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Hundreds Flock To Ala. Field To Meet Woman Claiming To See Virgin Mary

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File photo of a Roman Catholic cathedral. (credit: BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a Roman Catholic cathedral. (credit: BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

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STERRETT, Ala. (AP) — A religious group in central Alabama is wrapping up a holiday-week event that’s drawn thousands of people who want to be near a woman who claims to have visions of the Virgin Mary.

Believers from across the nation gathered this week at a Roman Catholic compound called Caritas of Birmingham to see Marija Pavlovic Lunetti. They’ve spent hours praying in a Shelby County field near a statue of Christ’s mother.

Lunetti is among a group of people who first claimed to have visions of Mary in 1981 in the southern European town of Medjugorje. She’s been making regular visits to Alabama since 1988.

The Alabama group has a huge publishing operation that sends materials worldwide promoting messages from Mary.

The Roman Catholic church hasn’t taken a position on the visions.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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