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Scientific studies performed on private revelations and visionaries

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Scientific studies performed on private revelations and visionaries are science experiments done during or after a private revelation has happened, and upon visionaries claiming to receive private revelations, in order to test the veracity of the claim of the alleged supernatural phenomena.

Catholic Church[edit]

The Catholic Church does not demand belief in any private revelation,[1] but does teach that its bishops have the right and duty to study them in order "to preserve the integrity of the truths of faith and morals."[2]

Private revelations[edit]

Eucharistic miracles[edit]

According to The Catholic Herald, in 1971 Odoardo Linoli, a professor of anatomy, analyzed the flesh of the Miracle of Lanciano and found it have blood type AB. The Catholic Herald also reports that the Corporal of Bolsena was tested and found to have the same blood type.[3]

Solar miracles[edit]

During the Miracle of the Sun that occurred on October 13, 1917, Dr. Almeida Garrett, PhD of Coimbra University, fearing he was suffering eye problems while looking at the Sun because everything appeared purple, turned his back to the Sun, closed his eyes, and put his hands over his face. When he reopened his eyes, he saw the landscape was still purple.[4]

Miraculous images[edit]

The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe has been studied by the painter Miguel Cabrera in 1751 and 1752;[5] by the painter José Antonio Flores Gómez in 1947 and 1973;[6] by the biophysicist, USDA entomologist, and NASA consultant Philip Callahan in 1979;[7] and by the former director of the Center for the Conservation and Listing of Heritage Artifacts of the National Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico City José Sol Rosales in 1982.[8] Their findings include:

Miguel Cabrera (1751-1752) Jose Gomez (1947 and 1973) Philip Callahan (1979) Jose Rosales (1982)
Material is soft like silk and is as a weave of palm threads Material is something like cotton Material is hemp or linen
No primer No primer Tilma is primed
Immaculate preservation, no additions or flaking Additions have been made, flaking is visible Good preservation, additions have been made, flaking is visible Additions have been made, flaking is visible
No varnish No varnish No varnish No varnish
Various processes of painting: oil, tempera, gouache and fresco Pigments and binding consistent with 16th century processes


Bernadette Soubirous[edit]

Dr. Dozous, a witness of the seventeenth Lourdes apparition on April 17, 1858, saw Bernadette Soubirous accidentally engulf her left hand in the flame of the candle she was holding during a religious ecstasy. He took out his watch to time the event and noticed that the flame did not burn Bernadette's hand for the whole hour she was kneeling. She stood up and left the site of the apparition, but the flame still did not burn her left hand. After the candle was taken away, Dr. Dozous made Bernadette stretch out her left hand and put the same candle under it several times, each time Bernadette quickly pulling back and complaining of the fire burning her.[9]

See also[edit]

  • Eucharistic miracle
  • Marian apparition
  • List of private revelations approved by the Catholic Church
  • Maravilla Americana


  1. Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, 14
  2. Code of Canon Law, can. 823
  3. Nick Hallett (15 June 2017). "How Eucharistic miracles show Christ's blood type". Catholic Herald. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  4. EWTN: Sixth Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima
  5. Cabrera, Miguel: Maravilla Americana y conjunto de varias maravillas observadas con la direccíon de las reglas del arte de la pintura en la prodigiosa imagen de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Mexico, 1756, facs. ed. Mexico, 1977; summary in Brading, D.A.: Mexican Phoenix: Our Lady of Guadalupe: Image and Tradition Across Five Centuries, Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 169–172
  6. Vera, Rodrigo: "Un restaurador de la guadalupana expone detalles técnicos que desmitifican a la imagen", Revista Proceso N° 1343, July 27, 2002, pp. 17–18, cf. [1]
  7. Callahan, Philip: "The Tilma under Infrared Radiation", CARA Studies in Popular Devotion, vol. II, Guadalupan Studies, No. III (March 1981, 45pp.), Washington, D.C.; cf. Leatham, Miguel (2001). "Indigenista Hermeneutics and the Historical Meaning of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Mexico," Folklore Forum, Google Docs. pp. 34–35.
  8. Vera, Rodrigo: "el análisis que ocultó el vaticano", Revista Proceso N° 1333, May 18, 2002; cf. [2] and cf. idem, "manos humanas pintaron la guadalupana", Revista Proceso N° 1332, May 11, 2002, cf. [3][dead link]
  9. BiographyOnline: Bernadette Soubirious

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