Apparitions Occurred In Iraq In Very Vicinity Of Ancient Nineveh
By Michael H. Brown
Unknown to many, the Virgin Mary has appeared in the Muslim nation of Iraq -- a nation that may soon dominate world headlines. The apparitions allegedly took place at Mozul and the message was serious. We are trying to get an update. Obviously, and especially in light of current events, the locale has great meaning. It's a vicinity that encompasses the ruins of the ancient city of Nineveh -- where Jonah issued his strong warning (Jonah 3:4) of repentance -- and it was one of a number of apparitions to occur in the Mideast during recent times.
Its occurrence in the very stronghold of Saddam Hussein can now be seen as potentially prophetic. The apparitions began on the Feast of the Assumption in 1991 to a 14-year-old Syrian Orthodox girl named Dina Basher who claimed that on one occasion Our Lord came to her in a bright light, blinding her for several days. There was also stigmata: In Baghdad three bishops saw the blood flow from Dina. At first oil had exuded from Dina's skin, but at one point a voice told her that "a day will come when blood will come out of your hands," as it then did.
Baghdad, of course, may soon be the focus of U.S. military actions, and many suspect it is where the current spate of bio-terrorism originated. The girl also saw Jesus with a golden crown and shining white robe or with white rays around His head. She claimed the Second Coming was drawing near. That's for your discernment. However such predictions pan out, the Patriarch has issued a decree referring to the happenings as "astounding miracles and wonders" and the Bishop of Baghdad has described the phenomena as a manifestation of God's living power.
Let us remember that Nineveh was the New York City of the day. It was a large and wealthy city and it was where Jonah prophesied devastation unless there was fasting and repentance.
There were idols. There was great wealth. It was a place of merchants. It was Babylon's sister city (and often its rival), and though initially spared, it was eventually destroyed both by natural disasters and the invasion of enemy forces.
Apparitions have also been reported in Egypt in the midst of a militant Muslim stronghold. The site is Assiut. "This year (2001) starting on Wednesday 15 August, visitors witnessed spiritual phenomena in the form of bright lights, which reached a peak on Saturday 18 August," according to El-Keraza, official magazine of the Coptic Orthodox Church. "The monastery was receiving around 30-40 thousand visitors daily, but after the spiritual phenomena the numbers grew very rapidly."
One woman told the BBC she had seen the Virgin Mary with outstretched hands and a light emanating from them, accompanied by a smell of incense and large numbers of pigeons. The birds seem to be a common element of the sightings. The secretary of the Assiut Council of Churches, Father Mina Hanna, said other people had seen a big white, brightly lit pigeon appearing and disappearing -- but he said the apparitions were different each time.
The last time there was a major apparition in Egypt it was outside of Cairo at Zeitoun, where apparitional birds were also seen, along with a luminous form shaped like the Virgin Mary and witnessed even by Egyptian President Abdul Nasser. She was known as the "Queen of Peace." More than a million reportedly saw her. It was a few months after the famous "Six-Day War."
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