Our Lady of the Nations is a detailed and scholarly overview of the apparitions of Mary in 20th-century Catholic Europe. Chris Maunder discusses apparitions in general and how they are interpreted in Catholicism by, for example, Karl Rahner and Benedict XVI. The role of women and children as visionaries is considered, including issues concerning changing views of gender, children's spirituality, and the protection of minors. He covers cases that are well
known and approved by the Church (Fatima, Beauraing, Banneux, and Amsterdam), others that are well known but not approved (such as Garabandal and Medjugorje), and many that are neither well known nor approved, such as those in Belgian Flanders or Nazi Germany in the 1930s, or in France, Italy, or Germany after
the Second World War. Resources include academic studies of particular apparitions, some Catholic theological and devotional literature, and occasionally travel writing. There is also coverage of material in French which is not known to the English reader.
Shrines and visionaries are believed to be indicators of the presence of Mary. In the visionary perspective, she has appeared in order to reassure her followers and to warn of divine judgement. Her messages echo doctrinal Catholic Mariology with some innovations, but also express a deep dissatisfaction with the events and trends of the 20th century, from communism to Nazism to liberalism and religious indifference. While the Marian cult evolves according to new templates for
apparitions and developments in Mariology, the fundamental message of presence, consolation, and admonition remains constant.
Chris Maunder is a senior lecturer in Theology & Religious Studies at York St John University; he has worked there as Head of Department and Head of both B.A. and M.A. programmes, but is now semi-retired. Since completing a PhD at the University of Leeds in 1991, he has written several articles on the European apparitions of Mary. Whilst being a scholar of Catholic popular religion in his professional life, he is also passionate about Marian shrines as a personal interest, visiting them across Europe and helping to maintain his local shrine, a 15th-century rock chapel in Knaresborough, Yorkshire.
Preface ; List of Illustrations ; 1. Introduction ; 2. Immaculate and Sorrowful Mary: Apparitions 1830-1917 ; 3. Sister Lucia's Narrative of War and Peace ; 4. Catholic Interpretations ; 5. Women as Visionaries ; 6. Children as Visionaries ; 7. Basque Raggle-Taggle: Ezkioga ; 8. Between the Wars: the Belgian Visionary Epidemic ; 9. 'When the Gestapo Hounded the Apparitions': Mary in Nazi Germany ; 10. Hearts and Nations: Visionary Women as Popular Theologians ; 11. The Cold War and the Marian Cult ; 12. Vatican II: Visionary Reactions to Change in the Church? ; 13. Medjugorje: the Queen of Peace and a Civil War ; 14. Grottos, Statues, and Visions in Ireland ; 15. The 1980s: Italy, Spain, France, and England ; 16. Conclusion ; Bibliography