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date: 17 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Hundreds of apparitions of the Virgin Mary have been reported in the past two centuries and apocalyptic warnings of imminent divine judgement are a prominent feature of these visions. Emerging in the nineteenth century, the prophecies associated with such apparitions assert that Mary is appearing as part of an unfolding end-times plan in order to avert the apocalypse and battle the forces of evil, identified variously as secularism, modernism, communism, and other perceived threats to traditional Roman Catholic faith. This Marian apocalyptic worldview, especially influenced by the Fátima visions, was elaborated upon in subsequent apparitions throughout the Cold War era, particularly those at Medjugorje, resulting in an established apparitional tradition that flourishes today. Modern Marian apparitions express a form of avertive apocalypticism, with Mary appearing as divine intercessor and compassionate Mother, attempting to save humanity from apocalyptic chastisements through the renewal of devotion and adherence to her divine directives.

Keywords: Avertive apocalypticism, apparitions, chastisement, Cold War, Fátima, Medjugorje, Marian devotion, Roman Catholicism, Virgin Mary

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