The so-called apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Bayside, New York have been well publicized to say the least. What is the real story behind these events?One of the most popular and controversial claims of Marian apparitions, at least in America, comes from the visionary experience of Veronica Lueken, of Bayside, New York. Lueken, a New York housewife, claimed that on April 7, 1970 she began receiving regular visits from the Blessed Virgin Mary. The apparitions took place outside of St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church in Bayside, Queens, New York.According to Lueken, the Virgin announced that she would appear on the evening of major feast days of the church, especially those dedicated in her honor. Revealing herself as Our Lady of the Roses, Mary, Help of Mothers, she requested that a shrine and basilica be built in her honor at the sight of the apparition.The messages given at Bayside are very critical of many current trends within Catholicism, especially those instituted by the Second Vatican Council. In addition, a consistent theme in the Bayside messages is that the world is facing an imminent apocalyptic judgment because of moral disintegration in society.The Bayside apparitions were investigated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. The Diocese reported that there was nothing miraculous or sacred about the apparitions or the messages which accompanied them. In fact, the commission stated categorically that the apparitions were not authentic.Even though the apparitions have been denounced as inauthentic, thousands of people still attend vigils at the supposed site of the apparitions. Lueken’s alleged visions have been widely publicized and, I might say, the literature concerning “Our Lady of the Roses” shows absolutely no sign whatsoever of dying out.These apparitions should be given no credence whatsoever. The truth or falsity of Marian apparitions is measured upon whether the phenomenon as a whole conforms to Scripture, and not on how dramatic or sensational the experience may be.On the apparitions at Bayside, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATIONFor a dicussion of this topic, please consult Elliot Miller’s and Kenneth Samples’s book Cult of the Virgin (Baker) (B040). This resource is available through CRI. For shipping and handling information, please refer to our Resource Listing. To place a credit card order, call toll-free (888) 7000-CRI. To receive a free copy of our Resource Listing, fax us at (704) 887-8299 or write us with your request at P.O. Box 8500, Charlotte, NC 28271.