The Blessed Mary, mother of Jesus, has been sighted
worldwide by people of all faiths in visions that range in physical appearance,
but remain consistent in message content. The grassroots response to such events
has given communities the power to change their lives, if not communal history.
Mary has been encountered over battlefields, over towns, over healing waters,
and in the minds and hearts of people all over the world. As we approach the
Millennium, reports of messages from Mary are increasing.
Ingo Swann, one of the greatest Renaissance men of the 20th century, in our opinion, has compiled 22 of the greatest of these Mary sightings in a Crossroads publication released in 1996 entitled, The Great Apparitions Of Mary: An Examination Of 22 Supranormal Appearances. He reports the messages have in common an urging for us to return to faith in God, love and forgiveness, to turn away from the darkness of selfishness and cruelty. To those who can see and hear her she repeats that she's preparing the world for great earth changes and great spiritual changes -- changes that have already begun unfolding. She also says we are all children of God, divine beings.
Ingo Swann is well known as a pioneer in the fields of consciousness and soul development. A natural psychic, Ingo has explored how we can search the universe for knowledge and develop our own intuitive skills. He was labeled as one of the most accurate psychics in the country at Stanford Research International, and harnessed that skill to develop the training program used by the military in their psychic spy program (see interview with David Morehouse in The Hieronimus & Co. Newsletter #12-13).
On November 8, 1996, Ingo was a guest on The Zoh Show to discuss the most compelling stories he had come across in his research for Apparitions of Mary: An Examination of 22 Supernormal Appearances. He wanted to study mass sightings of Mary to examine psychic perceptions as social events, ones experienced by large numbers of people at once, and ended up with enough to publish this comprehensive overview of great Mary phenomena in history.
LOOKING UP MARY IN THE LIBRARY
"I thought that I could go to a library or a Catholic library," says Ingo "and find a book that contained descriptions of all [sightings of Mary], and I was really shocked to find that such a book has never really been written. So I started compiling bits and pieces here and there... till I had over 250 apparitions on a time line." He chose the ones he felt stood out as "signal apparitions" for this book and sets the phenomena within the context of science, the cultural setting, and the impact the sightings had in those societies. This combination had not appeared before in previous Mary books. "In fact, many of the books on the apparitions discussed the religious values to contemporary times, different times, and things like that. And I thought, gosh, it's really quite hard to recreate these things as they happened... and I decided to have a go at that, too. I've done the best I can with the data that's available to me. When you see what actually happened it's really, really astonishing."
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN APPARITION AND VISION
Ingo stresses the importance of the definition of visions vs. apparition. "The definitions of the two words are different, but unfortunately they're used interchangeably, as synonymous. But clinically speaking a vision takes place within a person's head, you know, if you create a picture of an apple on the table in your head -- a vision more or less follows those lines. But an apparition is experienced as something EXTERIOR to the body and would be seen more or less as the eyes would see something outside of the body. The boundaries are very nebulous sometimes, but the vision is an inner vision and the apparition is something that appears outside of the body. People refer to it as being outside of themselves."
SHE PHOTOGRAPHS LIKE A HOLOGRAM
Apparitions are physical manifestations that can be witnessed by numerous people, and even photographed. One of the most famous of the mass sightings are the apparitions of Mary in Zeitoun, Egypt in 1968. These were photographed and filmed by thousands of people over several days. As Ingo points out, this case did a lot to diminish the antagonism of the skeptics. The skeptics have always maintained that without physical evidence, the reports of the apparitions were not acceptable. Despite the healings and the cures that resulted in these places, these were not accepted as evidence. In Zeitoun, a suburb of Cairo... she appeared walking around the edge of a Coptic church and some very beautiful photographs and even some TV footage were obtained. Ingo relates that "people could see this radiant lady in light walking around the church, and there got to be at least a million people there. Cheers would go up from the side she was on, and as she walked around, the next side started cheering."
"Photographs were taken," continued Ingo. "The question comes down to: what is it that can register on film, since a lot of people can't see these [apparitions]? The model that comes to mind, of course, is the hologram. You can project a three-dimensional hologram which is just merely where light is interfacing. It can be photographed even though it's not there. So I use that as a vehicle to [help us understand]... The apparition of the Holy Mother probably is not a hologram, but like a hologram, in a way, from our point of view."
THE SOCIAL DRAMATICS, CONFUSION AND PANDEMONIUM
Again, the careful choice of words in the title: by "Great" apparitions, Ingo was choosing to write about only apparitions witnessed by more than 5,000 people. "You know," said Ingo, "there have been hundreds of public apparitions of Mary, but some of them have a bigger public impact than others... some of them don't make any at all... And yet others come to involve millions of people. So I felt that... [if] more than 5,000 people [were in] the place, that was verging on what I would call a GREAT apparition. In fact, in those apparitions I've talked about, there have never been less than 150,000 people -- and in some cases, several million. So the size of the impact is judged by the amount of people who come to the place where she's said to be appearing."
THE GRASS ROOTS PEOPLE COME
"This is the grass roots people that come. The clergy is not very enthusiastic about these appearances... and [neither are] the secular authorities. You know if you have a small town in France, and within five days a half million people converge on the place, you know you have sanitation problems and problems with places for them to stay, and everything like that. So you know it can get very overwhelming really, really fast. And then there's the... skeptics [who] say that these don't occur, so they tend to come if the apparition gets very big. They come to try to debunk it. And then there's the media... so you can put together a cast of players that do converge on the place."
Ingo broke down the analysis of the 22 massive apparitions where at least 150,000 people witnessed the Holy Mother. He started with the seers who are the first to see her, they start the activity. The next group is the witnesses. "The witnesses probably don't see the lady herself," explains Ingo, "but they very often see the other kinds of phenomena that go on, like the lights in the sky and the strange things dropping down that look like rose petals. They don't touch the ground, they [usually] vanish before they touch the ground. In the case of the [apparition] at Lipa, Philippines, completely out of season there was a snowfall of [what turned out to be] rose petals. Actual rose petals drifted up like snow drifts."
After the witnesses, the next group Ingo defines is the devout pilgrims, and then the church or the ecclesiastics, then the civil authorities, then the media attention, and then the skeptics. "And when you think that these seven groups can gather together in a space maybe in four or five days in massive components, you really have a dramatic event suddenly coming out of absolutely nowhere, and it's just tremendous. I've only been to one apparition site, that's the one that took place in Bayside, Queens in the late 60s and this was so enormous that the police department asked the seer to hold the seeings in the former World's Fair Grounds just to have a place for the people to come. And when I got there, there were at least 10,000 people there, and this was amazing! There were so many people we couldn't even find where the seer was. I mean it took a long time just to find out where the action was."
THE TEACHINGS OF THE BLESSED MOTHER
"In her speaking apparitions -- some of them she doesn't speak, you know, she just appears and people look at her -- but in her speaking apparitions... she gets very upset that we have lost faith in ourselves. This gets to be very heart rending when you see it occur again and again in different apparitions, that we have lost faith in ourselves as the work of God and the work of her Son, the savior. We need to sit down and restore this concept of ourselves to what has been created to carry it and this is very poignant, very, very, very poignant -- and unfortunately it's sort of left out in terms of the religious type of things that go on in many of the analyses. When you lose faith in yourself as the children of God then you are going downhill, and she gets very angry at times. She says that if you go downhill too far that she will be unable to hold the avenging arm of her Son back. What she's saying is you create your own hell on earth, and if you don't do something yourselves... things are going to be awful."
Why is it that some people in the crowds cannot see the apparitions when they are observed by massive numbers? How much does our belief system make it possible for us to see something or prevent us from seeing it? Ingo says, "at a certain level of awareness... beliefs have a lot to do with what you do and don't see. You know the belief sets up a grid in the mind that either accepts data or rejects it, so if seeing is believing, if you believe in something, it will happen to you. That's probably the case with more mundane matters... but it's open to question whether their belief either helped or hindered... the seers of the apparitions." It seems that although most of the seers were Catholics, none of them had developed really firm beliefs along Catholic lines, in Ingo's opinion. "Especially in the case of the children... The phenomena of all the apparitions is so overpowering that I think that we can't really interpret them completely in just human terms, and I prefer not to do that. I did not do that in the book either, by the way. I don't know, they're just so unusual that the normal rules that we like to invent to govern ourselves by, don't seem to apply."
APPARITIONS THAT BENCHMARK THE PHENOMENA
"This is the only manuscript I've ever written that I cried every page of the manuscript. [All the apparitions were] so wonderful and so beautiful, I was just always blowing my nose and rubbing my eyes [as] I came into focus with the little tiny details that completely vanish from most reports. You just start crying, like a Russian who hears Russian music and is in love with Russia, you know. It's so wonderful that I cried through every one of them.
"The things that took place at Fatima, Portugal in 1917 are, of course, probably the most spectacular. 90,000 people there witnessed most of the phenomena during the final two times of those apparitions. It's just incontestable that something truly extraordinary went on there. But it happens I was very drawn to the apparition in Mantara, Lebanon in 1911 which you don't hear very much about, because it's not particularly a Christian or Catholic one. It's a Coptic area and the phenomena -- a non-speaking apparition -- was seen by just about everybody who got there in time to see it... everybody who could crowd into the little tiny chapel in which this occurred. The description of the radiances and the lights were just so wonderful that I would have loved to have seen that. It must have been incredibly beautiful." As it says in Ingo's book, seven women at 7:00 PM "approached the grotto and were suddenly blinded by a large burst of light that emanated from the altar". Mantaura was one of the only apparitions Ingo found in which Mary did not appear holding the Christ child.
MARY'S GOT A BIG WARDROBE
Mary is almost always dressed differently, noted Ingo. "Only two times did she remotely resemble the figurines of Mary." And interestingly she has appeared "in such things as a yellow pinafore, a red gown and so forth and so on." As a caller named Greg recounted later in the program, he had an apparition of the mother Mary and she appeared in an orange, yellow and black dress with a Spanish motif. "And she looks different, too," continued Ingo. "She's described with totally different facial features and things like that, but the messages -- when she does speak -- are almost always identical.... [basically] she's not happy with humans.
SHE'S NOT HAPPY WITH HUMANS
"...As the mother of Jesus, she is not happy with our lack of responsibility towards our own welfare, and she gets very, very frank about that. She's also not happy at times with the priesthood, and she gets a bit frank with that at times, too. This is sort of edited around a little bit to make it appear more suitable for her, but, in fact, she is very angry at times."
MARY PREDICTED THE RWANDAN TRAGEDIES
From sightings of the Mother Mary in Rwanda in 1981 Ingo had gathered "hand printed published documents in which she made several predictions about what was going to happen in Rwanda. They were unambiguous, very, very clear predictions that were in print before the sad events of Rwanda did take place. [It was so] shocking nobody could conceive of those terrible things in Rwanda at the time, and yet they were in print before they took place. She even told the seers that she thought they should leave Rwanda."
By chronicling apparitions that occurred in 1830, 1846, 1858, and so on, Ingo points out that a major apparition takes place on an average every 10-12 years. When Zoh noted that we were due for one, Ingo said he thinks it already happened. Just recently he saw a news clip on TV of a rose petal falling in North Carolina. "I nearly jumped out of bed!," he says, "but it was too late to include it in the book, or I of course would have. Nothing has been published about it that I know of."
MARY'S MANY MOODS
"You know she has different moods. Sometimes she's very kind and wonderful and other times she's really stern," rather like a mother yelling at her children for misbehaving in a serious way with very serious consequences.
PREDICTIONS THAT HAVE COME TRUE
In an apparition that occurred at La Salette, France in 1846 "she predicted an apocalypse and described the events that we're undergoing today unambiguously [like] the pollution of the atmosphere. It was just incredible when you read [what was said] 150 years ago; she described what's happening to us today."
THE HOLY MOTHER IS NON DENOMINATIONAL
A caller named Kenny pointed out that the city of Fatima, Portugal was named for the daughter of Mohammed, remarking how so many Catholics who pray to the Lady of Fatima have little inclination that the mother of Christ appeared at a town named for the daughter of Mohammed. Caller Kenny also referred to the proclamation by Pius XII in 1950 that he believed was extraordinary because it indicated the possibility that the church politic may be far more aware of the spiritual significance of these apparitions than many of us would realize. Ingo agreed saying that indeed they are very aware of it, but that a "macho" type of complex keeps them from admitting it. "The Holy Mother says she's the mother of all humans -- all humans -- and she says that again, and again, and again.... It's a human artifact that our species divides itself up into these groups [different religions] but certainly... the apparitions of the Holy Mother... simply say you're all God's children, my children, I am the mother of all, and pray, come to your senses, and think of yourselves better than you do."
PRAYER, MEDITATION AND SILENCE
"The Holy Mother says that you should pray for yourselves and for the uplifting of mankind. I don't think it's really interpreted that way on a broad scale. She doesn't want people to pray to her, she wants people to pray to us, ourselves. She's the mediatrix between us and her Son, of course, but the emphasis on praying to her is apparently what she doesn't want. She wants you to pray for ourselves and so anything that does that -- helps us contact our higher selves, and become more human rather than more inhuman -- is probably what is meant by prayer in this case, you know.... She says you have lost faith in yourselves, you're better than you're thinking that you are. You have to see this message unfold cumulatively through all of the apparitions. It doesn't lock in if you just hear it from one of them -- it's just a fraction of the whole overall message."
Call Crossroads Publishers at 1-800-395-0690 to order a copy of The Great Apparitions
Of Mary: An Examination Of 22 Supranormal Appearances. It's 240 pages with bibliography,
costs $17.50, and one of Ingo's own beautiful paintings is on the cover. Visit
Ingo's website at http://www.mindspring.com/~biomind/Pages/Superpowers.html.