By Tim Binnall
In a bizarre story out of Texas, an alleged visionary who claims to receive messages from the Virgin Mary and other spiritual figures has been deemed a fake by Church officials following the release of a rather damning piece of security footage. According to a website created by the woman at the center of the strange saga, the Virgin Mary first appeared to her in 2017 with a series of seven messages about the sanctity of life. The self-proclaimed visionary says that she was subsequently visited by various angels, saints, and even Jesus Christ himself with warnings for the Church and other insights.
It would seem that at some point in recent weeks, the visionary's story of the Virgin Mary appearing to her as the 'Mystical Rose - Our Lady of Argyle' captured the imagination of people at various churches around the city of Denton. The proverbial buzz about the apparitions as well as their accompanying miracles and messages apparently became so significant that, earlier this month, the Catholic Diocese of Forth Worth, which oversees the region where the furor was unfolding, was forced to issue a statement about the situation.
In a letter to parishioners, Bishop Michael Olson advised them to exercise prudence when it comes to tales "of apparitions or of messages and miracles" that had been circulating in the community. He also vehemently denied "recent claims made on websites and in social media" that the visions and their accompanying messages had been authenticated by the Church. Although Olson conceded that "from time to time apparitions do occur," he expressed considerable skepticism over the 'Our Lady of Argyle' and discouraged anyone from offering "credence or support" to the story.
What may have been nothing more than a worrisome nuisance turned into what Olson later called a "scandal" when security camera footage emerged of the visionary visiting a religious center late last month. In the remarkable video, the woman can be seen entering what looks like a conference room and nonchalantly dropping a rose on the ground. The out-of-place flower soon catches the attention of the unwitting people who join her in the room and they are dumbfounded by its 'inexplicable' appearance on the floor, going so far as to reverently smell and take pictures with their phones of what the visionary reportedly claimed to them was "a miraculous gift of the Virgin Mary."
With the jaw-dropping video in hand, Olson issued a second statement about the 'Our Lady of Argyle' case saying that it was his "sad responsibility" to tell parishioners that the footage was "irrefutable evidence that these purported apparitions, messages, and miracles are, in fact, a fabrication." He went on to note that an attempt to meet with the visionary following the video revelation had fallen through and asked that she take down her website in light of recent events. It remains to be seen whether she'll honor the request or simply say that the scene caught by the security camera was some kind of 'divine intervention.'