In a recent television interview, Pope Francis criticized false Marian apparitions saying they cause confusion. 'Not all of them are real,' he said, because Mary never asks to be the center of attention.
The Pope also said that when Marian devotion is too centered on itself, it is not good for those who follow it.
This is a hot topic in Italy, where residents of a lakeside town near Rome asked Pope Francis to intercede with a local woman who has styled herself as a saint.
For five years, the woman has organized visits to a statue of Mary and asked for donations. She insists the statue cries tears of blood, but when analyzed under a microscope, the “tears” were found to be false.
The Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Mary has often warned about this type of phenomenon.
Pontifical Academy of Mary
They say many things—that Pope Francis is the Antichrist, that he is leading the Church to disaster...but everything comes from a lack of information. We, for example, as the Marian Academy, are giving free online courses of Mariology precisely to know the exact Catholic Mariology and to know the true Mary as opposed to so many frauds in the world.
A local auxiliary bishop has asked his parishioners to stop going to the alleged shrine. Some people have prayed there to be cured of serious illnesses. Others have even donated roughly $100,000.