Alongside Fatima, the appearances of the Virgin Mary in the village of Zeitoun near Cairo, Egypt from 1968-1972 are undoubtedly among the most important Marian apparitions in history. The most remarkable aspect of these visitations of the Virgin Mary is that unlike other apparitions, which are usually only seen by a select few visionaries, the appearances of Our Lady at Zeitoun were fully visible to everyone present - regardless of religious persuasion. And the estimated number of witnesses - at over a million people, means that these were the most widely seen Marian apparitions in the entire history of the Church. In the earlier posts on this subject (e.g. Our Lady of Light and the Apocalyptic Nativity), we noted how these apparitions appeared in locations traditionally associated with the flight of the Holy Family from King Herod's slaughter of the Holy Innocents. Given the fact that Our Lady began to appear in Egypt during the exact month of the implementation of the UK Abortion Act in April 1968 (which opened the floodgates to abortion in the Western world, culminating in Roe vs Wade in 1972), we are left with the inevitable conclusion that the entire raison d'etre of these apparitions was as a heavenly witness against the introduction of this modern day slaughter of the innocents. When we look at some of the other Church approved Marian apparitions of the 20th century, we find that they were similarly timed to coincide with major world events that would ultimately result in worst cases of genocide the world has ever known. The Miracle of the Sun occurred in the same month as the rise of the militantly atheistic Soviet regime in October 1917 (the dangers of which were warned of in the Second Secret), while the apparitions of Our Lady at Banneux in Beligium appeared in the very same month that Hitler rose to power in Germany, in January 1933. Just as Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico in 1531 to prevent the ritual human sacrifice that pervaded the indigenous religions of South America (earning her the title Protectress of the Unborn), the Virgin Mary appeared at the exact moment industrialised slaughter of unborn children began in the once-Christian Western world. The fact that she chose to appear in the very location of her own flight from King Herod's massacre of the infant children of Bethlehem, in a manner which exactly conforms to the prophecy of the flight of the Woman Adorned with the Sun in the Book of Revelation (suggesting that a second flight of Our Lady to Egypt would take place at the approach of the end time), doubly reaffirms the purpose of these apparitions.
While the significance of the apparitions at Zeitoun are greatly overlooked, there are many good resources to these Church approved apparitions available online. You can find some documentary clips on Youtube that give a brief overview of the events at Zeitoun, which I have posted below:
There are two short books on this subject which are freely available on the Zeitoun website which I will link to here. The first, Our Lord's Mother Visits Egypt in 1968-1969 is written by Pearl Zaki, who witnessed these events first hand. The second is the more widely circulated When Millions Saw Mary by Francis Johnston. But sadly, the most popular works on this subject have failed to make the connection between the timing of these apparitions and the introduction of abortion in the Christian west - a coincidence which was only first noted in Unveiling the Apocalypse.
I was prompted to revisit these apparitions in light of the deeply unsettling news that the first abortion clinic in Ireland is about to be opened right here in Belfast today by Marie Stropes International, allowing a private company to profiteer from the slaughter of unborn children (read the Belfast Telegraph article on this story here). While abortion remains illegal in the Republic of Ireland, where Catholic teaching still thankfully has a great deal of influence on such matters, the six counties of Northern Ireland are controlled by the British government - which was the first western nation to sponsor this great evil. Up until now, the Abortion Act did not extend to cover Northern Ireland and abortion clinics here were non-existent. Women from Ireland wishing to procure an abortion were forced to travel abroad - providing a difficult and costly obstacle which helped to save countless lives. Now that this abortion mill has been established here in Belfast, it opens access to abortion for women from the Republic of Ireland also, effectively granting the entire island easy access to the extermination of its own children.
We can only pray that this utterly abhorrent practise will be overturned. That the eyes of the mothers of these children will be opened to the realisation of their actions and recoil from the true horror of what they are about to inflict. I would particularly like to invoke Our Lady of Zeitoun for the protection of these innocent and completely defenceless lives, here, and throughout the world. And in Ireland, I would like to beseech Our Lady of Knock, whose appearances parallel the Zeitoun apparitions in many ways.
Like Our Lady of Zeitoun, the Knock apparitions manifested themselves on a Church building, and were fully visible to all present, yet were not accompanied by a verbal message. The apparitions took place on the gable wall of the Church of St. John the Baptist in the small village of Knock in County Mayo in 1879, where the Virgin Mary appeared along with St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist - who was seen preaching with a large open book in his hand, beside the image of the Lamb of God on an altar, with a large cross behind Him.
The gable wall of the Church of St. John the Baptist, the location of the apparitions in Knock.
We will delve behind the symbolism of this apparition a little further in the next post, but for now it is worth noting further parallels with the Zeitoun apparitions in the fact that the Holy Family were present (Our Lady and St. Joseph, along with Christ as the Lamb of God), which recalls the flight to Egypt. The figure of St. John, the Beloved Disciple (who authored both the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation) with an open book beside the Lamb of God appears to point to his vision in the Apocalypse, where the Lamb opens the seven seals of the scroll described in Rev 5 - the same scroll which we are told was given to St. John in Rev 10. Given that the Holy Family were seen in this vision accompanied by the author of the Book of Revelation, this would seem to point us to the scene in the Apocalypse which re-enacts the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt in Rev 12, where we are told that the Woman Adorned with the Sun is pursued by the Red Dragon who wishes to consume her Child; but she is led by God to a place of refuge in the wilderness. So it seems that the apparitions in Knock were in many respects a precursor to the appearances of Our Lady in Egypt.
With these comparisons in mind, I would like to invite readers to pray to Our Lady of Knock to protect the unborn children of Ireland, and to Our Lady of Zeitoun for the souls of the unborn throughout the world who have fallen victim to this holocaust, the greatest of all modern evils.