The Catholic Church is well-known for its strictness in evaluating before officially accepting concrete instances of miracles. According to Wikipedia:

The Catholic Church believes miracles are works of God, either directly, or through the prayers and intercessions of a specific saint or saints. There is usually a specific purpose connected to a miracle, e.g. the conversion of a person or persons to the Catholic faith or the construction of a church desired by God. The Church says that it tries to be very cautious to approve the validity of putative miracles. The Catholic Church says that it maintains particularly stringent requirements in validating the miracle's authenticity. The process is overseen by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The Catholic Church has listed several events as miracles, some of them occurring in modern times. Before a person can be accepted as a saint, they must be posthumously confirmed to have performed two miracles. In the procedure of beatification of Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005, the Vatican announced on 14 January 2011 that Pope Benedict XVI had confirmed that the recovery of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre from Parkinson's disease was a miracle.

What about non-Catholic denominations? Are there any concrete cases of miracles that are officially recognized by a denomination other than the Catholic Church?

  • Would Marian Apparitions be acceptable?
    – Ken Graham
    Sep 18, 2021 at 19:41
  • @KenGraham - if they are officially accepted by a non-Catholic denomination, sure!
    – user50422
    Sep 18, 2021 at 19:41
  • "Officially recognized" by whom?
    – Geremia
    Sep 18, 2021 at 20:16
  • @Geremia - By a denomination at large.
    – user50422
    Sep 18, 2021 at 20:25
  • What is the definition of 'miracle' that you are using in this particular question ? A case of Parkinsons Disease Remission in a 78 year old male has been attributed merely to the patient's habit of personal meditation and has been documented scientifically. There is no 'miracle'. It is a purely natural process.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 18, 2021 at 21:36

2 Answers 2


If predictive prophecy can be considered a "miracle" than there is one in the Lutheran church.

In the Lutheran Confessions, a reference is made related to the private revelations of a Franciscan monk named John Hilten. According to the Lutheran Confessions, this monk's revelation was authenticated because he had an accurate prediction of the coming of Luther in the year 1516 to speak out against certain abuses in the church. The Apology to the Augsburg Confession tells the story:

In the town of Eisenach, in Thuringia, there was, to our knowledge, a monk, John Hilten, who, thirty years ago, was cast by his fraternity into prison because he had protested against certain most notorious abuses. For we have seen his writings, from which it can be well understood what the nature of his doctrine was [that he was a Christian, and preached according to the Scriptures]. And those who knew him testify that he was a mild old man, and serious indeed, but without moroseness. He predicted many things, some of which have thus far transpired, and others still seem to impend, which we do not wish to recite, lest it may be inferred that they are narrated either from hatred toward one or from partiality to another...

But another one, he said, will come in A. D. 1516, who will destroy You, neither will you be able to resist him. This very opinion concerning the downward career of the power of the monks, and this number of years, his friends afterwards found also written by him in his commentaries, which he had left, concerning certain passages of Daniel. (Apology to the Augsburg Confession XXVII) See here.

  • Do we know John Hilten's exact words? Being expelled from his religious order does not make him a non-Catholic, even thlough his words may have been deemed to be somewhat true according to the Lutheran Church.
    – Ken Graham
    Sep 19, 2021 at 2:40
  • The only primary source reference online, that I can find, to what exactly John Hilten said is listed in this article here biblicalcyclopedia.com/H/hilten-johannes.html
    – Jess
    Sep 19, 2021 at 23:47
  • 1
    That article states that “Hilten made himself famous by his so-called prophecies.” Your quote does not state that Hilten had an “accurate prediction of the coming of Luther in the year 1516” nor does it reaffirm or authenticate Hilten’s words, by the Lutheran Church. Could you please post a link to your quote?
    – Ken Graham
    Sep 19, 2021 at 23:57
  • 👍 I fixed it. I also found another source: "Melanchthon writing on May 18, 1552 ...says that Johann Hilten, a Franciscan of Eisenach, predicted that in 1516 the papal power would begin to decline, and that by about 1600 the Turks would rule in Italy and Germany..." It didn't happened that way, as the Battle of Lepanto, (October 7, 1571) decided the fate of any Turkish invasion. Perhaps it was one of the those conditional prophecies, with pious prayer for protection being answered?...archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.530351/…
    – Jess
    Sep 20, 2021 at 2:55
  • 1
    Do we have his prophecies in first hand texts? Your quote is in the third person: ”But another one, he said, will come in A. D. 1516, who ...”
    – Ken Graham
    Sep 21, 2021 at 0:06

Are there instances of miracles that are officially recognized by non-Catholic denominations?

The short answer seems to be yes.

Many Christians have overlooked the Marian Apparitions at Zeitoun, Egypt which began in 1968 at St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church.

What is the most witnessed Marian apparition of the 20th century? Most would say Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, where approximately 70,000+ people witnessed the Miracle of the Sun. However, most prolifically witnessed miracle of the Virgin Mary in the 20th century, and perhaps ever, was at Zeitoun, Egypt from 1968 to 1971.

The Holy Family in Zeitoun

Zeitoun is one of the locations where the Holy Family supposedly stopped on their flight to Egypt, fleeing King Herod’s murder of the innocents some nineteen centuries earlier. From April 2, 1968 to May 29, 1971, the Virgin Mary appeared weekly on average, especially around feast days, on top of St. Mary’s Coptic Church in Zeitoun for all to see. This was not something just witnessed in a mystical vision by a few; it was a supernatural experience perceived by massive crowds for years. In addition, this occurred in a predominantly Muslim country and at a Coptic Church, which might be why Catholics are less familiar with it.

The Blessed Virgin Mary was witnessed by hundreds of thousands of people, including Copts, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and even secular Marxists, like the former Egyptian President Abdel Nasser. This supposedly greatly influenced him in his relations with Christians, who at the time were being targeted: red crosses painted on their houses to mark them. This was also a time of rapid expansion of Islamic fundamentalism.

Miraculous Apparition

The miraculous nature of the apparitions drew Egypt’s full attention. Black and white photographs exist showing a brightly luminous being, the Blessed Virgin Mary, on top the Church. The apparitions would begin with a ball of light gradually materializing, and then, taking on the form of the Virgin Mary. One described Mary as “bright as a million suns.” They called her Our Lady of Light. She was accompanied by other phenomenon as well.

Large, luminous doves moved swiftly across the sky, and at times flying in formations of two, seven or twelve, and in the shape of a cross. Incense as from “millions of censors” billowed up around her with a sweet fragrance. There were mysterious flashing lights, a canopy of shooting stars, like “a shower of diamonds made of light,” as one witness recalled. Many miraculous healings occurred too, from blindness, polio, paralysis, cripples, cancer and terminal illness. There were also spiritual conversions of Muslims and others to Christianity.

The Vatican made no official statement on its authenticity, deferring to the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Coptic Church investigated the matter and determined it was an authentic and true phenomenon. The civil government as well concluded that something real was happening at Zeitoun. At one point, the authorities even investigated a fifteen-mile radius for electronic devices and cut all power off to the area to create a blackout, yet Mary continued to appear.

An Initial Vision

The story begins much earlier, however, around 1920, when a Coptic Christian, Tawfik Khalil Abraham, who owned this spot of land in Zeitoun, was about to build a hotel there. Then, the Blessed Virgin Mary visited him in a dream requesting instead that he build a Coptic Church in her honor. If he did so, she promised to perform a miracle there sometime in the future.

The apparitions continued unabated, with Mary appearing for a few nights each week for the next three years. People from all around began to come to St. Mary’s in Zeitoun to see the miraculous apparitions. The crowds grew larger and larger. By some accounts, 250,000 at the highpoint would come nightly to watch for Mary appearing from Heaven.

In 1925, the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mary was completed. Then, as promised, the miracle happened years later beginning on April 2, 1968. Two Muslim garage attendants noticed a woman on the top of the Church and thought she was about to commit suicide. One of the attendants, Farouk Mohammed Atwa, yelled up to her “Lady, don’t jump!” Soon, a crowd had gathered and realized that this was no ordinary woman but the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. - The Overlooked Marian Apparitions at Zeitoun, Egypt

These events have been officially approved by the Coptic Church and the Catholic Church acknowledgments of these event are positive, while not commenting on them officially by Pope Paul VI. On May 4, 1971, Kyrillos VI issued an official statement confirming the apparitions. On 12 May 2018, the Coptic Church celebrated the golden Jubilee of the event. A large number of priests and Christians from all over Egypt attended the celebration.

The site of the apparitions: St. Mary’s Church, Zeitoun, Egypt, 1968-1971

The site of the apparitions: St. Mary’s Church, Zeitoun, Egypt, 1968-1971

Numerous miraculous healings have been documented. Two girls, blind since birth, studying at a school for the blind, fully regained their sight. A 34-year old mute, Adel Abdel Malek, unable to speak since birth, was cured and able to speak. A Muslim girl with a malignant tumor on the side of her head visited an apparition of Mary at the church the night before her surgery and showed up the next day completely free of her tumor. Miss Madiha Mohammed Said, age 20, had lost her sight and speech, and had failed all medical efforts to improve her condition. On June 4, 1968, her two brothers took her to the church, asking the priest to pray for her. Suddenly, she cried out in a loud voice, “I see the apparition of the Blessed Virgin!” In that instant she regained both her eyesight and her power of speech. Cases of paralysis were cured – one woman arrived in her wheelchair at the church, felt burning electrical sensations, and then walked away.

The Coptic Pope, Anba Kyrillos VI, approves the apparitions after 30 days.

The Coptic Pope, Anba Kyrillos VI, approves the apparitions after 30 days.

Our Lady of Light, Zeitoun, Egypt, 1968-1971

Pope Paul VI reviewed the photographic evidence but had never commented on them officially, yet the apparitions are approved by the Vatican. Likewise, the Coptic Popes have never commented on the Apparitions of Fatima of 1917.

Representatives from the Coptic Orthodox Church under patriarch Kyrillos as well as from the Catholic Church under Pope Paul VI (prompted by the Society of the Sacred Heart Sisters) studied these events and they were jointly approved for devotion on May 5, 1968. - Source

  • Skeptoid podcast noted that many of the so-called earthquake lights are completely explicable, such as lightning from distant storms or transformers exploding as a result of the earthquake. They point out that the photographs are either suspiciously illustration-looking or do not show a human figure, and say that many drawings were hawked in the marketplace as souvenirs. The podcast concludes with their explanation of the events: a light of uncertain cause was interpreted as the Virgin Mary because of societal stressors and local tradition [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Zeitoun]
    – Nigel J
    Sep 20, 2021 at 1:39
  • @NigelJ There will always be skeptics! Nevertheless the Coptic Church acknowledges the apparitions as miraculous! Wikipedia is not always the best source. Besides over three years of apparitions is equal to a lot of so-called earthquake lights to say the least!
    – Ken Graham
    Sep 20, 2021 at 2:21
  • I only added the comment for the sake of testimonial balance in the context of an historic eyewitness context. I am not drawing any conclusions.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 20, 2021 at 3:00
  • I am reminded of this quote: "Scholars such as Dr Jaroslav Pelikan have described Mary as ‘a bridge builder […] to other traditions, other cultures, and other religions..." qmhistoryjournal.wixsite.com/qmhj/post/…
    – Jess
    Sep 20, 2021 at 3:04

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