Classification of apparitions, prophecies and related phenomena is difficult, because up to now these phenomena have not been sufficiently explored, and especially in these days, in spite of modern knowledge coming from psychology, philosophy, theology, biology, physics and psychophysics, these problems are being put aside. This, on the one hand, leads to absolute disassociation from such phenomena or even to ridicule and, on the other hand, to uncritical acceptance of them. Both extremes are, of course, harmful; therefore, apparitions should be identified by their essential characteristics.

First and foremost, of course, apparitions arise from God's will. This will can establish an inalterable situation (e.g. after Adam's sin the Saviour was promised to come) or indicate the development of events tending to evil that it is possible to change by a wilful action of concrete good (e.g. in the book of Jonah regarding the repentance of the people of Nineveh). The town was intended to be wiped out, but it was saved by the conversion of its people after Jonah’s preaching).

Further, besides the apparitions evoked by God's will, some apparitions can be initiated by a spiritual entity through its own initiative. For example, they come from the Virgin Mary or a good angel wishing to help us (a positive case is that of the Virgin Mary appearing to the visionaries at Fatima). Conversely, in a negative case, we can assign to this realm the influence of an evil spirit that wilfully desires to harm us through an apparition. For example, one day an evil spirit appeared before Mirjana in Medjugorje in the form of the Virgin Mary, promising her happiness in this world if she gave up her devotion to the Virgin Mary. She refused.

In evaluating apparitions or prophecies, remember that we can acquire through apparitions true information, information that is partly untrue in unessential matters and completely untrue information. Accordingly, apparitions are regarded as positive, being true and useful, or negative, being at least partly untrue, confusing in some important aspect, and therefore detrimental to people.

Apparitions can be divided into authentic and inauthentic:

Authentic apparitions provide some important truthful information. However, among transferred pieces of information there may be some information that is distorted and in insignificant areas untrue, which has a positive meaning for God’s design. It has no consequential negative effect on people.

Inauthentic apparitions provide false and confusing information detrimental to man. Concurrently, some truthful pieces of information are contained in it to confuse a person so that he will more readily accept the false information.

For the present treatise, let us consider the following classes of these phenomena:

1. Authentic direct apparitions (sensory and extra-sensory)
2. Authentic mixed apparitions (primary and secondary)
3. Inauthentic direct apparitions (sensory and extra-sensory)
4. Inauthentic mixed apparitions (primary and secondary)


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