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Religion

Jesus Sightings in France

Jesus Sightings in France

Devout Christians are flocking to a church on the French riviera where both Jesus and the Virgin Mary are said to have appeared to worshippers.

 

The holy 'visions' are being taken so seriously they are being investigated by a French Bishop and the Pope has been informed.

 

But the signs that a divine presence is in the room are not the traditional dazzling lights or gentle breeze. Instead, the chosen ones are suffering vomiting and convulsions more akin to scenes from The Exorcist.

 

The so-called apparitions are taking place during meetings of the Cap-Verdi prayer group at St Paul's Catholic Church in the glitzy Cote d'Azur resort of Cannes. Believers say that Christ and the Virgin Mary have been appearing to them on a regular basis over the past six months.

 

Church-goer Rita Gomez, who helps run the prayer group, said: "The visions usually begin with the whole building trembling in the middle of a prayer meeting.

 

"Then various worshippers will fall off their seats shaking violently or being sick. When they come round a few minutes later, they say Christ or the Holy Virgin has appeared and spoken to them."

 

One 14-year-old girl had fits and began smashing windows, then began bleeding 'pinkish-yellow' blood, Miss Gomez said.

 

She added: "This might sound like the work of the devil rather than God, but everyone who experiences a vision says it was Jesus and Mary that appeared to them."

 

Worshipper Emmanuel Duchamp, 38, said he saw Christ 'standing before him' in the church.

 

He added: "I wasn't ill, but I was overcome with a very warm feeling. Then Jesus started talking and I began writing down everything he told me. It was about cleaning my house and cleaning the homes of others to prepare for the coming of the Lord."

 

Father Paul Fazzi, the parish priest of St Paul's, insisted there was nothing extreme or 'cultish' about the Cap Verdi prayer group.

 

He said: "They are just a group of devout young people who come here each week to pray. There has never been any strange business going on that has ever given us cause for concern.

 

"We are keeping an open mind until we find out more, but all those who have had experiences are very shaken by them and insist they are real."

 

Since news of the visions had spread over the past months, his Sunday congregations had doubled and scores of new religious devotees had been visiting the church each week in the hope of having an apparition of their own, Father Fazzi said.

 

Bishop of Nice Monseigneur Louis Sankale sent his deputy, Father Stephane Drillon, to investigate the phenomena at St Paul's.

 

A spokesman for the Bishop said a letter had also been sent to the Vatican informing church leaders of the events in Cannes, adding: "We are taking no official view at present on the veracity of what is going on at St Paul's, but it has roused enough interest for us to send someone to find out more.

 

The bishop's envoy Father Drillon said: "We are taking detailed statements from everyone who claims to have experienced anything. On the surface there appears to be something exceptional going on at St Paul's Church, but we need to dig deeper to investigate the authenticity of this.

 

"The church never dismisses these kinds of claims out of hand, but it is our policy to remain prudent."

 

The last apparition of the Virgin Mary officially acknowledged by the Vatican is also said to have taken place in France.

 

The mother of Jesus is said to have appeared to 14-year-old farmer's daughter Bernadette Soubirous in February 1858 in a mountain grotto in the Pyrenees mountain town of Lourdes. The shrine, whose waters are said to have miraculous healing powers, now attracts five milion visitors a year. thisislondon

 
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