St Mary appearing as a dove? A bit absurd no?

Every now and then a pigeon will appear at some peculiar place and at a peculiar time and people will claim it is the Virgin Mary. What is the church's official position on these claims (that St Mary appears as a pigeon) if there is one? I personally believe it is absurd. I am not denying that saints do appear sometimes (just not as animals). I am not denying miracles either. All I'm saying is that it is beyond silly to believe that the saints appear as animals. I would also like to know your opinions as well. I am also interested in the opinion of the Church fathers (like St Cyril, St Athanasius, etc.). Also any biblical verses related to the topic.


  • Uuuuuuuuuh....there are examples if interesting miraculous events that just seem absurd. So, I'm not really sure if I can call this absurd or not.

    The only thing I would mention is does the miracle mean something profoundly spiritual in your life. If it does, good. If it doesn't, I would take it with a grain of salt.

    There are miracles that are important for all people to believe in. Then there are miracles that are NOT for all people.
  • Is it safe to say that the spirit in the form of a dove, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him." (Mt 3:16), is one of the earliest forms of apparition in the form of an animal. Something so powerful, as the Holy Spirit, descends upon Jesus in the form of an animal, could this relate to the apparitions of Mary at Zaytoun in Egypt? This probably makes it a little clearer that this idea of apparition in the form of an animal is not something new.
  • The point of Matthew 3:16 is more theological than anything. It echoes the story of Noah and the flood. Christ came reconciling all of creation in His baptism with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, not just a mere dove, comes and not merely inspires humanity, but RESTS in all humanity, proving a permanent indwelling of God.

    I would not compare Theophany with the miracles of the saints. The former has a much more dogmatic character to it that affects all Christians' lives. The latter is a miracle that affects only a few Christians in their faith, but has no bearing on the faith as a whole.
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