Following the airing of a documentary on the Irish visionary, Joe Coleman, he has announced the date of his next apparition of the Virgin Mary as August 25 at Mount Melleray Shrine, in County Waterford.
Though Coleman has reported four visitations of the Virgin Mary at the Knock Shrine he has, on his last two trips, been denied access to the Basilica. His website (www.knockapparitions.com) reports that another visitation at Knock will be predicted soon.
A new documentary called “Apparitions” focuses on Joe Coleman’s story over the last two years while looking at the wider topic of Ireland’s devotion to the Virgin Mary and Marian Shrines.
The focus of the documentary, made by RTE (Ireland’s national broadcaster), is Coleman’s own story and his connection to the blessed Mary. It also looks at whether Coleman is to be believed interviewing academics and journalists on the subject.
Patsy McGarry, the religious correspondent for the Irish Times is featured in the documentary. He says “I believe that Joe Coleman is a very Christian man. He believes everything he claims. He’s not making any of this up. He’s not going about this cynically. He’s not trying to make money. It believe that to be completely true.
“He’s a fella from working class Dublin with little education. He hasn’t been working for years. Why in God’s name would God or the Virgin Mary pick someone like him. Who would pick a carpenter from Nazareth, people could ask the same question.”
Coleman was born in 1954. Growing up he said he always had an affinity to the Virgin Mary and looked to her for solace but did not comprehend that he was having visitations.
During school he found life difficult. He was never diagnosed as having dyslexic and left school at the age of 13 unable to read of write. He worked as a messenger boy and had various other jobs throughout his younger life.
It was much later on in life that his visitations began to make sense. He said “In 1986 I was having an operation in Saint James’ Hospital and I died.”
He explained that he went through a tunnel of light and was greeted on the other side by his father, his son, who had died, and Our Lady. He said he was “gone” for 15 minutes. “You can call it and outer body experience but I was dead. I know I was dead because I’ve been there many times since,” said Coleman.
Our Lady then visited him and asked him to go to Medjugorje, in former Yugoslavia. His initial response was “Mother, I don’t know where Medjugorje is!”. Coleman then got a loan of €700 to take the trip. Once he had arrived he was told by Our Lady to go to Knock and that she would visit him there. There his notoriety and visitations at Knock began.
Before his most recent trips and visitations at Knock Coleman worked as a healer. He ran spiritual development courses and gave clairvoyant readings before the revenue commissioners started looking into his finances. Though he was charging €40 a session for clairvoyant readings he insisted that he never charged for any kind of information to do with his visions of the Virgin Mary.
Coleman said “I’m an authenticated seer of Our Lady. I don’t go near tarot cards or Ouija boards. I work with the light of God. I’m a light worker.”
Coleman has also just released his most recent message from Our Lady. The statement on his website reads “Firstly Our Lady wants people all over the world again to open their hearts to God again and to seek reconciliation. Secondly she has told me that the time for the Second Coming of Jesus on the Earth is “drawing very close.
“The Second Coming of Christ will, she tells me, mean a new beginning for mankind where Heaven and Earth will become one and that for believers it will mean eternal life.”
During the RTE documentary he is referred as a “spiritual entrepreneur” using modern language, the Internet, books and television to spread his word. Though many do not believe in what he says he claims that he still has about 50,000 followers in Ireland.
It seems that Coleman might have more spiritual power than disbelievers might like to think.
Vincent O’Toole, an Irish journalist raised an interesting point during the documentary. He pointed out that the church can not ignore him but they can’t endorse him either as it would give him incredible power. He would essentially be more powerful than the Pope or at least any cardinal in Ireland. None of whom claim to have a direct line of communication with God.