Why do they say it’s the Virgin Mary?

The window image in Subang Jaya: throngs came to worship

A familiar image to Catholics: the Blessed Virgin Mary as depicted in religious art

The throngs of devout Catholics who have turned up at the Subang Jaya medical centre in worshipful devotion of an image on the seventh-floor window seem convinced, or willing to accept as a matter of faith, that they are witnessing an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Historically, hundreds of such apparations have been reported — but the church has recognised only those of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Laus, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, La Salette, Pontmain, Fatima, Beauraing, Banneux, Our Lady of Akita, and Lourdes. See » About Marian apparitions» Marian devotions and apparitions

Why do people say it is an image of the Virgin Mary?

The “image” is said to have been on that window for several months: if true, it means no one made anything of it until someone on Saturday perceived it as an image of the Virgin Mary. Most Catholics have a mental image of how the Virgin Mary would be depicted – this mental image is based on the religious art that abounds in Catholicism, and the images of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary that are found in most Catholic homes.

But how do they know what she looks like?

There are no written descriptions of the Virgin Mary or contemporary illustrations from her own time. However, a huge body of religious art exists, most of it from Europe where Christianity took hold. Thousands of artists have created their own representations, or their interpretations of the physical appearance of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary.

Those Catholics who come to pray outside SDMC would, at a glance, recognise the similarity between the shape on the seventh-floor window and the familiar depiction of the Virgin Mary on religious art they see in the form of cards, paintings, posters, statues, and the stained-glass windows of churches, as well as in Marian literature. Some examples of Marian religious art:

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What the church says about apparitions

from the Catholic encyclopedia
The Church knows that, historically, most purported apparitions — whether of Mary, Jesus, an angel, or one of the saints — have been spurious. In the Middle Ages, and even before, there were reports of saints appearing, but the authenticity of most of those very early apparitions, as with so many since, relies, as a rule, exclusively on the credibility of the seer, something not easy to judge at a millenium’s remove.

Apparitions have occurred, and they are nothing new with our times. But we need to approach each purported apparition with caution. We must always be ready to abandon a purported apparition if the Church rules against it or if there’s anything fishy about it.
Catholic Library – quick questions

Do Catholics all believe in apparitions?

from the Catholic encyclopedia
No private revelation is binding in conscience on anyone except the person to whom it is given. You can be a perfectly good Catholic and pay no attention at all even to apparitions which really occurred. If you don’t believe in them, or if you do believe in them but don’t pay attention to them, you aren’t guilty of any sin. You are bound to believe and follow all general revelation, but general revelation ended with the death of the last apostle, commonly believed to be John the Evangelist, who died near the year 100.
Catholic Library – quick questions


32 thoughts on “Why do they say it’s the Virgin Mary?

  1. Christians’ faith should not be affected by whether they see miracles or not, worse still to bow or kneel and pray to idols/images, what’s the difference between them and other idol worshipers?

  2. Fred.
    This shows you do not understand the catholic religion especially regarding the Virgin Mary. Catholics will never say they worship Mother Mary or other idols, they revere her as the mother of Christ and that they equate Mary to all mothers.
    I presume you are a protestant and if you are I won’t be surprised.
    FRED, you are free to believe or disbelieve what you want but please leave others who don.t talk and think like you, to their beliefs.
    You think you are right so be it and good luck to you for yours is the kingdom of heaven(that’s what you believe)
    If others think they are right let them be for theirs is also the kingdom of heaven (that’s what they believe). THINK ABOUT IT!

  3. in all of thr images of Mothe rMary, she wears a headscarf. There is none that shows her without a head scarf. surely this is not a fashion, but a religious statement of dressing. wonder why the christian women all over the world (eccept the nuns) do not follow her/

    • How silly is silly? Why is it silly border you so much? I presume that you probably experience so much silliness in your life, therefore you come to understand silly perhaps do you?

  4. Why do the faithful take the image, as a matter of faith, to be Mother Mary? Hmm, I thought it was obvious. Religion and the belief of god IS a matter of faith, even among the more rational of religions and religionists.
    Meaning? A suspension of disbelief. The temperance of intellect. A belief in something beyond the five senses. Sometimes the heart knows what the mind can only guess at. But tis also a road fraught with perils and little paths unto ignorance.

  5. Whatever it is on the SDMC window panel, it cannot be called an apparition, only an IMAGE.

    Marian apparitions in history have always been alive and speaking to a ‘chosen few’. All the recognised apparitions throughout history have delivered messages.

    Thus far, what we have on the SDMC window is what we think is a Marian image.

    While there is talk that Marian apparitions have heralded upheavals of any kind, what has been common in all the Marian apparitions is that they have unequivocally brought about the inner spiritual conversion of millions of people of all faiths, especially via prayerful pilgrimages from all over the world.

    What’s happening at the Sime Darby Medical Centre in Subang Jaya, Selangor, is that hordes of people of different faiths are coming there to pray, in a wave of upheavals of the soul. God bless.

  6. this is reply to abahaziq…I do believe Mother Mary’s dressing is not a religious statement. Mother Mary & Jesus were from the Middle Eastern countries. The dressing at that time and place was such and that is why Mother Mary is dressed as she has always been. As for the image of Mother Mary’s appearance at SDMC, it is one’s one own faith & belief. Most of of us do not know the in-depths of another religion except our own and fail to understand a lot of things but what they see and assume. For those making negative, insulting and mocking comments, please do refrain from doing so, If you do not believe, so be it, the simple faith of the believers is not causing any harm or injury to anyone.
    BTW, Catholics DO NOT WORSHIP Mother Mary, we REVERE her as the Mother of Christ, her life being an example for us to follow. Catholics DO NOT PRAY TO her but we PRAY THROUGH her asking her help and intercession to pray for us. Just like a child would ask his or her mother to ask his or her father for something.

  7. Sime Darby is doing a very silly thing by removing the window pane with the apparition to a Church in Klang.

    The apparition, which will not last anyway, appeared at the Hospital and should remain there until it disappears.

    By removing the window pane with the apparition to the Church, what guarantee is there that it will not still remain at the Hospital.

    The last major appearance of the apparition of our Lady was a year before the civil war in Bosnia Herzegovina.

    The lesson to be drawn from the apparition is this: pray for your sins to be forgiven.

    However, it’s written in the Bible that God will not forgive our sins unless we first seek forgiveness from our brethern and forgive those who have trespassed against us.

    No one can enter the gates of heaven unless his sins have been forgiven.

    I am not preaching anything.

    Just citing from the history of previous apparitions.

    The appearance of the apparition shows that people in that area are very troubled.

    I have been looking at the Bible again since taking up Law.

  8. They removed it because of those who actually need medical attention will not be bogged down by the crowd gathering at SDMC to view the image. SDMC did the right thing. Have you seen the traffic jam there ?Imagine if someone genuinely needs medical help here..

  9. Funny, I honestly thought the article was going to discuss why Mary is called Virgin Mary. When she obviously had other children after the birth of Jesus 🙂

  10. Religious people simply get excited over nothing. An image is seen and presumed to be of Mary, when there is no actual picture of Mary to compare. Why should this caracter come and what can she do as she is dead when she could not help manking when she was alive. How does this seeing an image from time to time of a european women help mankind, it only fires people so that the church can hava resurgence and make more money. This sort of nonsense leaves a question mark about how naive we are. We have had religion on earth for about 10000 years and all it has done is make wars, hatred, suffering, abuse and divide humans. Thus life has become a series of suffering; look at where we are heading to, wars, hunger and absolute suffering. The god of religion has been absent for thousands of years. Strangely the ancient people saw him, wrote about him left the world suffering in their own way. If fear is the object scaring us to look for answers, why not look at fear itself instead of turning to some illusion for help. There are always issues about religious people, look at PAS and their hudud nonsense, these peolpe think that they are representatives of God and as far as I am concerned these people are all insane. A person is regarded insane when he believes in things that have no connections with reality. Isn’t it seer insanity to believe fanciful looking gods and imaginary gods.

    • Hi Shadaan Im quoting your own word

      “Supressed victim of religious idealogy and the supressed will become the supressors eventually.”

      I hope you are not one of the victim that is being supressed before, which then experienced being a supressors too… which then finally become freethinker.

    • Joseph, I am just trying to help people like you to think clearly and not live like fools in this world. You are conditioned to think like a zombie by this religious pepetrators. Just want to educate you about the fact that the god of religions is not God.

    • wow Shadan I am intrested to know more of what sort of god is the true god you are talking about, it sound to me that you are link directly to god to tell the true god… ?

    • Joseph, God or the creator is unknown. According to Einstein we live in the universe of time and space. Three part space and one part time, my question to you, is God part of time and space or is the creator out of time and space. Try answering this question and you might get some wisdom. The god of religion or Jesus is not the creator God, People like are stuck in a box and think inside the box, try comming out of the box maybe you could be free to think.

    • Hi Shadan, “According to Einstein we live in the universe of time and space. Three part space and one part time”. I’m quoting your own word above; though you have indicated your non-stand about who god is “God or the creator is unknown”. This indicate me that you do not have any idea of who god was, is and will be, followed with your question on me “is God part of time and space or is the creator out of time and space”? All the above I need not them. My early question to you was since you seem to be talking very “big” on what others belief which not a concern to you I suppose, yet you dare to disqualify others belief on god they consider as a true god for them.

      Now Shadaan I am not going to buy your question to me, what I need you to tell me is since you know that the god of the religion is not the real god as you claim. Then can you please tell me which god is real which you sound “knowing the real god”? I ought an answer from you and you should not return by asking question to me, but ought to provide me and others the fact that qualify you claim that “the god of the religion is not real”.

    • The question of which god is does not arise but the fact is if there was a god, the gods of religions is definately not god. I am trying to tell you that there is god abuse in religion and if it is not true then you prove it to me. To answer your question I will start with the fact that most people believe that God exists and religion is God’™s revelation. But some claim that religion needs nothing supernatural; that religion, without God, can flourish because personal psychology and group sociology drive religion. The universe is there to look at; either it is something or nothing. If it is something then god must exist and if it is nothing then there is no necessity for god to exist. There was a possible a first cause and all creation is the effect.
      Either God is a necessary being and he exist or he’s not a necessary being and does not exist, There has been an untold human and animal suffering on this earth for eons and eons, evil seem to be the creator. Religions tell us that God was the creator and in that case he has not created a just world for habitation. There may be many ways to have planned a better world for us and group of rational humans could have planned a better life for inhabitants on earth. Human empathy and compassion seem to have more sympathy than the creators’ compassion. I am puzzled as to the magnitude of suffering on earth and it proves that the creator God is absent or non-existent. This comes to the god of religion if it makes sense. However the existence of God has many questions and the fact since god is not revealed then it becomes a bigger question about existence of God. I do not know what god is. I believe that all religions are based on god as the creator with mere speculations and probabilities based on politics power and control.. Religions are able to flourish driven by personal psychology and group thinking that drive religion as the information from God the creator. The conclusions as to what form religions have taken shape and how it has progressed has been based on consensus and politics. The input has come as per group conditioning, influences, gender biases, control, and abuse with money as the main factor. And that God is a necessary being. I hope God exist.

  11. OMG Shadaan, How ill informed you are….Mary is NOT European but Middle Eastern. War & destruction has happened in every religion. It is not religion that causes war but rather the desire of selfish humans to rule and conquer and be one step above the others. God made all man equal. From your statements, is it safe for me to assume that you do not believe in any relgion?

    • Of course Mary is not europeon but the figures shown of Mary and even Jesus in all countries is europeon looking and that is why I made a sacastic comment. I live in the west like to remind you that middle eastern people do not look like what the statues and pictures depict. Religion is divisive and non factual therefore shelfish humans who are the followers and keepers of the religion, find the material in their books for reasons to create wars and oppression. Religions be they Muslim, Christian Sikh or Hindu are fundamentally violent. As one goes deep into their religious literature it is about controlling, violence, division, selfishness and more. The god that is explained in their literature is all of the above..
      You must be an ignorant person to simply say that war and destruction has happened in every religion, something you seem to be not concerned about. People like you with you simple mind must be a supressed victim of religious idealogy and the supressed will become the supressors eventually.

    • Many must be hoping so, but for that to happen, I think there must be independent testimony about her appearing to people, not just the sighting of an image.

  12. Pingback: Waiting for statement on Virgin Mary image « uppercaise

  13. Shadaan, you must indeed be a learned person and must definitely have read and studied in depth about each and every religion and its literature to strongly state that every religion is fundamentally violent. If that be so, I do apologize for the millions of ‘simple minded’, ‘ignorant’ people around the world who believe that every religion talks of and propagates peace.
    One to his own thoughts and beliefs.

    • Betty I am , appauled that a person like you will suggest that religion talks of and propogates peace. Look at the world for thousands of years and the wars and abuse that was popogated by religion, I suggest you read about the history of all the religions. I will give you some examples of violence with the catholics, muslims, and the jews, they all are supposed to belong to the people of the book. Hitler was a catholic and he turned out to be the greatest murderer in history, he murdered 6 million jews gypsies and others. Hitler was a devout and practicing catholic. When the germans lost the war the officers were wisked away secretly to south america which are catholic countries and the medusa files tell you that the Vatican was responsible for this move and it was the transit point for all the killers from Germany. During the 13th century France was a catholic country and many people started to turn a religion called the agnostics. The catholic church of France massacred hundred of thousands of people and wiped out the agnostics. The only difference between catholics and agnostics were, the catholics believed that Jesus was the son of God and the agnostics differed this belief. The jews who were slaves were released from egypt, the red sea opened which is a joke. They travelled and moses met God as a tree on fire, this is how the creator of the universe looks like for your information. They went to some land promised to them and god told them to take the land and if there is opposition smite the opposers their women, their children and their animals and this was the god that promised them a piece of land. Even a human heart has more compassion than this god. The muslims have lots of violence in their history, please look it up. People are simple minded because they have been lied to all their lives by religious leaders. I suggest you read about mother Teresa of India when her letters to her Bishop ware released on the internet, what she said will shock you. She talks about the fact that there was no God or Jesus in her life it was an illusion. Religions are filthy rich and is God the object of a religion or money, it seems like money taken from the followers and horded for their own needs. All this lies towards simple minded people is violence against them. Fooling and lying to someone or bullying is voilence. I hope your simple mind has learned something, you do not have to be a learned just open your eye wider to see facts and truth.

  14. I totally agree with Gerard Errol de Cruz’s statement above that the “apparition” is indeed an image. It is wrong to called it an “apparition”. If I may add, how sure are we lay Catholics, to claim that it is the image of Mother Mary and not something else? It is good to have faith in our religion, but not blind faith, mind you! We should be clear about these things. I am sure Mother Mary wouldn’t want you all to keep guessing at her identity!

    • I had faith in my parents because I saw them, felt them and lived with them. How would one have faith in a speculative fact and a belief system that was narrated thousands of years ago? To me all faith has to be blind. This blind faith seem to have no end it started over 6000 years ago and is still only faith and not fact for generations of people. The trouble with faith is we become unable to look, think with a rational, free, and open mind because we get conditioned and comfortable with what we are told and become brain dead siting on a dead subject. Generations after us will do the same unless we break away from this word called faith.

    • Thanks for responding to my opinion. I strongly believe that faith need not necessarily be blind for the simple reason that we have our mental faculty to guide us in everything we do. All of us (humans) are created and blessed with this faculty and it is only proper to use it accordingly as intended. Reasoning should override emotions which can be destructive at times. I also believe there is a limit to faith and when the barrier is crossed, it may do more harm than good to the individual concerned and to society at large. This is where “extremism” or “fanaticism” sets in.

  15. Coming back to the main topic, there are many Catholics and non-Catholics alike who believed the image to be the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary). This is their prerogative because they may have some personal encounters/experiences which only they themselves know and feel deep in their hearts. This is where faith comes to play. It is not right for anyone to question them.

    As for me, I would rather wait for the ruling from the church which sets very strict criteria on these matters. Kindly refer to “What the church says about apparitions” above. For the info of non believers and skeptics, the Catholic church had advised her followers of the “need to approach each purported apparition with caution. We must always be ready to abandon a purported apparition if the Church rules against it or if there’s anything fishy about it”.
    -Catholic Library.

    As with all blogs, there is always a tendency for SOMEBODY to deviate from the main topic. I would suggest that one should go into another more suitable forum to expound whether “there is a God or no God” and argue till kingdom come! May God bless and guide you.

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