(Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

By: Kenneth G Van Hoof

This book explains the facts concerning the Necedah Apparitions and its Mystic
Mary Ann Van Hoof.  The purpose of this book is to clarify, define and defend the
apparition of Mary and its mystic.

View the Book Here



Many clergy within the Church know there is a great need for proper discernment of apparitions. Many apparitions are improperly dealt with. In fact, many cases are treated with contempt and with a rash betrayal of the truth. Father Hebert notes that the number of apparitions "locally approved" are far too few. He further notes there is a big difference between those "approved by the Church" and a local approval (or disapproval.) That is also true of decisions by a Roman Congregation. The final judgment in such matters rests with the Supreme Pontiff. Often, the local Ordinary makes a premature decision before he has gathered enough evidence in his mind as to making a proper judgment to declare one way or the other whether a supernatural intervention has occurred or not Father Hebert points out that the term, "The Church has condemned" is often "carelessly and irresponsibly bandied about" when a local Ordinary has only made a pronouncement "with his limited, human fallible judgment." (THE discernment OF VISIONARIES AND APPARITIONS TODAY by Father Albert J. Hebert, p 14.)

 It is unfortunate that the term, "private revelations" is too often used as real "private" revelation is to one person or at most to a limited group. But, even these should be discerned properly for many of these "private" revelations lead to the establishment of religious orders, spiritual movements and ecclesiastical reforms. But, many "private revelations" are directed to the whole Church from the Pope on down and to the world as a whole for the salvation of souls.

The discernment of so-called "private revelations" is extremely important. On this point, Father Hebert says, "What can be more important than properly discerning an authentic intervention of God in our world? It is a matter where we are dealing with the very Son of God, the Creator of the universe, or with His Mother, Mater Dei! We cannot regard their interventions as unimpor­tant, or easily cast them aside without proper investigation. They must not be ignored, or even, opposed; and that at times by ecclesiastics in high places." (Ibid, p 15)

The prevailing attitude of Church authority seems to be a down-playing or minimizing the im­portance of Marian revelations, especially those of apocalyptic warnings and of those exposing the enemy particularly within the Church. Although it is the rightful duty of the Church to dis­cern apparitions and their subsequent revelations, the Church often finds itself in conflict as to how to deal with such revelations that admonish that very same Church for wrongdoing.

All of this has actually led to a lack of discernment. Dr. Thomas Petrisko of the Pittsburgh Cen­ter For Peace, notes there is a lack of qualified individuals in the Church today. "There are not many individuals today, within the Church, who are qualified as experts in the field of appari­tions and mystical phenomena. The reasons are many for the lack of those with expertise in the discernment of phenomena. Primarily, the investigation of apparitions is viewed as a low prior­ity. Apparitions are viewed as unnecessary to the faith, dangerous phenomena, and even in the best of cases, highly fallible." (SPECIAL REPORT: WHY HAS MARY COME? "p 7)

He notes further that many "Church conclusions" come long after the events themselves have ceased. So apparitions and their revelations are viewed as a low priority and as "unnecessary to the faith." However, the fact remains and is obvious to anyone who has taken a serious examination of the subject and who has a proper understanding of the truth of the matter, that the Church is doomed unless she does an about face and looks at these supposed "unnecessary to the faith" revelations to discern the truth of them and furthermore heeds the warnings they contain. (It is a matter of Church Militant (man's church) OBEYING THE WILL OF CHURCH TRIUMPHANT IN HEAVEN.)

With the above in mind, we briefly note certain points of discernment not commonly known about Marian Apparitions and how they are handled by Church authorities. The first set of points are from Father Rene Laurentin, member of the Pontifical Marian Academy and the French Society of Marian Studies. He is well versed in Marian theology and has studied Marian Apparitions from both a theological view and a scientific one. He is author of the book, "When God Gives a Sign" from which these points are taken:

"When an apparition takes place, the family circle of the Church does not applaud with cries of joy.  the welcome is normally troubled, tense and nervous."

Concerning apparitions:"The number one problem often seems to be:
  How to get rid of it? The apparitions that occurred in the fifteen years that followed Beauraing and Banneux (1932-1933) were, in varying degrees, discouraged, repressed, or concealed until the 1980s." (Author's note: Both Lipa [1948] and Necedah [1949] occurred at the end of this period. With this attitude prevailing in the Church, it is no wonder why neither apparition was not and is still not recognized by the Church.)

Concerning the formation of commissions who investigate apparitions: "When      authorities establish a commission of inquiry, theologians, canonists, and psychologists (psychoanalysts) are usually chosen." Father notes that those people "with a real experience of human hearts and spiritual realities" are better suited to be on investigation commissions. He notes, "Those with spiritual expertise are rarely nominated."

"On February 25,1978, Cardinal Seper, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, published, for the use of bishops, a pastoral guide for discernment for which I, too, was consulted); but. it was published secretly. I do not know why, for there is nothing of a confidential nature in its four pages. Rome accepts and seems even to desire spontaneous opinions of true experts in the area. In the Roman document, there is nothing that encourages concealment." (Emphasis, author's - Then why is such an important document published secretly and kept concealed?)

From the above mentioned document we learn that, "Discernment is always a matter of opinion, for it evaluates convergent signs: Is the case serious, fruitful, problematic in varying degrees? However, the authority of the Church does not claim to have a geometric proof or exercise infallibility in her judgment. We should not be astonished by this, since also in matters of science there are similar degrees of probability in a hypothesis."

An inquisitor (which means investigator) who deals with apparitions, Father Laurent in states that most often they are "seeking out error to condemn it. He who seeks finds. Those who seek too zealously for error invent it and project it onto their target." The inquisitor is sure of himself. "He often says, 'I have discernment.' He satisfies himself with this certitude instead of opening himself to the voice of the Holy Spirit. He forgets the word of the Gospel: 'Judge not, lest you be judged.' (Matthew 7:1) By accusing his victims, he becomes puffed up and glories in his own justice." (Author's note: Fathers Heithaus and Dwight come to mind, for this sixth point of Father Laurentin aptly describes these two priests who invent error, project it onto their targets and then glory in their own justice.)

The next set of points is from Father Albert J. Hebert, S.M. who also has studied Marian Apparitions and their revelations and prophecies. He has authored several books on these subjects in­cluding "The Discernment of Visionaries and Apparitions Today," from which these points are taken:

"The objective of discernment is not to anticipate negative judgments nor warily to fear non-authentic apparitions. It is to safeguard authentic apparitions and the public promulgation of their meaning and message for the good of the faithful and all the Church. Christ and Mary (She by the desire of Christ), He as Founder of the Church and Mary the Mother of the Church, Mater Ecclesiae, have the topmost right to intervene in the life of Their Church as they see fit. Their intervention can only be for the overall good of the Church. This is especially so in times of unusual stress and need. Yet, striking and important as the Fatima revelations were, it has been reported over the years that 90% of Catholics are unaware of them.

"If members of the commission either lack knowledge and experience themselves, or have poor or bad attitudes, the bishop can end up in a bad situation. >Sort of like the blind telling the blind what they see! The bishop may then make a negative judgment where there should be a positive one. That this has happened in the past there is no doubt, with subsequent suppression of the Spirit and great spiritual loss.

"For a theologian member to judge the teaching found in a private revelation, it is not necessary to have some STD of the type who is so involved in endless reasoning and modern speculation, and straining at gnats that he cannot judge objectively or nitpicks. A commonsense pastor or a good solid layman may do a better job. Many ordinary laymen, well trained in their faith, will know easily enough if there are any doctrinal errors involved.

Conversions and good works beyond the normal should suffice for
confirming signs. But God is generous! Here we mean with any or all of those unusual phenomena, mystical and charismatic gifts ...

"Concerning money and finances, visionaries, and specially those with a mission to reach the public with many messages (such as Necedah - author), all can
suffer heavily financially and even impoverishment. At times, visionaries are cruelly slandered in this regard by ignorant Catholics or poorly instructed clergy ...." (Author's note: This type of slander definitely happened at Necedah and to the author's mother.) As a matter of justice, at times, the Church itself could provide some financial assistance to these chosen individuals who are used by God to do more than many ordained priests. There is a lot of pious hypocrisy among some Catholics, who live well but criticize authentic visionaries, if they live like normal human beings.

"...Even where there have been negative statements or "nota" given by
local Ordinaries, if many good and solid priests and other high ecclesiastics, along
with many discerning lay people, believe the apparitions to be genuine, then suspect that just might be the case; and that such an episcopal fallible judgment if negatively stated may or should be reversed. ...That has been the case more than once in the past. And there are several cases today where reversals of present negative judgments seem probable: e.g.  Garabandal,   Spain;  Lipa,  Philippines,  and Medugorje. (Author's note: Necedah should be added to this list.)

"Where proper and complete investigations are made, there will be no troubled consciences among intelligent,   educated and simply solid& Catholics, clergy and laity, over the decisions given by ecclesiastical courts or commissions. What   troubles good Catholics are the numbers of apparently poorly handled apparition claims in our times. It is hoped that there will be a reopening of some of the more famous and apparently authentic apparition cases which have been turned down because of faulty and incomplete investigations; or hostile ones." (Author's note: Nece-dah definitely qualifies to be reopened on these grounds for it has had 'faulty and incom­plete investigations' and certainly has had 'hostile ones.')

It should be further noted that pilgrims may come to unrecognized sites of apparitions and that publications of such accounts, visions, revelations, etc. are permitted even if the local Ordinary has rendered a negative decision concerning such apparitions. Canon laws which forbade the above (Canons 1299 and 2318) have been abolished by the Decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, published in Acta Apostolica Sedis, December 29, 1970, p 1186.) Father Laurentin states, "Therefore, it was not introduced into the new Code of Canon Law." Therefore, there are no Church restrictions in visiting unrecognized places of apparition and no prohibitions against publishing accounts of such apparitions.


As readers of this publication should know, one of our primary purposes is to document the revelation (messages) of the Blessed Virgin Mary, primarily those of Necedah. We examine separate and individual messages in light of present day ongoing unfolding events which we use to document verify that particular message. We also study the individual message in relation to the whole body of messages received from our Lady, our Lord, and the Saints given here at Necedah so as to keep it in proper context. The revelations of Necedah are then studied as to their relationship and connection with other Marian revelation (Fatima, La Salette, Lipa, Garabandal, Akita, etc.). Ongoing prophecies (John Leary's, Father Gobbi's.   etc.) as well as. older Catholic prophecy (John of the Cleft Rock, Blessed Anna Taigi, Anna Catherine Emmerich, etc.) are also studied and the various truths woven together from these to show the over-all pattern, the larger picture.

It has been readily seen that these revelations from whatever prophet, seer, or mystic do much to support each other.  Where there appears to be an apparent contradiction between one source of revelation and another, it is important to examine carefully the problem and ascertain through prayer, discernment and diligent research the real truth of the matter.  Sometimes there is a misunderstanding in terms or translation of language (word meanings are very important when crossing the language barriers).  They mystic himself may "color" the revelation as its instrument of delivery or the symbolism, expressions used, etc.  may alter the person's perception of any given revelation.  (For further discussion see:  MARIAN APPARITIONS AND APOCALYPTIC RESEARCH, " Apparitions:  A Threefold  Study - A. The Revelations," p 19).

We have found that by correlating all revelations together (especially prophetic revelation) we see they are composites of a larger fabric of truth; a fabric which has woven into it a myriad of patterns which when taken together give a much fuller understanding of the truth than if they were taken only singularly.  And if indeed they are all from the same source (Heaven), then they will be found to support one another for truth can only support truth.  A falsehood cannot support a truth.

Furthermore all true revelation will harmonize perfectly with each other and will Biblical revelation which the Church says must be believed by all.  False revelations will be seen in stark contrast to such truth.

It must be understood where there are true mystics or revelations there are also false mystics and prophets which seek to imitate the true one to confuse the followers and discredit the true mystic.  this has happened at Lourdes, Necedah and other true sites of Apparitions.

It must be further understood that in some cases a true mystic may fall from grace for whatever reason.  After all, God gave man a free will.  In other cases how a mystic is treated by Church Officials., Civil Authorities or sometimes by the pilgrims and/or followers themselves has a definite bearing on that particular case.  (See source cited above - "The Historical Events," p 28)

We have been warned by our Holy Mother here at Necedah "not (to) put a wrong impression on any and that we "must accept all messages and NOT INTERPRET THEM."  (Sept. 8, 1973. Emphasis ours - Ed., DSB).  This is the reason for documenting them; to verify these revelational truths with scientific, historical, and religious truths making clear the message and imparting a true understanding of such revelation.