Through the 1990s, the small community of Conyers, Georgia,
has been the scene of continuing apparitions of the Virgin
Mary to a housewife, Nancy Fowler. The story began in February
of 1987 when Fowler, then living in Atlanta, claimed to have
seen Jesus Christ for the first time. Over the following months
she received locutions, interior words, that spoke to various issues.
Then in October of that year, she made a trip to Medjugorje,
the small community in Bosnia where apparitions had
been occurring to a group of youths since the beginning of the
decade. While there, she heard Jesus call her to be his prophet.
On November 30, He appeared again, in the form of Divine
Mercy, as He had appeared earlier in the century to Maria
Faustina Kowalska, and engulfed in light. At this time she inquired,
What do You ask He answered, To bear witness
that I am the Living Son of God.
From that day, Jesus began to appear daily to Fowler. Then
in January of 1988, she had an experience of being carried
away to heaven. This experience would be repeated on several
occasions. A few weeks later she for the first time saw the Virgin
Mary, who also began to communicate regularly with her.
These messages came to include messages on the 13th of each
month, in remembrance of events at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917,
concerning the situation in America, and confidential messages
similar to the secrets of Fatima.
Around 1990 Fowler, who had confided the account of her
experiences to very few people, moved to rural Conyers into a
house with a large backyard. Once relocated, she was able to let
the world know what had occurred, and crowds of people began
to seek her out. The apparitions of Mary on the 13th have become
the main times when thousands arrive. Two volumes of
the most important early messages that were received were
published in 1991 and 1992.
In 1992, the archbishop of Atlanta issued a cautious statement
concerning the apparitions. Without making any judgments,
he did not support the unofficial nature of the events
at Conyers, requesting that no priest publicly identify with or
serve the Eucharist at the site, and that no official pilgrimages
be organized. He saw no reason at the time to launch an official
investigation. A year later, a scientific team led by Dr. Ricardo
Castanon, a professor of neuropsychophysiology at the Catholic
University of Bolivia, subjected Fowler to a series of tests not
unlike tests given to other recent claimants of extraordinary
contact with the Virgin Mary and quite similar to those given
to JZ Knight, who for 20 years has been channeling Ramtha,
believed to be an enlightened master teacher. These tests suggested
that Fowler was in fact entering various altered states of
consciousness and was not suffering from any form of psychopathology.
The apparitions continued through the 1990s into the new
century, and crowds are especially welcomed on the 13th of
each month. Over the years, Fowler also claims to have seen
several of the saints, Catherine Laborné and Theresa of Lisieaux,
known to Roman Catholics as the Little Flower, as well
as the famous stigmatist Padre Pio.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta has yet to pronounce an opinion
on the apparitions.
To Bear Witness that I AM the Living Son of God. 2 vols. Newington,
Va. Our Loving Mothers Children, 1991, 1992.