Over the past 500 years, the number of reported Marian apparitions is somewhere in the thousands, although the Vatican has authenticated fewer than 20. Such a wide gap indicates how the Catholic Church exercises not just caution but vigorous detective work in its investigations.

In the links below for reflections in the Faith Alive series by Catholic News Service, explore how Mary’s apparitions call all people to believe in Christ.

Marian apparitions: Determining what is ‘worthy of belief’

Miraculous Medal reminds us to stay close to Jesus

Devotion to Mary stems from earliest days of the church