Following Turzovka (1958-1962) and Litmanova (1990-1995), the village of Dechtice is the third modern apparition site in Slovakia, where scientifically unexplained events began on December 4, 1994. On their way home from Sunday Mass, four children were talking about going to pray by a local cross in Dobra Voda when one of them saw the sun spin and change colour. Sensing that this could be a sign, the children began to pray the Rosary. Martin Gavenda - who would become the main seer of the apparitions - saw a white light and a female figure who said that she wanted to use him for God's plans. At the woman's next appearance, the children sprinkled the mysterious figure with blessed water, thinking it might be a demon, but the woman did not disappear. The apparitions continued in Dobra Voda, then in Dechtice, where other children also began to receive messages. On August 15, 1995, the woman identified herself as Mary, Queen of Help.
The principal themes of the messages from Dechtice, which continue to this day, are essentially the same as those received at other credible apparition sites in recent decades. They underscore Satan's attempt to destroy the Church and the whole world and the remedy given by Heaven: the sacraments, the Rosary, fasting and reparation for offenses committed against the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, refuge and "ark" for the faithful in our troubled times.
The children were received and blessed by Mgr Dominik Toth of the Trnava-Bratislava archdiocese, where an official inquiry was instigated on October 28, 1998. No pronouncement has yet been made on the authenticity of the apparitions, which continue to be monitored by the Church.