Visions and Apparitions in the Modern Period
The subject of this chapter is epiphanic visual apprehensions in the modern period with sensory or pictorial content, as opposed to what St. Teresa and others called intellectual visions. These sensory visions are what Teresa termed imaginary visions. They have strong visual content, although it may not be visible to others. Here, we consider three visions or apparitions of Mary, which occurred at Tepayac in Mexico, and at Lourdes and Fátima in Europe, in the sixteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries respectively, each of which gained wide popular acceptance. We also present imaginary visions that Teresa experienced and as well visions of this type experienced by St. Catherine of Genoa, Teresa’s near contemporary. Turning to the Native American tradition, we consider visions attained by Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux medicine man and holy man, and others in that tradition, commenting on the great difference between the phenomenal content of visions occurring in this tradition and in the Christian tradition.