Specification of the Subject

The present study relates to those apparitions which are:  

• Established on a deep ecstasy elicited from the visionary directly by God Himself, in other words, originating from God. The visionary does not, accordingly, participate in the ecstasy, and, moreover, he does not have psychic skills. (Lourdes, Fatima)

• Established on a slighter ecstasy that depends on an extraordinary ability of the visionary to perceive spectral beings which act in accordance with God. Thus, the visionary possesses psychic skills. (Gobbi, Vassula)

We shall call these apparitions “special public apparitions”. These visions have a public character or they are addressed to particular group of people (country, region), or they may be meant for particular private people and through them indirectly appeal to the public. In apparitions of this type the visionary is not engaged in producing a natural or supernatural religious ecstasy.

Otherwise, if one participates in creating a natural or supernatural ecstasy, so as to have various visions and manifestations, we shall call that type of apparition “private apparitions”. St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and other religious mystics are taken as typical examples of that type of vision.

All these considered apparitions do not derive from the “public revelation” which ended with the death of the last living apostle. They do not amend the public revelation and must not diverge from this public revelation.

Thus we will classify apparitions as:

1. Public apparitions (refers to God’s revelation addressed to all mankind, described in the Holy Writ and tradition, terminated with the death of the last living apostle and interpreted by the preceptorial office of the Roman Catholic Church)
2. Special public apparitions (refers to God’s revelation addressed to all mankind in order to enliven the public revelation and to mediate exceptional graces of God)
3. Private apparitions (refers to God’s revelation addressed to the receiving individual or to other concrete persons)

Sometimes, a visionary may have a special public apparition and also a private apparition. On some occasions, the message a visionary receives can be augmented by clairvoyant visions, if the visionary has such gift.


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