I will only speak for the so called Fatima appearance. From my files, here is a reply I gave in another religious discussion group concerning Fatima -
[The "Immaculata" is one of the titles of Mary from the visions of Our Lady of Fatima, who promised that, If Russia were consecrated to her, Russia would be freed from the Communists and from the yoke of Communism. And, wasn't Kremlin not being used as a church, but as the symbol of the Communist Party?]
This statement in itself shows the absurdity of such a proclaimation by the the Theotokos.
Both Scripture and tradition tell us that Mary was chosen for two tasks -
1) To be the instrument whereby God became man (the Incarnation)
2) To spend the rest of her life pointing others towards her son.
And you want us to believe that she appeared to some children in Fatima requesting that Russia be CONSECRATED TO HER instead of her son! Thereby putting herself above her son in importance? And pointing to herself instead of her son?
Facts regarding Mary And Her Centuries Ties To Russia -
Russia has been traditionally known as "the House of Holy Mary", and
God's Mother has been regarded as the holy protectress of Russia for
centuries. There were more churches devoted to Her Nativity,
Presentation, Annunciation, Assumption, and Intercession than to
important events from the life of Christ. Many more churches were
built to honour the holy images of God's Mother, such as "Our Lady of
Vladimir", "Our Lady of Smolensk", and "Our Lady of Kazan".
The cult of God's Mother was introduced to Russia by Andrei
Bogolyubski who brought to his new capital the Byzantine icon "Our
Lady of Vladimir". During the most important events of Russian
history, such as the Polish invasion of 1612 or the French invasion of
1812, numerous prayers for victory were offered to this and other
important images of God's Mother. Even the Russian tricolour flag,
first introduced in 1667, was modeled after the traditional colours of
At the beginning of the 20th centuries, strange things started to
happen with holy icons. "Our Mother of Kazan" was stolen from the
Kazan monastery and was apparently burnt by thieves to ashes; "Our
Mother of Smolensk" (or the Hodegetria) started to "cry" with resin
(the icon perished during the WWII). The Fyodorovskaya icon of God's
Mother at Kostroma's Ipatievsky Monastery was considered the holy
protectress of the Romanov family: the first Romanov tsar's mother
blessed him for the reign with this icon. This holy image (said to be
painted by Apostle Luke but dated by analysis only to the 9th century)
started to blacken from 1911 on, and by 1917 it became so black that
almost nothing could be seen on it. Other divine images were
scattered: "Our Lady of Vladimir" and the Blachernitissa (made in the
7th century from the ashes of Christian martyrs) are exhibited at the
Tretyakov Gallery, "Our Lady of Tikhvin" is now in Chicago, and only
the tragic masterpiece "Our Lady of Tolga" (1314) was yesterday
(22-Aug-2003) returned to the Tolga Convent at Yaroslavl.
Our Lady of Vladimir:www.pbs.org/weta/faceofrussia/...e/1100/12c.html
Our Lady of Kostroma ("Fyodorovskaya", after the restoration):www.aquarium.ru:8080/misc/icon...orovsk_kost.jpg
Our Lady of Blachernae:www.aquarium.ru:8080/misc/icon...033_vlahern.jpg
Our Lady of Tolga:www.aquarium.ru:8080/misc/icon.../022_tolgsk.jpg
So it seems, if we were to believe that the supposed promises of the Theotokos were true, we'd have to assume that she was unaware of the fierce devotion the Russians have had for her for over a thousand years! That her miraculous Icons (one copy was being used as a bargaining tool for the Popes entrance to Russia) are all fables!
Russia already has more churches dedicated to her than all of western Europe combined!
We Orthdox Catholics belive that Mary was chosen by God himself to be the tool which made the Incarnation possible. After Christs birth she spend her entire life directing others towards her Son rather than herself. And now she appears threatening the world if Russia isn't dedicated to her and her so called Immaculate Heart! A little out of character for the greatest of all women, and what she was chosen by God to fulfill, don't you think?