Barnay used original information for his study of Marian apparitions during the Middle Ages. However, Barnay's study for the Patristic age and the Renaissance is based only on secondary references. Statistics from the secondary sources include many apparitions of "which nothing is known except that someone claimed to have had them." (Laurentin 77) We will now summarize Barnay's information about the Patristic age, the Middle ages, and the Renaissance.
Patristic Age : There is no recorded literature about apparitions for the early centuries of the Church. The first attestations of Marian apparitions are from the fourth century. For example, Gregory of Nyssa, who lived in the fourth century, recorded that Gregory the Wonder worker (213-270 A.D.) was the first beneficiary of a Marian apparition.
Middle Ages : Canon Laurentin notes that "we do not know much" about cases of Marian apparitions recorded from the Middle Ages. The two most interesting cases from the Middle Ages are the seers at the Cistercian Monastery of Helfta (thirteenth century) and the visions of St. Bridget of Sweden (who lived 1303-1373).
Renaissance : During the sixteenth century, a new kind of apparition began. These apparitions had a public character and were intended to "re-animate faith" and to "surmount the world's crises." (Laurentin 88) The most significant case is Guadalupe (1531) which gave "birth to a new church on a new continent." (Laurentin 88)
The graph and historical summary are based on the following sources:
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