• December 2, 2015

Have You Seen the Blessed Mother? Creating Visions of Mary

In the December issue of National Geographic magazine, photographer Diana Markosian explores the worldwide devotion to the Virgin Mary.

Her first trip for the story took her to the town of Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which in 1981 experienced its first apparition of the Virgin Mary. Mary reportedly appeared to six children, identifying herself as the “Queen of Peace” and handing down the first of thousands of messages to them. (Some claim she still speaks to them daily.)

The local government tried to squash the reports, but the children persisted in telling their stories. Since then millions have flocked to Medjugorje to seek their own connection with Mary.

Picture of a statue of Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Worshippers pray in the village of Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which in 1981 experienced its first apparition of the Virgin Mary when she reportedly appeared to six children.

Markosian set out to photograph some of these pilgrims, but when she first arrived she wasn’t quite sure what to shoot—or how to make the sort of images she was used to creating.

“This was my first assignment for National Geographic,” she says. “I never worked on a story like this and wasn’t sure if I was the right photographer for it. When I spoke to [Director of Photography] Sarah Leen about why she picked me for it, she said because I photograph things that are no longer there.”

Most of Markosian’s prior work has been personal projects that deal with loss, and her subjects participated in the storytelling process, guiding her along the way. (See her projects 1915, School No.1, and Inventing My Father, all of which used a collaborative approach.)

In Medjugorje, she says she felt like she’d been thrown into another world. “I was meeting people at some of their lowest points in life. They needed an intercessor to turn to. They needed Mary. I didn’t know how to respond to this. I am Christian but never grew up with Mary.”

Picture of Diana Markosian's sign featuring a rendering of the Virgin Mary
This is the the sign that photographer Diana Markosian posted in Medjugorje in the hopes of meeting people who had seen the Virgin Mary.

After five days in town, Markosian went to a print shop and had a simple sign made that read, “Have you seen the Blessed Mother?” The sign included her local phone number. She posted it in three different locations near “Apparition Hill,” where pilgrims visit a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Then she waited.

“I didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” says Markosian. “I wanted to meet people who had some sort of relationship with Mary as a way of connecting to her myself. I didn’t know if anyone would respond.”

Picture of Anna Pidlisna with her eyes closed and a sketch of a figure's face
Anna Pidlisna, 32, has been ill since childhood. “I closed my eyes and opened my heart. I wanted to understand my illness. I saw myself near the Virgin Mary at the wedding of Cana. She was in a royal-blue dress. She had black hair. I was standing beside her.”
Drawing of Pidlisna's vision by Lisa Abbott

Markosian got a few calls—some from people who thought she had seen the Virgin Mary, others from people who wanted to know how to see the Virgin Mary, and others from people who wanted to share the visions they’d had.

And it was that idea of visions that finally put Markosian on the right creative track, sparking the idea to make collaborative portraits showing a person together with their vision of Mary.

Picture of Marinko Ivanovich looking upward with palms open and a sketch of a light beam hitting the ground
Marinko Ivanovich, 77, lives in Medjugorje near Apparition Hill. He recalls the first days of the apparition. He ran to the hill with the visionaries and a group of people. It was 11 p.m. He stood beside the visionaries, closed his eyes, and bowed his head. “I saw the sky open up, and white light came down,” he said. “The visionaries said, ‘Whoever wants to touch Mary can touch her.’”
Drawing of Ivanovich’s vision by Lisa Abbott

“The sign was a catalyst for focusing me in a way that I wasn’t before,” says Markosian. “I was trying to stay away from being literal and wanted to use my voice and my method for telling stories. My personal work is about collaboration, and I was really missing that.”

Picture of Gisela Kokvou looking upward and a sketch of a pair of eyes looking down
Gisela Kokvou, 57, from Austria, says the Virgin Mary appeared to her in a chapel in Medjugorje. “I see her eyes coming straight into her body, ” said Kokvou. “She is present, going inside me.”
Drawing of Kokvou's vision by Lisa Abbott

Markosian commissioned local artist Lisa Abbott, who she met in Medjugorje, to sketch the visions of people she photographed. Abbott worked on the sketches in the evening and would share them with Markosian the next day, even continuing to work on them after Markosian had left town. Abbott described each sketch as a “delicate and intimate encounter” with Mary, and she said she “felt the guidance and personal love of Mary” when doing the work.

Picture of Anna Otzinger looking upward, hands together, and a sketch of an enrobed figure
Anna Otzinger, 61, from Vienna, describes her vision of the Virgin Mary. “She was so beautiful,” said Otzinger, “She didn’t look anything like the statue. She was wearing a crown of stars and a large white veil, which covered the whole earth.”
Drawing of Otzinger's vision by Lisa Abbott

Overall, Markosian says creating the collaborative portraits ultimately helped turn something that felt abstract into something more real.

“I thought it wasn’t enough just to have portraits and the words— I wanted to visualize it. I wanted to show what these visions look like.”

Diana Markosian is an Armenian-American photographer whose images explore the relationship between memory and place. See more of her work on her website.

Read the full story and see more of Markosian’s pictures from this project in the story “How the Virgin Mary Became the World’s Most Powerful Woman.”

See more of Diana Markosian’s work on Proof: “100 Years Later, Visualizing a New Armenian Narrative.”

There are 49 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Lilat
    September 7, 2016

    I just watched Planet Earth 4.Caves. There were natures art made by minerals and water in the video. Others had no resemblance to any pictures but one was like statue of Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms with touching expression. In front of them is baby lamb and Mary is looking at it and has her hand on it. She is holding her baby with the othe hand. Other little lamb is partly seen behind the other.

    It is so accurate that if I wanted to make a statue or painting of Virgin Mary and baby Jesus with baby lamb I could just have that cave statue as model for it and it would be great.

    There is everything in it. Faces with eyes and nose (mouth is not seen well from the video since they both look down), baby has short curly hair, Mary has scarf in her hair with little bit hair shown, their clothes, hands and body seen and right size.

  2. siomone
    May 5, 2016

    I also have seen the Blessed Virgin but with the eyes of my heart. Sometimes when I sin I see her face expressing deep sadness and when I’m in great distress and anguish I see her smiling, but it’s a smile that gives me comfort and solace and I don’t know how to express it but it’s extremely beautyful, it’s like without words she’s saying to me: “It will be fine. I will take care of everything”. And usually after seeing her smile things DO work out. She is so beautyful, although I didn’t see her but with the eyes of my soul I understand her deep love for me, the way she cares, the way she always wants to be there… It’s a reality that words can’t describe… it can only be felt with the heart… Such an amazing Mother we have! I would like all to know her the way I did, to experience her love in their hearts, that’s the only way one can understand it.

  3. Mimi Napolitano
    April 5, 2016

    In 1982, my 3 year old daughter woke one night at about 2-3 AM. She was crying as childen do when they awaken in the middle of the night. This was different however . Leigh was standing in her crib and WIDE awake . She was very frightened. Her father and I ran into to comfort her. When we asked what was wrong, she replied “Mary is here “. I asked “Mary who?”.. “Jesus’ Mother” she replied. My husband and I looked at each other and questioned her asking what Mary had said or done. Leigh insisted “she didn’t do anything, she just standing there looking at me” (at her crib). The next day we shared her experience with the people who owned the restaurant we worked, as one out friend had lost her husband in a tragic accident. Leigh did not sway her encounter no matter how “light” they tried to make the story (did she tickle you, call you silly goose . Etc to see of she would play along) Leigh remained very serious answering as she had the night before. We tried on a few more occasions to see if she changed her memory of her dream/vision. At the time I was very comforted by the thought that Jesus’ Mother was watching over her.
    Leigh died of a head injury at the play ground a few months later, 3 weeks before her 4th birthday.
    From the momen Leigh was born, she was ALWAYS special. So many including the Dr’s at the Boston hospital who delivered her at birth, came to my room asking “where is this beautiful baby that everyone in the hospital is talking about”. Dr’s who were older and had never witnessed such a “buzz” about a beautiful baby.
    I was taken back when my cousins husband, a Muslim asked at one point “why do you think she was crying?”
    I had never thought about that and try not to now. I feel lucky having an angel hopefully watching over me.

  4. Guadalupe Vanderhorst Rodriguez
    March 24, 2016

    In July 2005, I prayed for help if I should continue my relationship with my boyfriend. As our relationship grew stronger, I knew that he would ask me to marry him. I had been married before and wanted to know if I should marry again. Mother Mary appeared to me in a halo of light blue. Her voice was soft and soothing, she explained to me that this relationship was ment to be. At the end of July my boyfriend asked me to marry him and I did.

  5. Vincenzo LB
    December 22, 2015

    Next year I will go to Medjoguria because I am curious of this place There are too many people saying very good things about this place I am a Catholic and I am a firm believer My heart is open to Jesus and his mother and all the saints I read some of the comments on this site it’s sad to see that people have doubts The only thing I can say that in this world there is good and bad

  6. Michael
    December 14, 2015

    You obviously have not seen Our Lady of Czestochowska in Poland or the rendition present in Papal chapel in Rome. To besides, when did the Israelites of that era develop blue eyes? You are after all National Geographic from whom much is demanded.

  7. Silas S
    December 14, 2015

    The religious leaders placed great amounts of burden on the shoulders of ordinary people. They had very high expectations from the Messiah too, let alone the womb which bore him, expecting he would war with the Romans and would be a king bestowed with riches. The Almighty understood their reasoning and rather blessed one of the poor citizens, Mary. Jesus was for righteousness. He didn’t fight their enemies. He even performed great works for the so-called enemies understanding their human makeup or their innocence, which didn’t mean sanctions for perverts. So these people lost hope in Jesus and drove him to death. They would have been the ones who would have caused immense trouble to Mary by imposing and trying to justify their personal views. So the Almighty spoke through an Angel instead of having a human religious leader as an intercessor. It could be that they were so jealous of this woman who was given the right to bear Jesus even though she was likely to be classified as ordinary or an amharet. After Jesus’ death, they decided to bury the truth about Mary and deify her according to their personal views of what seemed ideal to please nobility and people in power.

    But the Almighty always favored the lesser ones who were worthy and innocent, the loyal or the lowly in heart. Jesus was born to parents who were poor but the nobility was probably embarrassed or were always used to granting of honor to people they praised by immediately defying them as a means of acceptance or trying to deify indirectly by way of doctrines. They wouldn’t accept Mary’s real problems, the need for her to chose to have other children, masculine or feminine, from the viewpoint of a Jewish woman. But that’s what Mary did, and now instead of going by the picture the Bible gives, they wanted to change it by what they thought were truthful interpretations about how the mother of Jesus should have been instead of who she actually was and the difficulties she actually faced as a mother and a truthful wife. I personally respect this woman for who she was, not for the fantasy of who she should have been.

  8. Una Williams
    December 14, 2015

    Beautiful article and photos, I have my own experience of Our Lady before I ever heard about Medugorje, 28 years ago, the visionaries in Medugorje were the first who described how she looked as I had seen her, I have been a passionate visitor ever since, it truly is a piece of heaven on earth but you must go there to see for yourself ☺

  9. Silas S
    December 14, 2015

    In Isaiah chapter 66 verse 1, the Almighty says, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what manner of house will ye build unto me? and what place shall be my rest?”

    There is no need for speculation. The womb is a truly wonderful organ which is capable of bearing many children, let alone the firstborn if a man and his wife so decide and the way a man reasons could be sometimes overrighteous, which is not the way the Almighty reasons.

    King David was a forefather of Joseph and Mary. By the time Jesus was born, Joseph was known only as a carpenter. No, the Holy Bible doesn’t say a word about Joseph getting married earlier, let alone having children!

    The Holy Bible doesn’t condemn any woman from having her second child or even many as long as they’re raised up responsibly. The Almighty respects the freedom of individuals to chose. The Bible doesn’t say that the Angel named Gabriel advised Mary to stop with one child.

    The main point is that when these erring religious leaders were astonished by the works of Jesus and asked if Jesus’ brothers and sisters were not among them, would they not havevknown that it would be of no use to talk about Jesus with reference to his brothers and sisters if they were not conceived in the same womb? They would not have known about Jesus’ divine origin as Mary and Joseph did but assumed his siblings to have been born to Joseph the carpenter and Mary. They were already the well-informed religious leaders who called the ordinary people amharets! In this context, they were not praising the works of Jesus but undermining what he did. So they knew that Mary had other children. I’ve mentioned the verses from the Holy Bible earlier.

  10. Sadegh Sheikh
    December 14, 2015

    Thank you Nat Geo. I read through the article and really enjoyed it. I’m glad that Nat Geo is keeping an open mind/heart, not succumbing to the fad of the day that’s zealously fighting/rejecting anything that just smells of religion.

    As a non-religious, I keep an open mind to whatever teachings from Biblical parables and symbolisms that I can make use of in my journey in life. And if anybody much ahead on the route gives me an account of her/his vision, I’d rather ponder upon that patiently instead of “escaping” it hiding behind modern bigotry and prejudice.

    I haven’t got anything to do with the keyword “proof” here. I just enjoyed the few accounts given in this article by the people who had some experience.

    Mathew 24:

    “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

    Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

    Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

    Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

  11. Georgiy
    December 13, 2015

    Someone noted earlier that the Catholic church is the only one that honours Mary, however, they forget the Orthodox Church. It was most disappointing to see that the article did not have anything about the Most Holy Theotokos within an Orthodox context. Joseph was indeed an elderly carpenter, a widower, and the bethrothed of Mary. The siblings were Joseph’s children from his first marriage. Mary’s womb contained the uncontainable. To assume that after that she had sexual relations or her womb, which was for nine months the throne of the most High, bore other children is belittling to God.

  12. Nayda Cottone-Ovadia
    December 13, 2015

    When I saw the Virgens eye follow mine I thought it was trick for everyone and when she called me by name three times, I questioned my thought. Why would she appear to me? I was s sinner, I was divorced and living with my boyfriend at that time. Why me? I thought that was a sign of schitsophrenia. I had malpracticed twice and almost died but is not until now that I realized that I was chosen then for something better jet to come. Thank you for all the posting it has reassured me that there is more than what persibe the senses.

  13. Miriam Jung
    December 13, 2015

    as a used-to-be catholic, one thing i’m sure that Maria is special, even if it could be misunderstanding or it could be superstition for someone. she has something special. she always gives the feeling of warm heart. she might not a devine figure. so i feel she is closer than the other three..

  14. Rose White
    December 13, 2015

    Jesus said: at Mark:13:22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.

    Mary is dead and in her grave waiting for Jesu sto return – this apparition was Satan as usual.

  15. Suzanne Feld
    December 13, 2015

    I am also disappointed in NatGeo. I expected a story about people who have cognitive dissonance, religious mania, or manage to make themselves believe in something that is not true. This is not the sort of story that I read NatGeo for.

  16. Wendy Purser
    December 11, 2015

    I have seen her with Jesus at her side. I was feeling severe hoplessness and she appeared to me and said “Everything will be fine”. I am not Catholic. I was filled with a feeling of strength, comfort , forgiveness and a burden lifted.

  17. Chauffeur
    December 11, 2015

    Silas – you misinterpret the word “until”.

    For example; 2Samuel 6:23 says
    “And Saul’s daughter Michal bore no children from that day on until the day she died.”

    This does note mean she had children after she died.

  18. Roger Segalin
    December 10, 2015

    Mary? Seriously? Is there some science here that I’m missing? What a waste of 30 pages. In the same issue, NGS President Gary Knell writes about expanding National Geographic’s work in science and research… I didn’t realize tracking the occurrences of “spiritual apparitions” was science! What nonsense!

  19. Silas S
    December 9, 2015

    It might appear to some that my goal was to insult Mary and Joseph. But the one with insight would be able to see more. To speculate that Joseph had another wife other than Mary isn’t respectful enough. It is better to go by what picture the Holy Bible gives without interpretation, for there is no interpretation needed in this context. The picture which the Holy Bible actually gives about Joseph and Mary would put them in peace even if they were alive today. It doesn’t make God’s out of people with human lineage (Ref: Matthew chapter 1 verses 2 to 16) but leaves their true merit intact.

    The origin of Jesus’ life is not from a human source as expressed by Matthew in chapter 1 verses 18 to 25. If Jesus had a human origin, he would have died of ageing, the result of Adamic disobedience. He would never have died in an environment conducive for the human body if not put to death, which death had been foretold in advance and recorded. In this way, it was a sacrificial death which served the cost of a ransom which would put an end to ageing and death permanently in the days to come. As he is impartial, all households would benefit. This would avoid confusion resulting from partiality which invokes disorder.

  20. Silas S
    December 9, 2015

    As Jesus had no human origin per se, it would only be appropriate to regard his brothers and sisters from Mary as half-brothers and half-sisters.

  21. Silas S
    December 9, 2015

    The Bible is simple and very clear. In ‘The brothers & sisters of Jesus in ecumenical perspective,’ The Catholic Biblical Quarterly in January 1992, J. P. Meier, (ex-president of the Catholic Bible Association of America), had already clarified the following: “In the NT adelphos, when used not merely figuratively or metaphorically but rather to designate some sort of physical or legal relationship, means only full or half-brother, and nothing else.” It’s sad to hear that Jesus’ family members, brothers & sisters half/full, likely didn’t understand him or acknowledge him like the apostles in the beginning (Ref: Mark chapter 3 verse 21), except later in Acts 1 verse 14. How can we expect their presence during his death for accusations of blasphemy? So John was entrusted with the new responsibility.

  22. Joel Fago
    December 9, 2015

    My wife and I believe that we met the Blessed Mother several times while in Medjugorje. We kept meeting a mysterious lady dressed in blue. Once she suddenly appeared in our path as we crossed what looked like at first a deserted field. My wife asked her where she was from. The lady mentioned several places around the world.

  23. Lisa
    December 8, 2015

    I was abused by my father. For years I had nightmares where he was chasing me to kill me. I went to therapy and was encouraged to imagine a safe place. To my mind there was no safe place on earth where he wouldn’t find me if he chose. One night I woke up from one of these recurring nightmares and had a locution. A woman invited me into her garden and my father came there looking for me. He looked right at the table where I was sitting but did not see me. He asked the woman if she had seen anyone go past. She said no. I realized that I was safe with this woman in a supernatural sense. I never had another nightmare of this kind again. I somehow knew this was Mary. This began my journey into the Catholic faith and Healing of the trauma I had suffered.

  24. Silas S
    December 8, 2015

    I wonder why an innocent carpenter who had no intention of remaining single would want to remain celibate all his life. The Holy Bible never says so. Show me the scripture. Prove! This appears like making Gods out of mortal beings.

    There would always have been and will be people to truly love Jesus even if Mary or Joseph weren’t practicing celibacy.

    Sex in the right context is not wrong but approval of perversion by the so called leaders makes a Christian desist the very religion which has forgotten the reason for destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as written in the cannonical texts.

    Even Peter called “the Rock” was married. He only met Jesus later in life. What’s wrong with all these people getting wedded and having a wife if even God hadn’t forbidden these men who were humble and ordinary? The scandals under the wig of celibacy is condemnable. It is apostasy. It means hypocrisy. Of course, it’s illiteracy. There is no future for such.

  25. Lion&Lamb
    December 8, 2015

    The Catholic faith has been identified by two characteristics : Faith & Reason. In understanding hidden messages within the Bible which has many layers of meanings, one has to use the reasoning faculty.
    1) Did Mary remain a virgin even after the birth of Jesus? Using reasoning, we need to first understand the concept of Jewish “marriage” or betrothal. It takes a period of several days due to travel time between spousal families coming from different towns. Mary & Joseph were truly married but before ” they lived together” i.e. consummated the marriage. That’s when in Luke 1 the angel Gabriel obtained Mary’s consent to be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit to then conceive the Son of God as explained by the angel Gabriel. This in effect ” consummates” and makes the Holy Spirit to be the TRUE SPOUSE of Mary. By logic, Mary remains the faithful spouse of the Holy Spirit thus remaining ever virgin. St. Joseph, whom according to tradition, wishing to remain celibate, though married, happily played the role of protecting Mary & Jesus as head of the Holy Family. Mary probably recluse herself i.e. kept her distance from Joseph as an earthly spouse but “knew him” in every other way except physically. To do otherwise i.e. to have earthly children with Joseph was to be unfaithful to the Holy Spirit.
    2) So did Mary have other children and who were they ( or are they). The Catholic Church has explained that at the crucifixion, Jesus need not have given her into the care of St John if there were other siblings of Christ. That is a very plausible and logical conclusion. Most answers to this question of Mary’s other children fail to quote the passage in the Book of Revelations chapter 12 :17. First read the whole chapter. It begins with ” I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed loudly, ready tobgive birth” … The chapter clearly points to the war between the woman & the ancient serpent (whom God the Father had cursed in Gen 3::15 to be the enemy of the woman whose seed will crush his head). The battle continues to this day & till the end of the times but verse 17 identifies the “rest of her offspring” as those who are believers and followers of her son Jesus. So, if you are Christian or Catholic, so long as you believe in Jesus, Mary IS your Mother by the salvation plan of God the Father. St. John the Evangelist who authors the Book of Revelations has revealed this. By logic or reason, it is the serpent, the enemy of Mary who wants to discredit her importance that we may not seek her protection as we ought. Notice too in Gen. 3:15 God the Father cursed the serpent to firstly have as his enemy, “the woman” BEFORE the SEED who is Jesus Christ. It’s a very humiliating act to have the lowly woman even higher than the once proud bright angel Lucifer thus making his hatred for her even stronger. Mary’s role is to protect the humankind like herself. She will always point us to Jesus as she did at the wedding feast of Cana. She could have asked Jesus what to tell the servants to do since they had no more wine. Instead, she told the servants to “Do as he (Jesus) tells you”. She intercedes to her Son Jesus but does not take over the role of God.
    So don’t be afraid to love Mary as Jesus loves her. Love has an emotional logic. Would Jesus be angry with His mother who appeals on our behalf? Do we approach the King for his favors by ourselves or go through his intermediary ? Did she not say “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord”? Love Mary as Jesus loved her and gave her to us to love too. Lastly, just as Mary “opens the Bible” in Genesis, she closes the Bible in Rev.22, the epilog . She is referred to as the “Bride.” This bride is with the Spirit. The Bride of Christ is the Church. Mary’s role will increase in the end times as she is the link person for major religious faiths : Judaism, Christianity & Islam.
    Mary points to the one true faith by her prophecy in Luke 1 Magnificat when she proclaims. “henceforth, all generations shall call me Blessed”. Only one Church treats her as Blessed and with greatest respect and honor as willed by God.

  26. Silas S
    December 8, 2015

    Thank you for replying so kindly. What I mentioned earlier is factually correct and is approved by yet another scripture about Joseph. Please verify Matthew chapter 1 verses 24 & 25. I have many versions pasted below. Personally, I would go for The New American Standard version. Thank you again for your earnest interest. I am sure Jesus and Mary would be happy for me reading the Holy Bible with an open mind for I respect their life of selflessness. Jesus hated the relgious leaders of his day for corrupting the scriptures but was kind enough to enlighten the lowly in heart.

    New International Version
    But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

    New Living Translation
    But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

    English Standard Version
    but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

    Berean Study Bible
    But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a Son. And he gave Him the name Jesus.

    Berean Literal Bible
    But he did not know her until she had brought forth a Son, and he called His name Jesus.

    New American Standard Bible
    but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

    King James Bible
    And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

    Holman Christian Standard Bible
    but did not know her intimately until she gave birth to a son. And he named Him Jesus.

    International Standard Version
    He did not have marital relations with her until she had given birth to a son; and he named him Jesus.

    NET Bible
    but did not have marital relations with her until she gave birth to a son, whom he named Jesus.

    Aramaic Bible in Plain English
    And he did not know her sexually until she delivered her firstborn son, and she called his name Yeshua.

    GOD’S WORD® Translation
    He did not have marital relations with her before she gave birth to a son. Joseph named the child Jesus.

    New American Standard 1977
    and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

    Jubilee Bible 2000
    and knew her not until she had brought forth her firstborn son, and he called his name Jesus.

    King James 2000 Bible
    And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

    American King James Version
    And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

    American Standard Version
    and knew her not till she had brought forth a son: and he called his name JESUS.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

    Darby Bible Translation
    and knew her not until she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

    English Revised Version
    and knew her not till she had brought forth a son: and he called his name JESUS.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    And knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born son: and he called his name JESUS.

    Weymouth New Testament
    but did not live with her until she had given birth to a son. The child’s name he called JESUS.

    World English Bible
    and didn’t know her sexually until she had brought forth her firstborn son. He named him Jesus.

    Young’s Literal Translation
    and did not know her till she brought forth her son — the first-born, and he called his name Jesus

  27. Chandra Silva
    December 8, 2015

    I have been praying hard for a long time to get a sign from mother mary so far not been successful. Hope one day my desire will materialise !

  28. Silvana
    December 8, 2015

    I dreamt of Our Lady. She is too beautiful to describe. I remember saying How beautiful you are and she disappeared in a flash second.

  29. El Gato
    December 8, 2015

    Jesus could have had half-brothers through Joseph having been married before…

  30. jim
    December 7, 2015

    How very fortunate are those who have seen Mary. They are blessed !

  31. blanche
    December 7, 2015

    I so wish I could say that I’ve seen the Blessed Mother but what I can say is when I was in Mejegoria n 1988 I clearly heard her beautiful voice tell me to look into the trees when I did I slowly so I like a many colors shining through and then I saw dance. it was something I’ll never forget I was also blessed enough to see you again in Dubrovnik. and to Silas and all your other dad is its ok to doubt and not to believe but do not speak ill of my mother on this page if you going to try go somewhere else and do it.

  32. Robert Bruce Westwater
    December 7, 2015

    I never saw her, but she was in my presence. I could smell the Bouquet of Roses. The Roses smelled more real and better than any I have ever smelled.
    This happened after a prayer to God with her acting as a messenger for me.
    Mother Mary is so special in my Heart.

  33. Jojo
    December 7, 2015

    I have not seen the Blessed Mother, but whilst I was praying and all alone, I had the opportunity to smell the most beautiful scent for a very few seconds emanating from the photo of the Blessed Mother inside my room.

  34. Philip
    December 7, 2015

    Our Lady was given to ALL of us at John 19:26-27, at the foot of the Cross. All who open their home, hearts, to her are other beloved John’s the apostle. Ad Jesum per Marium is a reality. She introduces us to her son our Lord as only a devoted mother could. This is a great grace. At the end of chapter 12 in the book of Revelation it is us who are left to do battle with the dragon. Us? Those children of the woman who obey the commandments and believe in Her Son.

    Mary is not a threat to Christians nor does she take any honor away from Jesus. On the contrary, she leads souls closer to her Son. She is below adoration which is only reserved for God. Hyper-dulia is extended honor over saints, yet always below God.
    Mary is our Mother since Jesus gave her to all who open their homes to her.
    Not just to St. John the apostle.

  35. PMPC
    December 7, 2015

    For a true photo, please see :

  36. Christine
    December 7, 2015

    I have seen the Virgin Mary in the sky her presence was outlined with a pen of light she was standing on the Earth. I looked up in awe and said Mother she answered with a shooting star right by her feet bear in mind it was still daylight outside early evening when this happened outside my work.

  37. Norma Jean
    December 7, 2015

    Even Martin Luther believed Mary remained a virgin. Joseph having died earlier, where were all the supposed “brothers and sister” as Christ was dying on the Cross? True to his Jewish upbringing and with all the love he had for his widowed mother there was no way he would leave her without someone to protect and watch over her. Hence, “John behold your mother, Mother behold your son.” So Christ himself from his cross revealed the truth of the makeup of his earthly and Holy Family.

  38. Enrique de la Vega
    December 7, 2015

    I don’t see visions of Our Lady, but I see Her through my art in sculpture, mosaic and paintings in my depictions of Her.

  39. Linda
    December 7, 2015

    Wherever Jesus is so is our Blessed Mother. At every mass. I have always had a devotion to Our Lady since I was a child. After visiting Medjugorje with my mother in 1989 I feel peace and prayer in my heart. As our Lady said at the Wedding of Cana “Do as He tells you”. I feel blessed to have this special friendship with Our Heavenly Mother who is always there for me.
    Ave Maria

  40. Sean McDermott
    December 7, 2015


    The CONSTANT teaching of the Church for the past 2,000 years is that the Blessed Virgin Mary was a Virgin before, during and after the birth of Jesus. She never had relations with St. Joseph and remains a Virgin in perpetuity. The Jewish custom of referring to close relatives as “Brothers” and “Sisters” should not be interpreted in the literal sense.

  41. Julia
    December 7, 2015

    How come protestant types like silas presume to know that true believers are not capable of honouring Mary without pretending she is Godlike. How utterly offensive, what blaspheme, how offensive to Jesus, Who told us through Saint John at Jesus Crucifixion; ‘Behold your mother.’

    Maybe protestants treat their mothers like brood mares, well Jesus loves His mother and I love her too. I know she is not God; but the woman who still loves me and you in spite of all the sin we offend her Divine Son with when we ignore His Commandments.

  42. Mike
    December 7, 2015

    More likely auto-suggestion, self delusion or mass hysteria. Human beings are very susceptible to these, especially in a state of vulnerability or expectation.

  43. Rev. Kevin Hanlon
    December 6, 2015

    I failed to say that the Greek word “adelphos” is a translation from the Aramaic word “aho”, that is “brother.” While Greek has a word for cousing, Aramaic did not; an “aho” could be a brother, or a cousing. The words of the Aramaic speaking Jesus and others had to be translated to Greek, and thus, the confusion. What is interesting in Mark is that Christ is referred to as the “Son of Mary”, and not of “Joseph”, as would normally be the case. Plus, these other “brothers” are not referred to as “children of Mary,” but simply as “aho”. Thanks for listening. Fr. Kevin Hanlon

  44. Rev. Kevin Hanlon
    December 6, 2015

    Thanks to Silas (above) for accurately representing the Protestant interpretation of Mark 6 (and there are other passages). The Greek word “adelphos” may be translated as brother, but it also encompasses cousins and other similar aged kinsfolk. The Catholic (and Orthodox) reading of this, going back to the first century, is that these referred to kinsfolk of Jesus, but not to blood brothers (Actually, the Orthodox consider them possibly the children of a widower Joseph from an earlier marriage). But both traditions held that Mary remained a Virgin from the beginning till the end. The thinking that she might not have been only enters history in the 16rh Century with the beginning of the Reformation. As the NG’s article focuses on a Catholic perspective, it is proper for them to reflect this ancient and still held position of the Catholic Church. Thanks you, Fr. Kevin Hanlon.

  45. Robert van Kuyk
    December 5, 2015

    ¿Where are your pictures of the Light of the Virgin? I have many Miracle Pictures with the Light of the Blessed Virgin: http://www.ecoteoveg.org

  46. Silas S
    December 3, 2015

    From what I have read from the Holy Bible with an open mind, it is understandable that the habit of deifying individuals of human lineage was common, at least among erring Jews in ancient history. Perhaps that is why Moses’ body wasn’t made available to them after his death. Jesus respected his mother Mary but didn’t want her to be deified either, as in the case of Moses. Being righteous enough, he didn’t want people to pay more than the usual attention to Mary however appropriate or justifiable it might have ever seemed to be. (Reference: Luke chapter 11 verses 27 & 28.)

    What is surprising is that the Holy Bible is transparent about other things too: Mary abstained from sex until Jesus’ birth. But Mark 6 verses 1 to 4 gives a clue as to Mary’s other children, both sexes, which she bore to Joseph, although the names of Jesus’ sisters aren’t mentioned in this context.

  47. Jack
    December 3, 2015

    I am desperate to get a sight but till now have only seen a slight glimpse, perhaps.

  48. Julio Galindo
    December 3, 2015

    Ask yourself, if you are looking for so called proof, how the image of the Mother of God can possibly be superimposed almost 500 years ago on a simple piece of cloth via a nuclear sun burst like transmission? Ask the scientists to explain that one to you….

  49. Scientist
    December 3, 2015

    No, I have not seen.

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