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.
  • Girgisantony, I agree with you, it seems just absurd.
  • It's not entirely out of the question but does seem unlikely.
  • Was anyone around for the Zeitoun event in Egypt? This is one of the most annoying parts of the the history of the faith to reconcile. There are 2 pictures (maybe more?) but that's it... Then there's this one film, I think it's called "Apparitions" (by our Lady...)or something like that. Where the Zeitoun event is mentioned.

    More on Zeitoun I think we might be so sensitive to the silhouette of St Mary that somehow this image looks like her, but does anyone else outside of the Church really believe this?
  • People who believe have a unity of faith and it would be very easy to criticise as an outsider when we weren't there. I know someone who was there and saw it, so I have faith because I share it on his honesty and knowing him ( past tense as he has passed away)as a truthful person.
    But fear is the hardest emotion to control and it starts with doubt ( very easy to polarize) then worry then anxiety. These things we overcome by faith and to the things leading to the faith. So seeing the Zeitoun event increases faith and there should be no problem with that.
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