Catholic Dictionary




Supernatural manifestations made to a particular person since apostolic times. They are distinct from visions and apparitions, properly so called, in which objects are seen but not necessarily understood. When what is seen is also understood, it becomes a revelation, although revelations can be received directly in the mind without sensory images of any kind. When the Church approves certain private revelations, as those of St. Margaret Mary (1647-90) or St. Bernadette Soubirous (1844-79), they are to be accepted on the Church's judgment, but they are not part of divine faith.