So I was driving on I-10 this weekend in South Louisiana when I saw a billboard advertising this event. The sign simply said “Apparitions of Mary: July 1-5″ and left an internet address. I didn’t know what it was. I thought that there was probably some sort of traveling museum exhibit on Marian visions or something similar.
But no. It is actually a list of scheduled appearances by the BVM in Birmingham, AL. It even gets you the time of day they will happen. Since this was on a billboard, I’m guessing it had been up for at least a month or so.
The site goes on to give some rules of conduct. It says that distractions “inhibit grace.” They “block sacrifice.” They “result in a loss of grace one could have received.”
And should you be so daring as to violate the rules, you will be found out. “Our Lady answers any objections to these rules, to be allowed on the Caritas grounds, by appearing on a rock strewn mountain in Medjugorje which is difficult to walk up, much less sit down comfortably once you are at the apparition site.”
This is, as far as I can tell, for real (not for real for real, but folks really believe it). Mary shows up in Alabama on a semi-regular basis. The site says that it also happens daily in Bosnia. And if it is real, then it is a good look into “the real thing” of Roman Cathlicism. Sorry, there’s no Liccione stuff here. This is all Arturo’s world.