Friday, May 14, 2010

Marian Apparitions or Pagan Feminine Dieties ?

Ancient civilizations were marked with shrines and temples. Worshippers of pagan dieties performed acts of self-flaggelation, crawling on the knees, and made pilgrimages to temples.

Roman rituals was marked by similar traits.When the empire collapsed, it morphed into the Roman Catholic Church.And so did the Roman dieties and rituals.

Fast forward to the 21st century...

The Marian Shrine at Fatima, Portugal is more of a reflection of ancient rituals than Biblically prescribed worship. Greg Burke describes the modern day ritual practiced at Fatima:

Fatima: Prayer, Penance, Burning Body Parts by Greg Burke

"You can buy a lot of gaudy religious trinkets at shrines around the world, but the sanctuary of Fatima, in Portugal, offers some of the weirdest: body parts.

They may be made of wax, but they’re still body parts.

This is strange, because Fatima isn’t even known as a place for miraculous cures, such as Lourdes, in France.

But there they are, hanging outside the tourist shops: legs, arms, ears, heads, hips, intestines and even breasts (1.50 Euros for one; 2.50 for a full set). The stores also sell wax models of small children.

People looking for relief from their ailments try to chuck the figures into a bonfire, even though sanctuary officials say the fire is for candles only.

Officially, the sanctuary doesn’t want people bringing the body parts, but there’s not much it can do as long as the souvenir shops keep selling them."

It may be shocking to learn that a similar rituals were practiced 1000 years before the Christendom era. Miranda Aldhouse Green reports at British Archaelogy:

Pilgrimage, for most of us, is so firmly associated with medieval and modern Christian Europe, that it comes as something of a shock to learn of its origins in pre-Christian Roman times. We may discover, eventually, that its roots go even deeper.

...Roman pilgrimage involved a journey. It required self-dedication and hardship. It was focused on physical as much as spiritual healing, and this was achieved through the donation of votive and thank-offerings and the wearing of particular types of clothing and emblems. Pilgrims purchased souvenirs at the shrine and carried them home - just as devotees do today at Fatima in Portugal, Greek Tinos, or Lourdes in southern France.

...My recent study of the finds from Fontes Sequanae, a remote sanctuary in Burgundy at the source of the River Seine, has produced overwhelming evidence that it was a healing centre and pilgrimage destination between the 1st-3rd centuries AD.

This Roman healing shrine was dedicated to the Celtic goddess Sequena. Metal body parts, and whole body shapes were placed in a pot that was inscribed with the name of the goddess in hopes of healing.

From From other surviving inscriptions it would seem that Sequana's sanctuary was usurped by Christianity and re-dedicated to a supposed male saint, St Sequanus so that the healing cult of the goddess continued, only in a different guise.

Mary of Rome is called The Queen of Heaven. That title, found in the Bible, referred to a pagan goddess.

From Got The Cult of Isis, an Egyptian mother-goddess religion, was absorbed into Christianity by replacing Isis with Mary. Many of the titles that were used for Isis, such as “Queen of Heaven,” “Mother of God,” and “theotokos” (God-bearer) were attached to Mary. Mary was given an exalted role in the Christian faith, far beyond what the Bible ascribes to her, in order to attract Isis worshippers to a faith they would not otherwise embrace. Many temples to Isis were, in fact, converted into temples dedicated to Mary. The first clear hints of Catholic Mariology occur in the writings of Origen, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, which happened to be the focal point of Isis worship.

Travel back in time and to the west and find another example of a pagan feminine diety co-opted by Roman Catholicism.

Mexico City- The shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe venerates the appartion of Mary to a humble Indian peasant.

In December 9, 1531, Juan Diego,was crossing the hill of Tepeyac just north of present day Mexico City that — it is said— a beautiful shining woman miraculously appeared to him.

Declaring herself to be the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ, she called Juan her son. He reported his vision to Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, who demanded additional evidence of the divine apparition.

On December 12 then, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac, where the Virgin told him to gather roses where none had grown previously. Then, when the Indian delivered the roses to the Bishop, the image of the Virgin Mary miraculously appeared on his cloak. This has been taken as proof positive of the apparition.

Ever since the 16th century the tilma or cloak of Juan Diego displaying the image of the Virgin has been the focus of veneration by generations of devout Mexican Catholics as an actual physical artifact of a divine occurrence. Numerous claims are made in favor of its authenticity.

The hill where the event occured was the same location where the ancient temple to the Aztec goddess Tonantzin (Our Revered Mother) stood. It was later destroyed by the Spanairds.

Spanish missionaries believed Mesoamerican gods and goddesses were manifestations of the Devil.

Even today, exorcists are part of the Vatican' apparation investigation teams.

See related article, Exorcists Disagree on Source of Marion Apparition .

Learn more about the Mary of Rome.

See also The Marian Apparitions: Are they biblical and should you submit to them?

If you are Roman Catholic, please hear what a former 22 year priest wants you to know at The Berean Beacon.

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