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Discernment of Private Revelation

Claims of Private Revelation: True or False?
An Evaluation of the visions, dreams, and locutions to Carmen Humphrey

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The claim of private revelation by Carmen Humphrey of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada is different from many of the other claims. She not only has messages from locutions, but dreams and visions as well, to which she gives a spiritual interpretation. In addition, she claims that God has healed many persons from various afflictions by the prayers of herself and her prayer group. Her locutions and her description of dreams and visions is available in both English and French.

1. I have read through the locutions, dreams, and visions on her personal web site. I find no theological or moral errors in this material.

2. There are no clearly false statements about the future. There appear to be no errors of eschatological theology.

3. There are none of the usual characteristics of false private revelation. The material is not sensational. It does not present distorted doctrine. It does not exalt the person receiving the private revelation. It does not give excessive attention to evil or to sin. It does not contain long rambling uninformative diatribes, nor vague and confused predictions. There are no empty exhortations to holiness, nor are various unusual new titles given to the Virgin Mary. The vocabulary and language are simple and humble, not sensational and worldly.

4. The dreams and visions are unusual, but they are also clearly symbolic and metaphorical. Some could be called silly or child-like. But this does not disqualify them. God presents private revelation to each person according to their own personality and level of understanding. The messages to Fr. Gobbi contain some very subtle and profound theology - but he is a priest and, by practice, a theologian. On the other hand, Carmen Humphrey is a wife, mother, and a nurse.

5. Some examples follow, quoted from her site at

a. Vision: As we were praying the 1000 Hail Mary's, I saw us placing our intentions into a large container. The container became more defined and I saw it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Mary said: Thank you for gathering again to pray for all your concerns. I invite you to bring to my heart your fears, your illnesses, your petitions, but also bring to my Immaculate Heart your children, your parents, your friends and all those you pray for.

I will pour abundant graces upon each one and present them to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. How I love to hear your voices joined together in prayer. It warms my heart and I thank you from the bottom of My Immaculate Heart. I bless you all in the Name of Jesus my Son. -- Mary

Commentary: This is one of the simpler visions. It is accompanied by Mary speaking in either the vision itself or through a locution. The large container for prayerful intentions turns into Mary's Immaculate Heart. This image is a simple, humble, pious representation of Mary as our intercessor through her Immaculate Heart.

b. Vision: I saw myself on a high cliff. There was a narrow path on front of me. I was suddenly in a wheelchair and Jesus was pushing me down this path. The path was very narrow and there were cliffs on both sides. There were rocks and stones and potholes on the path. Jesus started running, it was a bumpy ride, rocks and stones were falling off the path and I could hear them hitting the sides of the cliffs below us. The path narrowed where there was only enough room for one set of wheels. We were going so fast, Jesus' hair was flowing behind him and so was mine flowing behind me. I held on for dear life. My eyes were wide and my face stressed, my fingers white from holding on so tight. Jesus on the other hand was surefooted and confident, I felt him at ease and sort of enjoying Himself. Finally, the path widened and the surface cleared up and the cliffs disappeared. Jesus quickly turned the wheelchair around and He was facing me. He said calmly... “You can always trust me.”

Commentary: While the image presented may seem somewhat silly, the story is much like a parable. The actual events of the parable are not intended to be a literal description of an actual event. The elements of the parable are symbolic and metaphorical. And the image of a wheelchair likely comes from this visionary's own experience as a nurse. There is nothing wrong with this method of presenting truth.

c. Vision: During our cenacle tonight (May 28, 2002), we were praying the Sorrowful Mysteries and during the 4th decade, I saw the Blessed Mother go to each person in the group. She made the sign of the cross on their foreheads and said: “I come with the Blessings of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and I place a seal on your forehead. This will give you hope, strength and perseverance.” I saw that the cross on everyone's forehead was not just a cross but actually a Crucified Christ.

Commentary: Carmen is usually the only one in the group that can see these visions. The symbolic sealing of foreheads calls to mind the Seal of the Living God from Revelation chapter 7. It is not yet the time when the elect receive the Seal on their foreheads, but this vision foreshadows it.

d. Vision: At St. Mary's Church, I prayed for a lady whose brother is suffering with leukemia. As I prayed I saw the Virgin Mary shooting pool. She held the cue stick and was leaning over the pool table. On the pool table I saw all the red blood cells, the white blood cells, the platelets, all the blood components. Mary was rearranging all the cells like they were pool balls. ( I thought it was funny to see the Blessed Mother with her long robe shooting pool and when asked I said what I had seen and it seems this man we were praying for plays pool all the time. )

Commentary: While some may dismiss such visions because the image presented is somewhat silly, I find nothing wrong with this metaphorical presentation of truth. Some parish priests give sermons that use fictional or metaphorical stories, even ones that are quite amusing. There is nothing immoral or unethical about the image of the Virgin Mary shooting pool. Clearly, though, this is symbolic. The pool balls represent blood cells. The message relates to a particular man's disease of the blood, over which the Virgin Mary has more power than a pool expert has over pool balls.

e. From Mary:
“My precious children, how I love hearing your prayers. I place them in my Immaculate Heart. I thank you and I bless you and your families. Stay very close to my Immaculate Heart. Stay close to my Son, Jesus. Many false statements are going around. There will be confusion, you will feel hurt and offended. Do not let these things divide your prayer groups. Do not spread false statements. Pray for those who believe them. Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you. He will not lead you astray. Pray for these false prophets. If you have the love of Jesus in your heart, you will know the truth. Satan is trying to divide my people in his final hour. Pay no attention to him. He will only think he is succeeding. You are my chosen ones. Nothing can take you away from me. I will protect you. Become like little children, I gather you all around me and I place my mantle around each one of you and your families. Ask for protection from all the angels and saints. They are there to help you. Be patient, very patient, God's plan will unfold as is His Holy will! Pray that He will send His Spirit very soon. My prayers are joined to yours. I need your prayers, your sacrifices and your suffering. Soon, all your tears will go away, I long for that time when you will feel my presence near you. Mine, and that of my Son, Jesus!”

This locution or message from Mary is one of the few that contain eschatological statements. Although some of the statements seem to indicate that the end times will be soon, this type of language is common in writings about the future, even in Scripture. Words like 'final hour,' and, 'very soon,' should not be interpreted as if every predicted future event would happen for this generation. Such is not the truth, nor does this message say so. Other portions of the message balance these expressions of immediacy, by saying: 'Be patient, very patient, God's plan will unfold as is His Holy will!' The reason that Mary offers both types of statements (the end is soon, and not so soon) is that the tribulation is two-fold: one part for this generation, followed by a respite of peace and holiness, the second part for the distant future, followed by a long time of peace and holiness.

f. From Mary:
“My precious children, I thank you for this union of prayer. I place each prayer, each petition into My Immaculate Heart. Rest assured that I will bless them. Today, I ask for special prayers for all the priests. Those consecrated to My Immaculate Heart and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and those who are not. These priests who are already heavily burdened will soon be taxed heavily as God's Plan unfolds. Some will crumble. Pray that they persevere, that they have the strength to stay in the true faith, so that they can lead you, my little children. You are so precious to me, I embrace you all. I love to hear your prayers, as they reach my ears, my heart jumps with joy. You have to become like little children, meek and trusting, I will not abandon you. I hold each one of you in My Immaculate Heart, which My Son Jesus holds in His Sacred Hands.”

Again, here is a message with something of an eschatological tone. The idea is presented that some priests are not very close to God, and that some will therefore crumble as the tribulation begins. To anyone familiar with Catholic thought about the future, such an idea is not unusual. The great apostasy, spoken of in many sources, is said to apply to some priests, and even to a few Bishops, as well as to many of the laity (see the secrets of La Salette, for an example). But even these priests who are about to fail can be strengthened and preserved by prayer and sacrifice.

Healings: Carmen's claim that God has healed numerous persons through the prayers of herself and her prayer group are not something that I can investigate and judge. However, it is not unusual for the prayers of any ordinary Christian to result in healing and other types of assistance to those in need.

Carmen's Comments: In a section of her site, Carmen comments on various topics. Her comments are not private revelation. She seems to be a devout and faithful Catholic.

Summary: After reviewing her writings about her visions, dreams, and locutions, in my humble and pious opinion as a faithful Roman Catholic theologian, her claims of private revelation are reliable and trustworthy.

by Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Sept. 18, 2005

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