Prompted by the enormous increase in sightings of the Virgin Mary in every region of the United States, Looking for Mary is reported by Beverly Donofrio, who, like many Catholics, regards Mary as a central figure in her spiritual life. But like many Americans, Donofrio has long been fascinated by — and skeptical of — people who claim they are speaking to Mary. So in February, 1997, she set off on a physical journey, visiting apparition sites across the United States, and a spiritual journey, trying to understand the role that Mary has played in her own life.

This documentary examines the phenomenon of men and women experiencing visions of the Virgin Mary from Donofrio’s intimate perspective. Producer David Isay, associate producer Stacy Abramson and writer Donofrio take listeners to apparition sites around the country — from New York and California to Georgia and Arizona — speaking to people who believe they are communicating with the Blessed Mother.

Recorded in New York City. Premiered December 6, 1997, on Weekend Edition Saturday.

This documentary comes from Sound Portraits Productions, a mission-driven independent production company that was created by Dave Isay in 1994. Sound Portraits was the predecessor to StoryCorps and was dedicated to telling stories that brought neglected American voices to a national audience.