Mystics and visionaries in the world today

Modern Mystics and Visionaries
by Glenn Dallaire

Some might ask if there are authentic mystics, visionaries and prophets in the world today? Judging by history the answer would have to be a most resounding “yes”. Beginning in the Old Testament, we see the holy Prophets arise, inspired by the Holy Spirit to enlighten God’s people, and to reveal and set forth God’s laws. And throughout the centuries, we see the Catholic Church inspired and strengthened by Her holy mystic Saints and visionaries, who by the express will of God, become extraodinary instruments in His hands and special “channels” for the Holy Spirit.

Mystics and Visionaries as specially chosen souls have a variety of missions within the Church such as:
-they inspire devotions like the Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy devotions;
-through their lives as victim souls they make reparation to God for the conversion of sinners, and remind us to make sacrifices and do penance;
-they enlighten us concerning the evils of the world and reveal to us the horrors of sin.
-through their sufferings willingly accepted and offered to God, they remind us of our call to participate in the redemption of all of humanity through the offering of our own sacrifices, and through our sufferings willingly accepted.

In the book “Mystics of the Church” by Evelyn Underhill, we see that no century has been without its Mystics throughout the history of the Church. And certainly our most recent century has been enriched by some of the most extraordinary Mystics in the history of the Church, such as St (Padre) Pio (1887-1968)—the first Priest confirmed to have had the sacred Stigmata, St Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) of the Divine Mercy devotion, and the extraordinary lay Mystic and Stigmatic, St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903), just to name a few.

There are certainly a good number of persons in the the world today who are said to be mystics, and to a much lesser extent, there are a number of persons who are said to be stigmatics. The difficulty of course lies in the discernment as to whether a mystic or visionary is authentic or not. It is of course much easier for the Church (i.e. - normally the local Bishop) to discern the authenticity of a mystic after their death, thus being able to discern and judge their entire life and the presence (or absence) of heroic virtues.

Apart from any glaring theological errors, the Church normally does not make any judgments until after their death, and even then, a good number of them are never formally investigated by the Church.

The spiritual dangers of false mystics and visionaries
Although on the one hand Scripture states that we are not to despise prophecy, on the other hand the Church and the Saints advise us to be extremely careful and prudent in such matters, because perhaps more often than not, the origins of some alleged mystical graces can in reality be the devil in disguise. The extraordinary Mystic St Paul of the Cross says that for every 100 persons said to be mystics; there is perhaps only one or two that are truly authentic and inspired by God. -And this is coming from someone who was not only an extraordinary Saint and religious founder, but who himself was a authentic Mystic! Certainly we should heed his wise advice.

We need to remember that the devil does not counterfeit copper or tin, but only gold. And all that glitters is not necessarily gold. Just because a visionary encourages such things as Eucharistic devotion, the Rosary, Confession etc, this does not mean they are authentic mystics. After all, the devil does not appear with horns and cloven hooves suggesting that we follow or imitate him. If he showed himself the devil, who would follow or be inspired by him? He is the deceiver, and his deceptions are oh so very subtle. Let us not pride ourselves into thinking that we are wiser than the demon by making ourselves judges and entrusting our spiritual lives to own poor judgment.

Little by little, a false visionary or mystic will very subtly, almost imperceptibly, introduce false devotions and doctrines, which on the surface seem logical and spiritual, but really are a means to instill spiritual pride in those affected, by thinking that they have “additional” knowledge that other Catholics do not have, and/or by reciting special prayers and practicing special acts of devotion that other Catholics do not know of, thinking that they are specially graced through their association with the alleged mystic or visionary, and through the additional knowledge, prayers and acts of devotion that are not known or practiced by other Catholics. Once this spiritual pride takes root, then sooner or later comes spiritual disobedience to the Church, that is, usually the local Bishop, who will often test the spirit of the mystic by conveying certain sanctions upon the mystic and the followers, to see if they submit in obedience their alleged graces to the Church.

My experiences with alleged mystics and the lessons learned
I have personally met two different alleged mystics, both of whom were very well known; in one case the mystic had hundreds of followers, and in the other case several thousands of followers. By “followers” I mean those who are closely associated with the mystic or visionary. I did not seek them out; they were placed in my path in life. However, BOTH of the mystics that I have met have since received negative judgments by their local Bishops, and both have been formally sanctioned by the local Bishop, and additionally the Vatican has confirmed the negative decisions of the Bishops in both cases. The followers of one of the mystics have been formally sanctioned by the Vatican, and in the other case the Vatican issued a letter of recognition concerning the Bishops negative decision. As explained elsewhere on this website, it is the local Bishop who alone (under most circumstances) has the authority to judge the validity and authenticity of a mystic, visionary or any kind of private revelation occurring within his diocese. In both circumstances, a good number of souls have continued to follow these two alleged mystics, even though the local Bishop and the Vatican has declared and recognised negative judgements concerning them.

So, in such circumstances, the question then is: "Is a person who knowingly and willingly disregards the sanctions and judgements of the Church (ie-local Bishop and/or Rome) still a Catholic?" I will let you, the reader, come to your own conclusion.

Obedience is the “Litmus Test” of the Church
It is through obedience, or the lack thereof, that a true mystic and can be distinguished from a false one. An authentic mystic will always obey the legitimate Church authority, be that a Priest-Spiritual Director, a Confessor, a local religious Superior, and most especially the local Bishop. Obedience has always been the litmus test that the Church uses to test and judge a mystic or visionary.

False mystics often defer to a “higher authority”
In their disobedience or disregard to the local Bishop or legitimate Church authority, a false visionary or mystic and their followers will often defer to a “higher authority” to justify their disobedience. For example, in disregarding the local Bishop decisions they will state that they “obey Rome”, but later when the Vatican confirms the sanctions and decisions of the local Bishop, the mystic and their followers will then say “we obey God, rather than man” , thereby placing themselves not only outside of the judgement of the Church, but in reality outside of the Church itself through their formal disobedience. And there we have the all too common danger of being led astray by a false mystic.

The deceptive life of the false visionary and mystic Sr. Magdalena of the Cross is a very grave warning to us all. As a youth, Sr. Magdalena made a 40 year pact with the devil and eventually became a Franciscan nun and mother superior of her convent, and as the years progressed she deceived countless souls including high dignitaries from within and outside of the Church. Those interested can read the the life of the phony mystic Sr. Magdalena of the Cross here.

And so with these suggestions and guidelines in mind, we can hopefully better approach with proper discernment and prudence the modern day Mystics that may come into our lives.

For a further and more in depth discussion on judging mystics and private revelations see:

"Satan can even clothe himself in a cloak of humility, but he does not know how to wear the cloak of obedience." (Diary of St Faustina, par. 939).


Anonymous said...

what about people in other religions?
Amma known as a hugging saint is a Hindu. She doesn honour Jesus and St. Francis of Assisi. What do you think of her?

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for your comment. Of course I would be interested in the mystical experiences of those in other religions, but I simply don't have any information pertaining to them. If you have some info that you can share then please feel free to pass it along to my email address:

Thanks again and may God bless you and yours,
Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

Hello Glenn,
Is it possible for you to get authetic information of the French nun Marie-Julie Jahenny (mystic, stigmatist and prophetess) and post it on your blog?

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thank you for your comments and for your excellent suggestion--in fact I hope to add an article about Marie Julie Jahenney soon. I am in the process now of gathering some source info about her.

Thanks again and may God bless you and your loved ones,
-Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn

The articles on the mystics of the Church in your blog are very inspiring. I am glad the Lord led me to it.

I can now see the value of suffering. And I now love these saints you have posted for the glory of God. Blessed be God for them!

I am a Tertiary Franciscan of the Immaculate from the Philippines. Please include me in your prayers.

Bro. John Maria Galicano

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Bro. John Maria Galicano,
It is nice to meet you. Thanks for your kind comments. I am really glad to hear that you are enjoying the website. Please let me know if you have any article suggestions.

May Jesus bless you and may ourt most Blessed Mother Mary cover you under Her mantle, and draw you ever closer to Jesus and Her.
-Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

Regarding Amma (I come from the same region that she lives) she will honour anybody as long as the final glory comes to her... She, who considers herself as a reincarnation of the Hindu God Krishna, heads the No 1 cult in India (with Sai Baba gone). Now, even the devil can appear as an angel, and that is what she does... ask an Christian spiritual warrior in India...

Anonymous said...

Hello. Regarding any holiness or true mystics outside the one, holy catholic, (meaning universal), and apostolic Church, there is none whatsoever!!! God does not deceive or confuse. That is the devil's job. One means only. The only true Church, outside of which there is abdolutely NO SALVATION OF OUR IMMORTAL SOULS. Put in the positive light, God, who is all loving and merciful, is not going to confuse us. He gives us but one true Church, in which everyone is invited to enter and find all the supernatural aids to save our souls. Re anyone who does not recognise Jesus as God, HE DID RISE FROM THE DEAD, AFTER TAKNG UPON HIMSELF ALL OUR SINS AND THE PUNISHMENT OF DYING ON THE CROSS FOR US. He gave us the means to receive forgiveness for our sins with confession to a true priest, and and to do penance and to amrnd our sinful lives. We cannot do that without supernatural aid.
In the Old Testament, it was the jewish faith. There was asolutely no salvation outside it. But as in the Catholic Church, all are welcome, as proved by the Book of Ruth, found in the Douay Rheims version of the Bible. She was not Jewish, but shr converted. Two things to note about the Catholic Church replacing the old law then and there, and forever isfirst, Jesus said He came to fulfil the old law, and the other irrifutable proof is that as He was dying on the cross, the veil that hid the Holy of Holies, which weighed seversl hundred pounds, was rent, torn, from top to bottom. Also, an earthquake occured laterally clear around the earth. There are too many proofs given us through the centuries to lead us to the oe true Church.

Anonymous said...

Pls forgive typos in last reply. Anyone searching for the veracity of these statements, please search the www for NO SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CHURCH (EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS). Please search with a humble heart and beg God through the intercession of Mary Most Holy. After all, Jesus could have come to this earth as an adult and as a mighty king, striking fear in our hearts, but no, He chose in His Godly wisdom to come to us as a very helpless, aproachable babe, through the cooperation of a humble, pure and holy maid of 15 years. In like manner Jesus wants us to follow His example, and come to Him through the Mother He chose from all eternity. Everyone who searches in response to these two comments I vow to pray until the end of time for the salvation and that of all their progeny and loved ones. I am saying this in all humility and thanksgiving to Mother Mary for snatchng me out of the jaws of the devil. I am a very rhsnkful convert.

Anonymous said...

P.S. A very thankful and low tech convert! One of many apologies for my many typos!

Anonymous said...

I know that there's no salvation outside The Holy Catholic Church but I've learned that that's so because everyone in Purgatory and Heaven are Catholic regardless of what religions or even none, they followed on earth. It doesn't make sense to me that if an innocent baby (whose parents are Hindu by virtue of their location, tradition, circumstances) wouldn't make it to Heaven.What about the generations of people in South America who never knew of Jesus or the Gospel before the Spanish expeditions brought catholic priests? There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church because we have to ultimately join the church, here or when we die. Janey, there are people who practise all the virtues and live lives of moral goodness and selflessness yet don't believe in God. that's actually possible, as are immoral Catholics (tragically). Being in the Catholic Church is not immunity from Hell or an insurance policy you invoke on your deathbed. We will be judged on love and how we led our lives. If anything Catholics will have a tougher time on Judgement Day. We had the example of the saints! We have The Church as moral compass and we could avail of the sacraments and the spiritual bounty of Christ's Church on earth. Only God can judge us and His mercy is unfathomable. (See St. Faustina.)P.S.I still pray for conversions to catholism! All the best. Annie

Anonymous said...

I think this site is tremendous and will inspire people to re-examine the Catholic Faith. Saints and mystics are signposts to Heaven. Great job on discernment and holy obedience. I have heard there is a mystic in Italy known as Rosalina. She was born in 1964.If it is true then I would like to read about this lady. Many thanks.A

Anonymous said...

are there any updates of what the church stand on the visionary Vasula Ryden?

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
As you probably know, Vassula Ryden has received a negative judgment from Rome and there has been some good reasons for this. Concerning this, in case you have not read it, there is an excellent article by Father Francois-Marie Dermine O.P. here entitled Vassula Rydén: the Reasons for the Church's Negative Reaction

Best wishes and may God bless you and your loved ones,
-Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

I have some friends who constantly visit a shrine in Ohio (Holy Love) where there is a supposed visionary who supposedly gets messages from heaven. At first I did not think anything of it but then I found out that it received negative comments from the local Bishop. When I brought it to their attention - they said they knew but that the bishop did not know what he was talking about - there are tons of fruits and devotions at this place. TONS OF RED FLAGS for me!!! They also said that Jesus (and other saints)told this visionary that she did not have to listen to the bishop and to proceed as usual. My first comment to my friends was what about obedience to the bishop - whether he is right or wrong - obedience is the first and foremost item that authenticates a vision or messages or anything of this nature. They said that St. Thomas Aquinas told the person that obedience in this case did not count (these "messages" are listed on the website). Now I know that they are totally taken by this. My question to you is do you have any suggestions that I may lay before them to show them this is a mistake and they are traveling down a not so good path. (I did give them both a copy of your articles).

God Bless

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Carol,
Well, I myself have personally traveled the road you are speaking of, however as for myself I eventually chose obedience to the local Bishop (and in my situation, also the Vatican) however I do have a number of persons who I know very well who are on the same path of disobedience as the persons which you mention--that being choosing a visionary/mystic over the judgement of the local Bishop, and I can tell you that in my own experiences that it is very, very difficult to convince such persons that Jesus expects them to obey the judgments of the local bishop, even if the bishop has judged incorrectly. Such persons always feel that they are "obeying God rather than man" when they follow a visionary against the judgement and authority of the Bishop, the successor to the apostles, and it is often almost impossible to convince such persons otherwise.

In closing, I pray that Jesus and Mary may guide and enlighten your friends to obey and follow the judgement of the local Bishop. Amen +

May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

winno said...

Hi Glenn,
My name is catherine. I have been very interested in current visionaries and whether they are true or "suspicious" in their visions.
I have seen the annomalies in those who claim to be receiving messages from Jesus Christ and Our Lady to those true visionaries accepted by The Church in the Past.
There is such a difference even in the manner on how the messages are given and the sacrifices of the visionaries.
I have said this to people and shown where the Church has rejected a lot of these current visionaries, but the Catholic Church has this rule that even if they do not accept the visionary. It is up to the individual to decide. I am very concerned about this as it can confuse the most of holy people. I have seen in books of some of these rejected visionaries this rule just inside the beginning of their books, thereby giving the impression that it is acceptable by the Church no matter what. Any ideas on why the Church did this in 1966 when so many people would not have followed visionaries prior to this Rule. Evermore now, with Pope Bededict resigning and according to a lot of the true visionaries, the beginning of tribulations, it is getting more desperate now for Satan to have souls delivered to him and these visionaries are a great way to do so. By the way i think that large meteorite landing in Russia was a small message from God to the beginning of things to come.

Anonymous said...

Your website is wonderful! I just wanted to ask you- have you thought of writing about teresa higginson -(servant of God) and (this person is alive and has stigmata) brother elia. I think he is approved by the local bishop of his area.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
Yes, I have read a bit about Teresa Higginson and I would like to add an article about her at some point in the future, God willing.
Thank you for the suggestion and may God bless you and your loved ones,
-Glenn Dallaire

Joseph said...

Do you know of any mystics living in the USA? Thanks. Joseph

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Joseph,
Well, as far as mystics in the public view, it seems that at this time that Jesus has not chosen to give the USA/Canada anyone like Fr. Solanus Casey who had lived in Detroit or a Brother Andre Bessette in Montreal, or like St Padre Pio in Italy.....perhaps maybe it is because there are too many skeptics and doubters at this time in which we are living.....or perhaps they are remaining quite hidden to the public.

Because of emails that I receive I do know that there are mystics and victim souls among us, but God seems to keep them quite hidden from the world, and they lead very hidden lives to protect their mission for the salvation of souls, according to God's holy will. There are of course some visionaries who are more known, but the authenticity of such persons is questionable, and there is always the possibility of being deceived by such persons.

Best wishes and may God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Lovey said...

Thank you for this article Glenn. It is well done and quite timely considering the myriad of Catholic "visionaries" floating around out there. What amazes me is how adherents to particular seers can't seem to understand that their messages go against Catholic teaching.

I have linked your article about Sister Magdelana of the Cross in comment discussions on this topic, and I will also be linking this article. I would also like to put this article on my blog next week. Please visit!

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Lovey,
Thank you for your kind comments. I am happy to know that you are enjoying some of the articles here.

And thanks for the link to your blog-I will check it out.
Best wishes and may God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Marietta said...

Hi Glenn,
Thank you for your blog which I enjoy very much. It's so inspiring to learn about our mystics throughout the centuries.
If you'd be so kind, could you write something about Sr. Marie of Saint Peter, the visionary of the Holy Face of Jesus. I don't think she was a stigmatist, but she was definitely a seer and whom Our Lord entrusted with the mission to make reparation for sins against the Holy Name of God.
Thank you and God bless you for your apostolate.

Anonymous said...

hi has anyone heard of visionary of Saint Anthony named Amy Advincula. There is a chapel in back of her house and when we were there a priest from vatican was there. they say she leaves to Rome in Dec. also said Pope John Paul second once visited her home and said indeed it was holy?

Lucie ratna said...

There is Sr. Rosy in Tanjore, India who is a stigmatic and can bilocate just like St. Pio and has done many miracles also. Please include her in your website also.

John Hayes said...

I pray the Blessings of God for all in this house. Obedience to authority wielded in the spirit of humility and love under the guidance of the revealed Word, Yes. We know such mystics by their Love. Obedience to the quotidian ways of the world robed in silks and fed on the fat of the land and sated on the flesh of our tender youth? False prophets and shepherds in legions were prophesied, we suffer amongst them even now. Again, we know the shepherds by their love, constancy,and humility.

Ramon Dearmas said...

As a mystic and Catholic, I clearly see where we get things backwards. Mystics and those who practice are trying to get oneness with God. The Church(universal tries to get people to do just that, and offers community to understand with that. Mystics don't need that community to follow God. However both are needed. I think it is easy to say, that Saints had a mystical experience and some were mystics. St. John of the Cross, and St. Terresa are just a few. Mystics to me are the core of the Church!

Ramon Dearmas said...

Mystics and other who practice similar forms, are ways for us to get a better understanding of God. Mystics enter that union with God, it is esoteric(That is the experiences are not just non-worldly but out of the Church or buildings. My experiences have all come outside of the church! But they have made the experience more powerful when I receive sacraments or mass. Study the Saints closely, and the ones who profess mysticism or some ability to be enlightened. Yes we exist!

Marcel Nduaguba said...

Thank you very much I love this site, Please can you try and research about a mystic in Nigeria named Brother Barnabas Nwoye. The society he propagates is called Apostolate of the Precious Blood of Jesus. Am a member I want to know if am on the right track with God and his Church. Thank you.

mmarg777 said...

Did Sr. Magdellan make her pact with the devil before the age of reason (age 7, I believe)? Doesn't the Church say kids are not liable or responsible for sins before the age of reason? Thank you for keeping up this site.


divvy said...

Please check Mystics in Africa notable one is Bro, Barnabas Nwoye from Nigeria of the Apostolate of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ,

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