Mélanie and Maximin, the two children privileged to see Mary in 1846, came from the town of Corps near Grenoble, in a poor part of south-eastern France. Maximin Giraud was eleven years old at the time and Mélanie Calvat fourteen. On Saturday 19 September, they were looking after their employer’s cattle, high up on the pasture above La Salette, a village near Corps, when they saw a wonderful apparition of Mary.
A globe of light opened to reveal a resplendent woman seated on a stone with her head in her hands. The children later described her as very tall and beautiful, wearing a long, white, pearl studded, sleeved dress, and a white shawl, with a tiara of light on her head. Hanging from her neck was a large crucifix adorned with a small hammer and pincers, with a brilliantly shining figure of Christ on it. The hammer indicates the sins of humankind, which drove the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet. The open pliers recall how these nails are mercifully removed and remind us of our obligation to repent of our sins and become reconciled with Christ, her son. The whole effect was as if she was made of light.
Speaking tearfully she told them that unless people repented she would be forced to let go the arm of her Son because it had become so heavy. Mary went on to complain that she had to pray ceaselessly to her Son for them, but the people still worked on Sundays and blasphemed her Son’s Holy Name. She also spoke of coming punishments for these sins, including crop blights and famine.She asked that people start obeying the Second and Third Commandment, namely to cease using her Son’s name in vain and keeping holy Sunday, the Lord’s day. Then she crossed the brook, walked slowly to the top of the hill and rose more than a yard in the air. There she turned and gazed in the direction of Rome and said once again: “Very well, my children, make this known to all my people.” She confided a secret to each of the children, which they were not to divulge, although eventually these secrets were made known to Pope Pius IX.
Finally she asked the children to spread her message before disappearing. When the children returned home they told their story, an account of which was taken down in writing the next day. They faced much opposition in making known Mary’s message, but they maintained their story with resolution. The local Bishop too faced quite a degree of opposition in investigating the apparition, and it was only after four years, and having set up two commissions of inquiry, that Mgr de Bruillard, as bishop of Grenoble, approved of devotion to Our Lady of Salette, in the following terms.
The Virgin having told us the reasons for God’s anger, all our sins, especially sins against the Second and Third Commandments. She asked that this message of conversion and reconciliation be made known to all people and that we turn from sin and back to Almighty God.The apparition in La Salette, September 19, 1846 was approved: November 16, 1851.
“We declare that the apparition of the Blessed Virgin to two shepherds, on September 19, 1846, on a mountain in the Alps in the parish of La Salette, bears in itself all the marks of truth and that the faithful are justified in believing without question in its truth. And so, to mark our lively gratitude to God and the glorious Virgin Mary, we authorise the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette.”
The La Salette message is timeless, although Our Lady spoke these words over 160 years ago, her message is as relevant today as it was in 1846.
“My children, you will make this known to all my people.” September 19, 1846
Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to thee.
Hanging from her neck was a large crucifix adorned with a small hammer and pincers, with a brilliantly shining figure of Christ on it. The hammer indicates the sins of humankind, which drove the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet. The open pliers recall how these nails are mercifully removed and remind us of our obligation to repent of our sins and become reconciled with Christ,herSon.
Memorare to Our Lady of LaSalette
Remember, Our Lady of La Salette, true Mother of Sorrows, the tears you shed for us on Calvary. Remember also the care you have taken to keep us faithful to Christ, your Son. Having done so much for your children you will not now abandon us. Comforted by this consoling thought, we come to you pleading, despite our infidelities and ingratitude.
Virgin of Reconciliation, do not reject our prayers, but interced for us, obtain for us the grace to love Jesus above all else. May we console you by living a holy life and so come to share the eternal life Christ gained by his cross. Amen.
Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you.
Apparition: September 19th, 1846
JOHN PAUL II ON THE
APPARITIONS OF LA SALETTE:
“In this place, Mary, the loving Mother appeared manifesting her pain for the moral evil caused by humanity. Her tears help us to understand the seriousness of sin and the rejection of God, and at the same time it is a manifestation of the passionate fidelity that her Son has for each person, even though His redemptive love is marked by the wounds of treason and abandonment by men.”
Quotes from Popes since the Apparition of La Salette:
“The Shrine of La Salette is of great authenticity and is destined to have a future. I love this devotion and shall be glad to see it spread.”
Pope Pius IX
“With all my heart, I bless La Salette and everything that pertains to La Salette.”
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Pius X gave to La Salette and its benefactors his most copious blessings.
“The devotion of Our Lady of La Salette ought to spread, for it is a devotion that goes straight to the heart.” Pope Benedict XV
“Our Lady of La Salette is to you a kind Providence.” Pope Pius XI
“It can be easily understood that your Religious Family should particularly take to heart the Centenary celebration of the blessed afternoon, the 19th of September, 1846, when the Madonna in Tears came to adjure her children to enter resolutely the path of conversion to her Divine Son, and of reparation for so many sins that offend the August and Eternal Majesty.
“Very willingly do we direct our desires and encouragement to the dear Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, in the easy confidence that the Most Holy Virgin will, in return, be glad to obtain for them a great abundance of graces and consolation for the fruitfulness of their ministry, now so varied and reaching to the most distant fields of the Apostolate.”
Pope Pius XII
LA SALETTE, FRANCE
This Holy Image appeared while printing the biography of Fr. Joseph Whalen, M.S. at Chase Graphics in Putnam, CT on September 11, 2007. It was on the top of a clean stack of clothes which are used to wipe down the printing equipment. Paul, who had just finished printing Father’s life story was reading the cover page which says,
” A Story of How God writes straight with crooked lines.”