Some Signs of Inauthentic Apparitions

First of all, it would be suitable to note that the most common apparitions are usually initiated by positive spiritual beings (souls in purgatory) and negative spiritual beings (souls in hell, negative angels), meaning that these phenomena are mixed apparitions. An apparition is made possible by the visionary’s ability to perceive the supernatural, (extrasensory perception) at certain moments. Various people (visionaries) have differing ranges and directions of this ability and it manifests itself from a certain moment in life until the end of life. 

The genuine spiritual state and spiritual growth of the visionary and also the spiritual state and the needs of the person for whom the information is meant play an important role during the transfer of the information from the spiritual being.

But we know that we are people and are imperfect and make mistakes, which is the cause of the deformation or untruthfulness of acquired information. Besides, the acquired information can already be untruthful at the very source, especially when it comes from an evil spirit.

Of course, it cannot be expected that all information from an evil spirit is untruthful, because trust in him would be quickly lost. For that reason, this spirit proceeds in such way that he conveys some information which is commonly known and truthful and later gives other information which is untruthful; in this way, confusions, tension, contradictions and separation among people will develop - and that is the evil spirit’s goal.

In addition to this, he will depict confusing information regarding the spiritual as higher perfection. People who accept this information will emotionally spread it under the assumption that they are doing well and tension and disputes will easily arise.

For example, he will whisper to the visionary that it is insufficient to pray only the Marian rosary, which is required by the Virgin Mary in her apparition, but that it is necessary to pray the rosary of Padre Pio, which is three times longer. Padre Pio himself did not know it because it originated a few years after he died. However, he used to pray at least 30 Marian rosaries daily.

It is certain that the rosary of Padre Pio is excellent, but it makes excessive demands on the time of an ordinary working person. Once a person has started to pray it, its arduousness can cause him to think that he is at the top of perfection - it does represent a perceptible sacrifice with considerable demands on time, but such a person often forgets that it is necessary to direct his attention to removing his own errors. He concentrates all of his energy on this rosary, which leads to a feeling of personal exceptionality or even to pride, from which unsuitable actions result.

At some other time, an evil spirit whispers to the visionary that if the sacrificial table were turned toward the tabernacle - as it had been formerly - and not toward the people, it would be something more perfect in the Church. Further, he whispers to the visionary that the priests who introduced the change are bad. The person will believe it and will start to promote this opinion, by which a schism is created. He does not understand that the Church has competence from Christ for such formal changes.

In another case, an evil spirit whispers to the visionary that it is necessary to increase esteem for the Eucharist by receiving Holy Communion kneeling (it is certain that increasing esteem for the Eucharist is very needful). One under the influence of an inauthentic apparition will start to do so ostentatiously and with a feeling of great piousness and he does not care at all that he is delaying the column of people waiting to receive the sacrament; on the contrary, he is delighted to be exceptional, which supports pride and brings tension and conflicts into relations with other people.

Let us note that, for example, the evil spirit never whispers to such a man to show esteem for the Eucharist by observing a fast from midnight as it was in the past and not talking about it before people by reason of humility. Such forms of sacrifice do not attract people and in addition to this they lead to sainthood which, of course, the evil spirit does not wish. Cunningly, under the pretext of perfection, the evil spirit supports everything that leads to haughtiness, pride, uneasiness, discords and separation.

What should be done to prevent people from accepting information from inauthentic apparitions? One solution that has been advanced is to dissociate oneself completely from apparitions. It has often been done so in these days and the reason given for this is that we have everything that is necessary for salvation in the Bible. Besides, we have prayer, Holy Mass, sacraments and so with such fine equipment we can progress on the way leading to sainthood. It is an attractive argument, but with regard to practical consequences it is more likely cunningly misleading.

Let us realise what situation we find ourselves in. We live in regions where people today have everything which is necessary for salvation (literature, churches, freedom) and the result of this is that more and more, the number of those who go to church regularly is decreasing; more and more, people are praying less - and increasingly as a “formality”. Against expectations, the situation in the spiritual sphere has gotten much worse since the end of the totalitarian era.

For a positive change to come, a live impulse - meaning an exceptional grace of God – is necessary. It is precisely Marian apparitions that are the greatest source of God’s exceptional graces in these days and it is sensible to make use of this great offer from God, even though nobody is forced to do so.

If a person has experiences with authentic apparitions, there are no fundamental problems, but what should one do with inauthentic apparitions, especially in their early phase, when it is not quite clear whether they are inauthentic? In any case, prudence is appropriate, as well as not giving in to emotions that cause one to lose one’s head and not spreading the message of the apparitions fanatically.

During mixed apparitions, a visionary has the ability to perceive the supernatural in a state of less deep ecstasy, in the course of which he also perceives the surrounding environment. People present during the state of ecstasy have the impression that the visionary is only in a state of raised concentration and therefore he can pass easily from this state to communication with those surrounding him. In the aforementioned less deep state, the visionary most often conveys information in verbal form.

If we want to determine whether the apparition is authentic or inauthentic, first of all we must examine the visionary’s testimonies. We can divide these into two parts. One part concerns spiritual messages, which normally occur even in inauthentic apparitions. These always contain some modifications of calls to conversion, prayer or fasting. If these calls had not been mentioned, a reader or an observer would not have believed it to be a trustworthy apparition and a confusing effect on believers could not have been achieved through further negative information.

Only a person having the gift of the ability of discernment and with a theological education will notice little defects in interpretations of spiritual calls or messages and in this way he will find out that the apparition is inauthentic.

In the second part of testimonies having their origin in inauthentic apparitions, even a less experienced person will find more serious defects showing that the apparition is really inauthentic, even though confusing testimonies seems especially to laymen to be a challenge to strive for higher perfection. For example, in an apparition it may be said that it is bad if Holy Mass is not celebrated in Latin. Such a piece of information, given in, say, an alleged apparition of the Virgin Mary is proof that the apparition is inauthentic, because the Virgin Mary would never stand up against the regulations of the Church. Christ gave the Church power to change and to regulate church life.

It was said in another inauthentic apparition that the Church has entered a crisis situation and that priests and bishops are often so bad that during Holy Mass they do not transubstantiate validly, another greatly defective view. The Church unequivocally settled the question regarding this view in the middle ages.

Precisely such calls from inauthentic apparitions, seeming as they do to have a character of higher perfection, confuse inexperienced people most and lead to the separation which is the main goal of the evil spirit: to separate Christian believers, to fill them with malice and hatred under the pretext of a higher perfection and to spread gossip. Damage is dealt thereby to both the propagator and the receiver.


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