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Prophet Caputa attracts pilgrims to see the Virgin Mary

Some attendees said they had smelled the scent of roses associated with Mary.

Salvatore Caputa

Some 300 followers of a self-appointed Italian prophet gathered at a Bavarian chapel on Saturday in a pilgrimage to see an apparition of the Virgin Mary.

Believers say that the mother of Jesus has appeared in the St Lawrence Chapel in Unterflossing twice in the past, most recently in September.

The pilgrims waited for hours in the cold, singing and praying. There was no official service, however, as the Catholic Church has refused to recognize the apparitions.

But in September 2017, the archdiocese of Munich had sent an observer to report back to church leaders. Caputa, who has been claiming to have seen visitations by Mary since 1986 and to have had conversations with her.

The regional archdiocese had instructed its clerics not to become involved in order to avoid lending any legitimacy to the gathering.

At 4:30 pm local time, the prophet, Salvatore Caputa, sank to his knees holding a rosary and looked into the distance. The Virgin had called for prayers for peace, said the 73-year-old former police official, adding: "Open your hearts."

Some attendees said they had smelled the scent of roses associated with Mary.

The church has recognized Marian apparitions in the past, including Lourdes in France, Fatima in Portugal, Guadalupe in Mexico and Knock in Ireland.

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