portal:Private revelation/Selected article/8 The Divine Mercy is a Roman Catholic devotion to the merciful love of God and the desire to let that love and mercy flow through one's own heart towards those in need of it.[5] The devotion is due to Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), who is known as the Apostle of Mercy.[6][7]

Faustina Kowalska reported a number of visions of Jesus and conversations with him which she wrote in her diary, later published as the book Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul.[6][7] The three main themes of the devotion are to ask for and obtain the mercy of God, to trust in Christ's abundant mercy, and finally to show mercy...

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Painting by Corrado Giaquinto in 1765.
Marguerite Marie Alacoque or Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (22 July 1647, Verosvres – 17 October 1690) was a French Roman Catholic nun and mystic, who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in its modern form.

She was born at Lhautecour, a village in the diocese of Autun, now part of the commune of Verosvres in 1647. From early childhood, Margaret was described as showing intense love for the Blessed Sacrament (the Eucharist), and as preferring silence and prayer to childhood play. After her First Communion at the age of nine, she practised in secret severe corporal mortification until rheumatic fever confined her to bed for four years. At the end of this period, having made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to consecrate herself to religious life, she was instantly restored to perfect health.[8]

She had visions of Jesus Christ, which she thought were a normal part of human experience and continued to practise austerity. However, in response to a vision of Christ, crucified but alive, that reproached her for forgetfulness of him, claiming his Heart was filled with love for her...

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Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament
Maria Faustina Kowalska, commonly known as Saint Faustina, born Helenka Kowalska (August 25, 1905, near Łódź, Poland then in the Russian Empire – Died October 5, 1938, Kraków, Poland)[9] was a Polish nun, mystic and visionary. She is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as a saint, and is known as the Apostle of Divine Mercy.

Throughout her life, she reported a number of visions of Jesus and conversations with him, which she wrote about in her diary, later published as the book Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul.[6] Her Vatican biography quotes some of these conversations regarding the Divine Mercy devotion.[10]

At age 20 she joined a convent in Warsaw and was later transferred to Plock, and then to Vilnius, where she met her confessor Michael Sopocko who supported her devotion to Divine Mercy. Faustina and Sopocko directed an artist to paint the first Divine Mercy image, based on Faustina's reported vision of Jesus. Sopocko used the image to celebrate the first Mass on the first Sunday after Easter - which later became known as Divine Mercy Sunday.[11]

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Lúcia dos Santos (middle) with her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, 1917.
Lúcia de Jesus dos Santos[12]Sister Mary Lucy of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart, better known as Sister Lúcia of Fátima – (28 March 1907 – 13 February 2005) was a Roman Catholic Discalced Carmelite nun from Portugal. She was one of three children who claimed to have witnessed a series of apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Fátima, Portugal, in 1917.

Lúcia's maternal grandfather, Joaquim Ferreira Rosa, was a native of Aljustrel of the parish of Fátima and born on 29 November 1823...

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The Miraculous Medal
The Miraculous Medal, also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, is a medal originated by Saint Catherine Labouré following a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary.[13] Many Catholic Christians around the world (and some non-Catholics) wear the Miraculous Medal, which they believe if worn with faith and devotion will bring them special graces through the intercession of Mary at the hour of death. It is often worn together with the Brown Scapular. Such items of devotion are not charms and should not be construed as being either "magical" or superstitious (two conditions which are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church)...
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Saint Gertrude of Helfta
Gertrude the Great (or Saint Gertrude of Helfta) (Italian: Santa Gertrude) (January 6, 1256 – ca. 1302) was a German Benedictine, mystic, and theologian.

She is recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, and is inscribed in the General Roman Calendar, for celebration throughout the Latin Rite on November 16.

Gertrude was born January 6, 1256, in Eisleben, Thuringia (within the Holy Roman Empire). Nothing is known of her parents, so she was probably an orphan. As a young girl, she joined the Benedictine monastery of St. Mary at Helfta, under the direction of its abbess, Gertrude of Hackeborn. She is sometimes confused with her abbess, which is why she is often incorrectly depicted in art holding a crosier. Some scholars refer to the monastery as Cistercian, since it was founded by seven sisters from the Cistercian community of Halberstadt. However, it could not have had this status officially since it was founded in 1229, the year after the Cistercian men decided they would sponsor no more convents.[citation needed] She dedicated herself to her studies, becoming an expert in literature and philosophy. She later experienced a conversion to God and began to strive for perfection in her religious life, turning her scholarly talents to scripture and theology. Gertrude produced numerous writings...

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Union with Christ is the purpose of Christian mysticism.
Christian mysticism refers to the development of mystical practices and theory within Christianity. It has often been connected to mystical theology, especially in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions. The attributes and means by which Christian mysticism is studied and practiced are varied and range from ecstatic visions of the soul's mystical union with God to simple prayerful contemplation of Holy Scripture (i.e., Lectio Divina). This article addresses the practice of the inner, spiritual life within the Christian tradition.

As described by scholar Bernard McGinn, Christian mysticism would be "that part, or element, or Christian belief and practice that concerns the preparation for, the consciousness of, and the effect of [...] a direct and transformative presence of [the Christian] God".[14] The idea of mystical realities has been widely held in Christianity since the second century AD, referring not simply to spiritual practices, but also to the belief that their rituals and even their scriptures have hidden ("mystical") meanings.[14]

McGinn raises several points about his choice of words: He argues that "presence" is more accurate than "union", since not all mystics spoke of union with God,...

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Selected article 15

Portal:Private revelation/Selected article/15 Normae Congregationis (NC) is a 1978 document written by the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (SCDF) concerning guidelines for Catholic bishops in discerning claims to private revelation such as apparitions.

In November 1974, when the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith met for its annual Plenary Congregation,[15] part of the discussion concerned problems relating to reported apparitions and revelations. New developments in theology and psychology prompted questions on how to evaluate claims of such events.

The eventual fruit of those discussions was a four-page document in Latin bearing the title "Normae S. Congregationis pro doctrina fidei de modo procedendi in diudicandis praesumptis apparitionibus ac revelationibus" ("Norms of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the Manner of Proceeding in Judging Presumed Apparitions and Revelations", hereinafter Normae Congregationis or NC). The document was approved by Pope Paul VI in February 1978 and was signed by Franjo Cardinal Seper and Archbishop Jérôme Hamer, then the prefect and secretary of SCDF.

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Lúcia dos Santos (left) with fellow visionaries Jacinta and Francisco Marto.
Francisco Marto (June 11, 1908 – April 4, 1919) and his sister Jacinta Marto (March 11, 1910 – February 20, 1920), also known as Blessed Francisco Marto and Blessed Jacinta Marto, together with their cousin, Lúcia dos Santos (1907–2005) were the children from Aljustrel near Fátima, Portugal, who said they witnessed three apparitions of an angel in 1916 and several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917. Their reported visions of Our Lady of Fátima proved politically controversial, and gave rise to a major centre of world Christian pilgrimage.

The youngest children of Manuel and Olimpia Marto, Francisco and Jacinta were typical of Portuguese village children of that time. They were illiterate but had a rich oral tradition on which to rely, and they worked with their cousin Lúcia, taking care of the family's sheep. According to Lúcia's memoirs, Francisco had a placid disposition, was somewhat musically inclined, and liked to be by himself to think. Jacinta was affectionate if a bit spoiled, and emotionally labile. She had a sweet singing voice and a gift for dancing. All three children gave up music and dancing after the visions began, believing that these and other recreational activities led to occasions of sin.

Following their experiences, their fundamental personalities remained the same. Francisco preferred to pray alone, as he said "to console Jesus for the sins of the world".

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Selected article 17

Portal:Private revelation/Selected article/17 Montanism was an early Christian movement of the late 2nd century, later referred to by the name of its founder, Montanus, but originally known by its adherents as the New Prophecy. It originated in Phrygia, a province of Asia Minor, and flourished throughout the region, leading to the movement being referred to elsewhere as Cataphrygian (meaning it was "from Phrygia") or simply as "Phrygians". It spread rapidly to other regions in the Roman Empire at a time before Christianity was generally tolerated or legal. It persisted in some isolated places into the 6th century.

Although it came to be labelled a heresy, the movement held similar views about the basic tenets of Christian doctrine to those of the wider Christian Church. It was a prophetic movement that called for a reliance on the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit and a more conservative personal ethic. Parallels have been drawn between Montanism and modern day movements such as Pentecostalism, the charismatic movement, and the New Apostolic Reformation.[16]

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The Vision of St Bernard, by Fra Bartolommeo, c. 1504 (Uffizi).
A Marian apparition is an event in which the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed to have supernaturally appeared to one or more people. They are often given names based on the town in which they were reported, or on the sobriquet which was given to Mary on the occasion of the apparition. They have been interpreted in religious terms as theophanies.

Marian apparitions sometimes are reported to recur at the same site over an extended period of time. In the majority of Marian apparitions only a few people report having witnessed the apparition. Exception to this include Zeitoun, and Assiut where thousands claimed to have seen her over a period of time.

The term "appearance" has been used in different apparitions within a wide range of contexts and experiences...

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Selected article 19

Portal:Private revelation/Selected article/19 Religious ecstasy is an altered state of consciousness characterized by greatly reduced external awareness and expanded interior mental and spiritual awareness which is frequently accompanied by visions and emotional/intuitive (and sometimes physical) euphoria. Although the experience is usually brief in physical time,[17] there are records of such experiences lasting several days or even more, and of recurring experiences of ecstasy during one's lifetime. Subjective perception of time, space and/or self may strongly change or disappear during ecstasy.

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Selected article 20

Portal:Private revelation/Selected article/20 Locution (from Latin locutio, -onis a "speaking" < loqui "speak"[18]) is a paranormal phenomenon a supernatural revelation where a religious figure, statue or icon speaks, usually to a saint. Phenomena of locutions are described in the lives of Christian saints such as Saint Mary of Egypt (5th century), who heard the locution from the Icon of Virgin Mary at the Holy Sepulchre or in case of the Saint Henry of Coquet Island (d. 1127) who experienced the locution from the figure of Christ crucified.[19]

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Selected article 21

Portal:Private revelation/Selected article/21 An interior locution is a mystical concept used by various religions, including the Roman Catholic Church. In an interior locution, a person reportedly receives a set of (usually auditory) ideas, thoughts, or imaginations from an outside spiritual source. Interior locutions are most often reported during prayers. An interior locution is a form of private revelation, but is distinct from an apparition or religious vision because no supernatural entity is reported as present during the interior locution.

In interior locutions, some people report quickly receiving large amounts of information. The determination of whether the locution was actually from another source or the person’s mind itself is often the subject of controversy.

In two examples, the Vatican biographies of both Saint Teresa of Avila and Mother Teresa of Calcutta refer to their interior locutions, although Mother Teresa often preferred to remain private about them. Some visions of Jesus and Mary are classified as visions by the Vatican rather than locutions, e.g. those of Faustina Kowalska or Margaret Mary Alacoque.

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Selected article 22

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Chapel
The Chapel of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is a Marian shrine, located within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.[20] The chapel is in the community of Champion, Wisconsin, about 16 miles (26 km) north east of Green Bay, Wisconsin. It stands on the site of the reported Marian apparition to a Belgian-born woman, Adele Brise, in the year 1859.

The apparition was formally approved on December 8, 2010, by Bishop David Ricken, becoming the first Marian apparition approved by the Catholic Church in the United States.

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Teresa of Ávila by Peter Paul Rubens
Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, (March 28, 1515 – October 4, 1582) was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites.

In 1622, forty years after her death, she was canonized by Pope Gregory XV, and in 1970 named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI. Her books, which include her autobiography, The Life of Teresa of Jesus, and her seminal work, El Castillo Interior (The Interior Castle), are an integral part of the Spanish Renaissance literature as well as Christian mysticism and Christian meditation practices as she entails in her other important work Camino de Perfección (The Way of Perfection).

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Selected article 24

Portal:Private revelation/Selected article/24 Saint John Bosco (Italian: Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco; 16 August 1815[21] – 31 January 1888[22]), known as Don Bosco, was an Italian Roman Catholic priest, educator and writer of the 19th century, who put into practice the convictions of his religion, dedicating his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth and employing teaching methods based on love rather than punishment, a method known as the Salesian Preventive System.[23] A follower of the spirituality and philosophy of Francis de Sales, Bosco dedicated his works to him when he founded the Salesians of Don Bosco. Together with Maria Domenica Mazzarello, he founded the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, a religious congregation of nuns dedicated to the care and education of poor girls. In 1876 Bosco founded a movement of laity, the Association of Salesian Cooperators, with the same educational mission to the poor.[24] In 1875 he published the Salesian Bulletin.[25][26] The Bulletin has remained in continuous publication, and is currently published in 50 different editions and 30 languages.[25]

Bosco established a network of organizations and centres to carry on his work. He was canonized as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Pius XI in 1934.

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Selected article 25

Portal:Private revelation/Selected article/25 The rule of faith (Latin: regula fidei) or analogy of faith (analogia fidei) is a phrase rooted in the Apostle Paul's admonition to the Christians in Rome in the Epistle to the Romans 12:6, which says, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith." (N.I.V.). The last phrase, "in proportion to his faith" is in Greek ἀναλογίαν τῆς πίστεως ("analogy of faith"). In Romans 12:6 this refers to one of three possible ideas: the body of Christian teachings, the person's belief and response to the grace of God, or to the type of faith that can move mountains.[27] This phrase in Romans 12 becomes the root for later usage of the term by such Early Christian writers as Tertullian. Tertullian links it to the core set of Christian teachings, i.e.:

Let our "seeking," therefore be in that which is our own, and from those who are our own, and concerning that which is our own, - that, and only that, which can become an object of inquiry without impairing the rule of faith.[28]

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  1. ^ EWTN.com
  2. ^ a b c Fra Tomislav Vlašić “within the context of the Medjugorje phenomenon”
  3. ^ Catholic News Service: Vatican disciplines ex-spiritual director to Medjugorje visionaries]
  4. ^ Sex, Lies and Apparitions
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference Ball175 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference Drake85 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference Butler was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ PD-icon.svg "St. Margaret Mary Alacoque". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  9. ^ Alban Butler and Paul Burns, 2005, Butler's Lives of the Saints, Burns and Oats ISBN 0-86012-383-9 page 251
  10. ^ Cite error: The named reference VaticanBio was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference odell102 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  12. ^ Geneall.net - Lúcia de Jesus dos Santos
  13. ^ Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 087973910X page 356
  14. ^ a b Bernard McGinn (2006). "Introduction". In Bernard McGinn. The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism. New York: Modern Library. 
  15. ^ Gianni Cardinale (interview with Abp. Amato). "Tempi e criteri per "giudicare" le apparizioni". Eroici Furori (originally from Avvenire). 
  16. ^ Robeck, Cecil M., Jr. (2010). "Montanism and Present Day 'Prophets'". Pneuma: the Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 32: 413.
  17. ^ Marghanita Laski, "Ecstasy. A Study of Some Secular and Religious Experiences." The Cresset Press, London, 1961. p.57
  18. ^ The New International Webster's Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language. Encyclopedic Edition. Trident Press International, 2003. P. 748.
  19. ^ David Hugh Farmer. Oxford Dictionary of the Saints. Oxford: Clarendon Press: 1978, 1979, 1980. P. 189
  20. ^ "Catholic Diocese of Green Bay-Shrine". 
  21. ^ Giovanni Battista Lemoyne (1965). The Biographical Memoirs of Saint John Bosco (1st ed., Volume I, 1815 - 1840, p.26). New York, Salesian Publisher, Inc.
  22. ^ Saint of the Day, January 31: John Bosco SaintPatrickDC.org. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  23. ^ John Morrison (1999). The Educational Philosophy of Don Bosco (Indian ed., p.51). New Delhi, Don Bosco Publications, Guwahati. ISBN 81-87637-00-5
  24. ^ "Salesian Cooperators". Salesians of Don Bosco, Province of Mary Help of Christians, Melbourne. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  25. ^ a b "The Salesian Bulletin in the World". Eircom.net, Dublin. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  26. ^ Ceria, Eugenio; Diego Borgatello (1983). The Bibliographical Memoirs of Saint John Bosco, volume XIII (1877 - 1878). New Rochelle, New York: Salesiana Publisher. p. 191. ISBN 0-89944-013-4. 
  27. ^ See Joseph Fitzmyer, Romans, Anchor Bible Commentary, vol. 33 (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 647-648.
  28. ^ Tertullian, On Prescription Against Heretics, 12: see also chapter 13: Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3, eds. Roberts and Donaldson, 1976, p. 249