Does Vatican (or Holy See) publish the miracles it has approved? I'm seeking a list of currently approved miracles (any kind, really, including apparitions, eucharistic miracles and so on). I was, however, unable to find an official source.

This is all I've come up with: Marian Apparitions.

This is not enough:

  • firstly because it's hard to tell which are Catholic Church approved (and, under Vatican approved tab there are only 15 of them listed [which seems a bit low to me])
  • secondly, because under different tabs, there's an occasional duplication
  • thirdly, it's not an official source

Edit: I am looking for that kind of miracles, that are marked as worthy of belief ("Constat de supernaturalitate") see here.

  • 1
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  • I'm thinking the answer is probably no, in general; "The Vatican" isn't really in the business of deciding what is and isn't a miracle, except insofar as that's helpful to the Christian faithful in their spiritual lives. Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 22:14
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    @MattGutting Actually, I would say Yes, in general. Miracles are important in the progress to canonisation, and the Holy See does pronounce on authentic visions and associated miracles. I suspect everything is reported in the Acta, but they only go back to 1870ish, are in Latin and don't easily show classifications like "Miracles recognised". Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 8:29
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    @Andrew I'd have to check, but while miracles related to the causes of Saints are closely tracked, miracles in general (e.g. attributed to existing saints) mightn't be; and while visions of Saints might be investigated if very large numbers of the faithful start believing, visions in general probably won't, if they don't attract much attention. But this is really an answer, if unsupported, not a comment. Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 11:29

2 Answers 2


There is not a complete list or database of approved Vatican miracles, because miracles (or presumed miracles) are checked and approved for specific reasons. For example, if you search "miracles approved for John Paul II beatification" you'll find some result, or "miracles from Lourdes".

Miracles are generally announced when a miracle has been accepted by the Holy Father. Many of them at that time are published, but not all. There is no requirement for this in Canon Law.

The bishop of my diocese was member of Congregatio de Causis Sanctorum, and he studied a lot of presumed miraculous healings. Some time ago, I asked him about it. He told me that the "approving-miracle-procedure" is very long and complicated, but it follows 7 rules written by Pope Benedict XIV:

  1. The disease must be serious (not a flu, or a cold, or a simple fever)
  2. The diagnosis must be certified (there must be no doubt that the disease exists)
  3. It must be "organic" (I'm not sure of what it means... I should ask more)
  4. No known therapy can explain the healing
  5. The healing must be instant and unexpected
  6. The healing must be complete
  7. The healing must be definitive

To satisfy that points, the Congragatio asks medical experts who don't know that they are searching for a miracle. See this BBC article for more information.

Since there is no database of Vatican approved miracles, one has to read about the specific miracle approved for each case of beatification and/or canonization. In rare cases the miracle that is approved for a specific case is not published, usually at the request of the recipient, who wish not to be publicly known.

  • "Organic" means physical. In other words the healing must affect the body. This rule is not set in stone either, since Rome can approve a deliverance from some sort of natural disaster as a miracle.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 4:26

Vatican approved miracles and apparitions?

There is certainly no known Vatican database for such information. One must do an individual search of a case by case study.

I will treat this question in two parts Vatican miracles that used in the process of beatification and canonization; the second part will concern Marian Apparitions.

The Vatican does not always publish the miracle involved in the case of a beatification or canonization. Individuals at times have requested to remain anonymous. They have the right to remain unknown to the public’s eye. I know of one case where Pope John Paul II refused to accept the miraculous healing of a young girl who’s amputated legs were restored. Pope John Paul II did not want the Communist government to persecute the young girl or her family. Pope John Paul II was heard saying that if God could perform such a miracle through the intercession of the then Venerable Claudine Thévenet, he can certainly perform another. She is now a canonized saint.

About 99% of all miracles involve a physical healing, however a very rare number are not of this nature. Some years ago, I remember that the approved miracle in a canonization case involved a young boy who invoked a Blessed when an avalanche was descending upon him. All perished, except the young boy. The snow parted on both sides of him and he simply walked to safety.

Now concerning Mariam Apparitions:

Since you looking for the kind of miracles or apparitions, that are marked as worthy of belief. Let us take a look at it.

First of all, it is the local bishop who has jurisdiction in the matter of proclaiming an apparition worthy of belief. Rarely will the Vatican step in i not and put it approval along side that of the local ordinary. It has happened. There is no requirement for Rome to interfere in the decisions of the local bishop on this matter.

Bishops evaluate evidence of an apparition according to these guidelines:

  1. The facts in the case are free of error.

  2. The person(s) receiving the messages is/are psychologically balanced, honest, moral, sincere and respectful of church authority.

  3. Doctrinal errors are not attributed to God, Our Lady or to a saint.

  4. Theological and spiritual doctrines presented are free of error.

  5. Moneymaking is not a motive involved in the events.

Healthy religious devotion and spiritual fruits result, with no evidence of collective hysteria.

Judgment can find that an apparition shows all signs of being an authentic or a truly miraculous intervention from heaven, that it is clearly not miraculous or there are not sufficient signs manifesting it to be be so, or that it's not evident whether or not the alleged apparition is authentic.

If a Marian apparition is recognized by the bishop, it means that the message is not contrary to faith and morals and that Mary can be venerated in a special way at the site. But, because belief in a private revelation is not required by the church, Catholics are at liberty to decide how much personal spiritual emphasis to place on apparitions and the messages they deliver.

Pope Benedict XVI commented on private revelation in his 2010 apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini (“The Word of the Lord”). “Ecclesiastical approval of a private revelation essentially means that its message contains nothing contrary to faith and morals. it is licit to make it public and the faithful are authorized to give to it their prudent adhesion” (No. 46).

“A private revelation can introduce new emphases, give rise to new forms of piety, or deepen older ones,” Pope Benedict continued. “It can have a certain prophetic character and can be a valuable aid for better understanding and living the Gospel at a certain time; consequently it should not be treated lightly. It is a help which is proffered, but its use is not obligatory.” - Discernment of Miracle Claims

The best way to explain this that under normal conditions the local bishop of the diocese approves or disapproves the apparition in question. Occasionally, the Holy See will also recognize a particular Marian Apparition, but it is always after the local ordinary has rendered his decision after a diocesan inquest.

If a Marian apparition is recognized by the bishop, it means that the message is not contrary to faith and morals, that Mary can be venerated in a special way at the site and that the faithful can believe with confidence in the supernaturality of the event. But, because belief in a private revelation is not required by the church, Catholics are at liberty to decide how much personal spiritual emphasis (if any) to place on apparitions and the messages they deliver. - Bishop Approved Apparitions with Vatican Recognition

The following Marian Apparitions have been approved by the local bishop And later equally recognized by the Vatican:

  • Guadalupe, Mexico (1531)
  • Lezajsk, Poland (1578)
  • Siluva, Lithuania (1608)
  • Laus, France (1664)
  • Rue du Bac, Paris, France (1830)
  • Rome, Italy (1842)
  • La Salette, France (1846)
  • Lourdes, France (1858)
  • Filippsdorf, Czech Republic (1866)
  • Pontmain, France (1871)
  • Gietrzwald, Poland (1877)
  • Knock, Ireland (1879)
  • Fatima, Portugal (1917)
  • Beauraing, Belgium (1932)
  • Banneux, Belgium (1933)
  • Kibeho, Rwanda (1981)

Once approved by the local bishop, the Vatican is under no obligation to recognize a particular apparition as valid. It does so purely at it’s own discretion and for it’s own reasons.

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