"The Search for Mary", Time Magazine's 1991 year-end cover story, seriously examines the "grass-roots revival of faith in the Virgin ... taking place world-wide," including the many "claimed sightings of the Virgin, from Yugoslavia to Colorado, in the past few years." The article reports on the increasing number of people visiting Marian pilgrimage sites around the world: Lourdes, France; Fatima, Portugal; Knock, Ireland; Czestochowa; Poland; and Emmitsburg, Maryland. But it says that the "boom at such long-established sites is almost overshadowed by the cult of the Virgin that has developed through new reports of her personal appearances." Medjugorje is discussed, as are other reported visitations: in Cuapa, a small town in Nicaragua, in 1980 (President Violeta Chamorro is reportedly a firm believer in the appearances); in the Ukraine in 1987; and more recently in Denver, Colorado, and Santa Ana, California.

The article also refers to Pope John Paul II's devotion to Mary. The Pope believes that the Virgin Mary personally interceded to spare his life during an assassination attempt in 1981, and that, in accordance with the Fatima prophecies of 1917, Mary brought an end to Communism throughout Europe. The article further states that the Virgin Mary's renewed popularity throughout the world has spawned new interpretations of her life and works which challenge traditional notions such as the Immaculate Conception.

The photo ( above right ), was taken by a woman from New Jersey while on holiday in Arizona. She had asked her husband to stop their car when, driving through the desert, she saw a distinctive bush covered with white flowers. Her husband did not see the flowers. On the picture they cannot be seen either, but in their place is the unmistakable image of the Madonna.


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