IMPORTANT NOTES CONCERNING THE APPARITION OF OUR LADY OF LA SALETTE:
The shepherd children Maximino and Melanie saw our Blessed Mother
Mary and received urgent messages for all humanity.
The Virgin Mary mentioned specifically the need to renounce to two
grave and very common sins:
2. Not honoring Sundays as days set aside for the Lord to rest and
to attend Holy Mass.
She asked the children to pray, to sacrifice and to propagate the
The Blessed Mother cried with her head in her hands, because men
were ignoring the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Several religious congregations, inspired by the apparitions of La
Salette, were founded. Among them are the Missionaries and the
Sisters of Our Lady of La Salette, dedicated to promoting the
message of reconciliation.
La Salette is one of the approved apparitions of the XX century.
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.”
HISTORY OF LA SALETTE
This great event occurred on top of the mountainous area of
southeastern France, near the village of La Salette. Two children,
Maximino Giraud (11 years old) and Melanie Mathieu (15 years old),
were caring for the sheep. Melanie had been doing this type of work
was nine years old, but for Maximinio it was all new. His father had
asked him to do it as an act of generosity toward a farmer whose
worker was ill.
Here is a narration of the day before the apparitions, according to
the visionary Melanie:
“On September 18th, 1846, on the eve of the apparition of Our Lady,
I was alone as usual caring for my master’s cattle. Around 11:00 am
in the morning I saw a boy coming towards me. A first I was afraid;
I thought everyone knew I avoided all types of company. The boy got
nearer and said to me: ‘Hey girl, I want to go with you, I’m from
Corps.’ To these words, I reacted with my natural meanness and said,
‘I want to be alone.’ But he followed me and said, ‘My master sent
me here to you to help with the cattle. I come from Corps.’ I was
annoyed and departed
from him, letting him know that I didn’t want anyone around me.
After a certain distance, I sat down on the grass. Usually, while
alone, I would talk to the flowers of the field or to the Good God.
“After a moment, Maximino was sitting behind me, and he told me very
directly, ‘Let me be with you. I will behave.’ Against my will and
feeling pity for him, I allowed him to stay. Upon hearing the bells
from La Salette for the Angelus, I told him to elevate his soul to
God. He took off his hat and stayed in silence for a moment. Later
we walked and played together. At sun down we walked down the
mountain and promised to return the next day to take the cattle.”
The following day Saturday, September 19th, 1846, was a very hot
day and the children decided to eat their lunch in a shaded area.
Melanie discovered that Maximino was a good child, simple and
willing to talk about what she wanted. He was playful and flexible,
but yet somewhat curious. They took the cattle to a small mountain
opening and decided to stay and take a nap. Both slept deeply.
Melanie was the first to awaken. She did not see the cattle, and she
quickly awakened Maximino. Together they went in search for the
cattle and found them resting in the pasture. The two children then
returned to the spot near where they napped to get the utensils they
had used for lunch. Suddenly, they saw a luminous globe that seemed
to divide itself. Melanie asked Maximino if he saw what she was
seeing. She exclaimed, “Oh, My God!” and dropped the stick she had
been holding in her hand. Something unreal and inconceivable filled
her at that moment. Full of profound respect and love, she felt
attracted to this vision, and her heart began to beat rapidly.
Suddenly, they saw a woman sitting on an enormous rock. She had her
face in her hands and was crying bitterly. Melanie and Maximino were
frightened, but the Lady, rising slowly to her feet and crossing her
arms softly, called them towards her and told them not to be afraid.
She added that she had great and important news to communicate. Her
gentle and soft words made the children go near to her with haste.
Melanie recalls that at that moment her heart wanted to be close to
the beautiful Lady.
The Lady was tall and with a majestic appearance. Her dress was
white, with an apron around her waist. It seemed to be gold in
color, but they could not say for certain because the fabric did not
seem to be of the earth, and it shone more brilliantly than the sun.
Over her arms she had a beautiful white shawl surrounded by a border
containing many multicolored roses.
A chain with a crucifix hung from her neck. Two items hung over the
crossbar of the crucifix– on one side a hammer, and on the other
side pliers. A crown of roses on her head radiated luminous rays,
like a diadem. Tears from her beautiful eyes flowed over her cheeks.
A light more brilliant then the sun, but somehow different,
To explain her tears, she told the children that the hand of her Son
was so heavy and strong that she could no longer sustain it. It
would only change if people would do penance and obey the laws of
God. If they did not, they would have to suffer much. She said,
“People do not observe the Day of the Lord. They continue to work
with out ceasing on Sundays. Only some older women go to Mass in the
summer. And in the winter, when there is nothing else to do, they go
to Church to ridicule religion. Lenten time is ignored. Men swear,
taking the Name of God in vain. The disobedience and disregard of
God’s commandments are the things that make the hand of My Son
The Lady continued conversing with the children, and she foretold
them of a terrible famine and food shortage. She also explained that
the potato harvest had gone bad for the same reasons the previous
year. When the men had found the rotten potatoes, they swore and
blasphemed against the Name of God and more. Our Lady said that in
the coming year, the harvest would go bad again. The corn and wheat
would become dust when touched, the nuts would spoil and the grapes
would be rotten. Later, the Lady communicated to each child a secret
that they were not to reveal to anyone, except the Holy Father
through a special petition that he himself would make.
The Lady added that if the people would convert, the rocks and
stones would become wheat and potatoes would be found planted on the
earth. Then she asked the children, “Do you do your prayers well, my
children?” They both responded, “Oh no, my Lady; not too well.”
She answered, “Oh, my children! You have to say them well at night
time and in the morning. When you cannot pray them well, pray an Our
Father and a Hail Mary; and when you have time and can, pray more.”
With her maternal voice, she ended: “Well, my children, tell all
this to my people.” She then moved toward the place where the
children had went to look for the cattle. Her feet glided, touching
only the tips of the grass without bending it. On the mountain the
Lady stopped. Melanie and Maximino ran towards her rapidly to see
where she was heading. Our Lady elevated slowly. She stayed elevated
a few minutes a few meters up (aprox. 3-5m). She then looked up to
heaven, to her right (towards Rome), to her left (France), and last,
into the eyes of the children. Then, intermingled with the globe of
light, she rose until she disappeared in the firmament.
After the Apparition
Only a few believed what the children saw and heard. The farmers
who came into contact with the children where amazed at them. They
were so ignorant, and yet they were able to transmit and
communicate, in French, a complicated message which they did not
understand well. As well, they were able to do this clearly and with
The following morning Melanie and Maximino were taken to see the
pastor. He was an older priest, very generous and respected. The
priest, upon interrogating the children and hearing of the events,
was very surprised and believed they were telling the truth.
The following Sunday at Mass the priest spoke about the visit of the
Lady and her petition. When the news that the pastor spoke about an
apparition from the pulpit reached the bishop, he was reprimanded
and replaced by another priest. This is not surprising, given that
the Church is very prudent in not making hasty judgments on
Melanie and Maximino were constantly interrogated by curious people
as well as very devoted ones. They simplely said the same story,
repeating it over and over. To those interested in going up the
mountain, they take them to the place where Our Lady appeared. On
several occasions, they were threatened with jail if they did not
deny the alleged apparitions and if they continued to speak about
them. With out fear or hesitation, they continued to report all the
messages that Our Lady gave them.
Soon after, a fountain emerged near the place where Our Lady
appeared. The water from the fountain ran down to the stream below.
Many miracles started to occur. The terrible calamities foretold
started to happen. The terrible potato famine of 1846 occurred,
especially bad in Ireland where many died. The shortage of wheat and
corn was very severe; more then one million people in Europe died of
hunger. A disease affected the grapes throughout all of France. Most
likely the punishment would have been worse without the messages of
However, as a result, many people started to go to Mass. The
businesses began to close on Sundays, and people stopped working
unnecessarily. The bad words and blasphemies started to diminish.
The Bishop of La Salette named two theologians to investigate the
apparitions and all the healings that had occured. For five years
detailed investigations took place. In approximately 80 different
places throughout France, bishops named canon lawyers to investigate
the miraculous healings that had occurred as a result of prayers to
Our Lady of La Salette and from the water of the fountain. Hundreds
of miracles were registered.
The Holy Father, Pius IX, approved the devotion to Our Lady of La
Salette. He requested that the children send him the events of the
apparition in writing. Some time later the Holy Father said: “These
are the secrets of La Salette; if the world does not repent, all
PROCLAMATION OF MIRACLES
March 4th, 1849
Mellon Joli, Archbishop of Sens, Bishop of Auxerre, Primate
Bishop of las Galias y de Germany:
“I have seen the report from the named Commission on January 24th,
1848 for the legal investigation about the healing that
extraordinarily occurred in Avallon on November 12th, 1847 to the
person of Antoinette Bollenat after praying a novena to the Virgin
Mary, invoking the name of Our Lady of La Salette. Seeing the
interrogations made to the witnesses and doctors . . .and having
asked the opinion of my Council, and invoking the Name of God, we
declare for the Glory of God, the glorification of the Blessed
Virgin Mary and for the edification of the faithful, that such
healing presents all the conditions and miraculous characteristics.”
August 1st, 1849.
Luis Rossat, Bishop of Verdún:
“We declare the event of instant healing certain and unquestionable,
since April 1, 1849 until today, in the person of Martin, student of
our major Seminary. According to the relations we ordered, very
difficult to explain by only natural means, we are surprised that
the students of our seminary unanimously attribute the healing to
the supernatural intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
The account aforementioned, signed by the Superior of the Seminary,
the accountant and three professors, affirm that M. Martin is an
edifying minor cleric, of intact confidence. During the course until
April 1st, he hardly was able to lean on his left leg without
continuous pain, disabling him from continuing his community
obligations. The Bishop decided not to admit him to minor orders
until he was completely cured. On April 1st he started a novena to
Our Lady of La Salette, and his spiritual director at 6pm gave him a
glass of water from La Salette to drink. At 7pm he was walking,
going up and down, running through the stairs. The healing strongly
impressed the seminary. “
January 12th, 1855.
Clemente, Bishop of la Rochelle and of Saintes:
“I have heard the testimonies of many people about the sudden
healing of Madame Bonnet of an incurable disease, as a consequence
to a novena she did to Our Lady of La Salette. Attentively examining
the verbal process requested to Dr. M. Kemmerer who testifies the
impossibility of a cure by human means, consulting our Council, and
invoking light from the Holy Spirit, we pronounce that it can only
be attributed to a supernatural intervention.”
A beautiful basilica was constructed on the place of the
apparitions, six thousand feet above sea level. Today, next to the
basilica, is a center for welcoming, receiving and accommodating
A new congregation of priests was founded: Missionary Priests of Our
Lady of La Salette. They have houses and schools around the world.
To promote their work and to contribute to the propagation of the
messages of Our Lady of penance, a confraternity was founded and
elevated immediately to a congregation.
A congregation of religious, the Sisters of Our Lady of La Salette,
was established to help pilgrim women and the sick. Many pilgrims
visit the Basilica annually, and with a penitent spirit, climb the
mountain. Many miracles of body and soul occur, depending on the
devotion of the faithful and God’s grace.
THE MESSAGES AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE
If we ask ourselves about the significance and the grace given to
humanity on September 19th, 1846, we find in the Word of God
important aspects to ponder, given to us in the messages from heaven
through Our Lady of La Salette. Following are verses and points to
ponder that relate to the apparitions. These have great evangelical
significance to our times.
“To see and understand.”
“That is why I speak to them in parables, because they look and do
not see; they hear, but they do not listen or understand.” (Mt.
Before speaking, the Lady communicated with signals. Mary, Mother of
Jesus and our Mother, irradiated the light of the Resurrection. The
brilliance of her face was so much that Maximino was unable to look
permanently, and Melanie was dazzled by her presence. Her vestments,
like Christ on the mountain the day of the Transfiguration, were
resplendent with light. The light came from the big Crucifix on her
chest. Through her appearance at La Salette, Mary continues to carry
her mission received at the foot of the Cross: embrace suffering and
pain for us, to give us life in the faith.
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus
Christ, and him crucified.” (1Cor 2:2).
The crucifix is between a hammer and pliers, two instruments of the
Passion. From the shoulders of the beautiful Lady, a long chain fell
down, a biblical symbol of sin and the injustices committed by us
against our brothers and sisters. Parallel to the chains, at the
borders of her shawl, the beautiful Lady had many beautiful roses of
different colors. This reminds us of the rosary. In all of this she
shows us the consequences of sin. However, this image also shows us
our redemption gained through the cross, and the glory that will
come if we embrace it.
Also she has roses around her head and feet, like a diadem of light.
“I took root in the people God has favored, in the land of the Lord,
in their inheritance. I grew like palm trees in Engedi and the
rosebuds of Jericho “ (Sirach 24:12-14).
The meaning of her chains can be enlightened by the following
passage from the Dogmatic Constitution, Gaudium et Spes, of the
Second Vatican Council: From here man is divided in himself. That is
why all human life, individual or collective is presented as a
dynamic struggle, between evil and good, between darkness and light.
More so man finds himself incapacitated to resist efficiently by
himself the attacks of evil, feeling trapped in chains” (GS 13).
Hear and Put Into Practice (Luke 6:46, 8:21, 11: 28, James
The Lord instructed that we must put into practice what we hear.
"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' but not do what I command?” (Luke
The maternal charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary intercedes, cares,
and continues to bring the gifts of eternal salvation to us,
brothers of Her Son, who are still on our journey, surrounded with
dangers and difficulties until the day we enter the Promised Land.
The Blessed Mother speaks the language of her people. The Virgin is
a “daughter of Israel,” who lived in a specific culture, but she
appeared communicating according to the culture of her children.
Mary, as a daughter of Israel, teaches us to discover, in all events
and situations of life, the discrete presence of God who “does
marvelous things“ and who “remembers His love for His people.” She
calls us to urgent conversion. Because of her immense love for us,
she worries about our religious indifference and our sins, but also
for our problems and hopes.
The Virgin is placed in the tradition of the prophets. A prophet is
someone who God entrusts with a mission to speak in His Name to the
people, to reveal, in the temporary events of this world, the call
to a greater love. In La Salette the Virgin takes in account the
actual situation of the crops and the harvest: the wheat, the
potatoes, grapes and nuts. She starts with the pessimistic
prediction to the farmers; the famine and premature death of the
wheat if things do not change. She tells us “we do not pay
attention” and later challenges our hearts: “If you convert.” She
reminds us of the call of Him who is the Word:
“The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways
and believe the Good News” (Mk 1:15).
“Set your heart first on the kingdom of God and all these things
will also be given to you“ (Mt. 6:33).
In reality it is a call from the Gospel perhaps forgotten, and the
Blessed Mother reminds us. Meditating on her messages can help us
recall the great truths found in the Gospels. All is united in
Christ: Christ crucified and resurrected. The role of Mary in
respect to all believers is to unite us to Jesus. In our struggles,
battles and sacrifices we have the daily opportunity to be
transfigured in Christ.
“In the Name of Christ we implore you” (John 20:31; Acts 4:12)
The Blessed Virgin Mary, modeled in the Resurrected Christ, comes
with a message of peace, which is the fruit of a life lived in the
Gospel. The Virgin comes imploring for us to return to Jesus. She
asks us also, in union with her, to become missionaries. The Good
News needs to be proclaimed, heard and diffused.
The Virgin said: “If my people does not want to summit. . . “ In
these modern times is difficult to hear the words of warning. But
the Virgin does not come to take away our liberty, nor to threaten
us, but to invite us to live in the kingdom and leadership of
Christ, in communion with His will. This submission, which is
communion with God, is what Mary, the humble servant of the Lord,
lived from the Annunciation to the Crucifixion and Pentecost. That
is why all generations will call her blessed ( Luke 1:48).
We can never give recompense for the sufferings of Mary for us, but
that is the reason why we should respond more generously. “The
entire body of the faithful pours forth urgent supplications to the
Mother of God and of men that she, who aided the beginnings of the
Church by her prayers, may now, exalted as she is above all the
angels and saints, intercede before her Son in the fellowship of all
the saints” (Lumen Gentium, 69).
“Reconcile with God” (Mt 5:23; Mc.11:24; 2Cor 5:18; Ef 2:15 )
Our Lady specifies the two reasons for rejection: “The two things
that make the hand of my Son so heavy” are:
1. Disrespect on the Day of the Lord. This helps us recall the two
first books of the Bible, Genesis and Exodus, remembering that since
the beginning Christians celebrated Sunday as the day of the
Resurrection. How do I honor the day the Lord has reserved for
Himself? Do I really treat as a day of repose and a day to assist at
2. Disrespect to the Name of my Son. Those who disrespect and speak
against the Name of Christ in the midst of the least adversity are
trying to place the responsibility of their situations on God. When
we are going through trials, we center on ourselves in selfish ways
that only leads us to despair. The Blessed Mother comes to remind us
again: “Holy is His Name.” As is says in Acts 4:12, “There is no
salvation in anyone else, for there is no other Name given to
humankind all over the world by which we may be saved.”
“And whatever you do or say, do it in the Name of Jesus, the Lord,
giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:17).
“Often refusing to acknowledge God as his source, man has also upset
the relationship which should link him to his last end; and at the
same time he has broken the right order that should reign within
himself as well as between himself and other men and all creatures.”
(Gaudium et Spes, 13)
Things that Decay ( Mt 6:19; Luke 12,13; James 5:3)
Rebellion against God means “death of God in us”. The absence of God
in us inevitably leads us to death and the breaking off with the
universe. This break is cause of our decay, our corruption. To
redeem us of this evil, Jesus Christ came to the world. In La
Salette, the Blessed Virgin doesn’t take us away us from reality. On
the contrary, she gives us an urgent call to recognize the dangers
in which we live and to embrace the redemption that her Son gives
us. The harvest and rotten potatoes, the wheat that becomes dust,
the empty nuts, the ruined grapes, the famine and epidemic – all
this is caused by sin.
Our precarious situation and our short lives here on earth are
motives leading us to conversion, challenging us to follow Christ to
Calvary in our daily lives. This is the fountain of our confidence.
Today two thirds of humanity suffer from hunger and malnutrition.
Where human rights are ignored, injustice and risk of destruction
increase. May all this allow us to meditate on “the signs of God “
and help lead us to Him. In this way we will act as true brothers
and sisters, especially with those less fortunate.
“If you convert” (Ez 18:30; 1R 8:35; Mk 1:15; Luc 15; Acts 2:38,
The call to conversion is at the heart of the message of La Salette.
All is directed toward this end: the tears and the crucifix, the
light and the roses, the attitude of the beautiful Lady, her walk on
the mountain, especially her words: “Return to God with all your
heart.“ He is the only fountain of life.
“All creation is eagerly expecting the birth in glory of the
children of God “(Rom 8:19).
In the messages, Our Lady shows us three important ways of
conversion: (Mt. 6:5; Mk. 14:32; Lk 18:1; Jn 17)
1. Persevering in profound prayer. She asked the children, “Do you
do well your prayers?” They responded, “Not too well, My Lady.”
Perhaps this is also our response. The Blessed Virgin Mary exhorts
us to pray daily, morning and evening. “Stay awake and pray, so that
you man not fall into temptation” (Mt 26:41). The Blessed Mother
indicated the minimum to pray – one Our Father and one Hail Mary –
but she exhorts to go beyond this when we can.
“Therefore all the disciples of Christ, persevering in prayer and
praising God, (Acts 2:42) should present themselves as a living
sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God (Rom 12:1). Everywhere on earth
they must bear witness to Christ and give an answer to those who
seek an account of that hope of eternal life which is in them (1Pt
3:15)” (Lumen Gentium, 10).
2. Participation in Holy Mass. “During the summer only a few older
women assist Holy Mass.” It is of vital importance to participate
together weekly as Christians in the celebration of Sunday Mass. The
Word of God nourishes our faith. Contact with God in the Eucharist,
the bread of life for a new and redeemed world, is the fountain of
life. Communion with His Body offered for us and His Blood shed for
us reminds us that we should be prepared to offer our lives for all.
We participate in this mystery, and we are strengthened with His
Spirit. We are connected by our blindness and apathy in the midst of
this passing world; the Church, in the Eucharistic celebration,
understands and announces that the new world, inaugurated by the
Resurrected Christ, is really present among us. It is necessary for
us to be witnesses in our daily lives, through our individual
conduct and as members of society. The Eucharist is the fountain of
our hope and joy, and no one can take it away (Lk 21:14; Jn 13:1,
3. To recover our dignity living as Christians. “During Holy Week
you go to the butcher like dogs.” Far from scandalizing us, Our
Ladies words should pierce our consciences. In Holy Scripture, when
the people are compared to dogs, it means that they have lost the
sense their dignity. (Phil 3:2; Mt. 7:6). What can we do with our
dignity as sons and daughters of God when we waste the nourishment
that perhaps others need? To recover our dignity we are to recognize
that not from bread does man live; the efforts we do to help and
share our gifts with others put us in communion with the Son of God,
from whom all dignity comes. “Truly I say to you: whenever you did
this to these little ones who are my brothers and sisters, you did
it to me” (Mt 25:40).
Each year the Church presents us with the testimony given by Jesus
during His Passion (1 Tim 6) as a reminder that we should never
“sell” our dignity. The power of the resurrection is among us,
working and making us sons and daughters of God. Therefore, we
should never allow falsehood, error, injustice, riches or power to
compromise ourselves or our integrity. We no longer live like dogs,
but all our being and our goods are for the will of the Father.
In the Farm of "Coins" (Jer 23:24; Hosea 6:1; Mt 28:20; Lk 24:29;
The beautiful Lady mentioned to Maximino an event seemingly of
little importance: A small favor given to his father. For a long
time, Mr. Giraud didn’t attend Church and was indifferent to
religion. On September 20th when he heard the narration on the
apparitions, he reacted by prohibiting his son from repeating such
nonsense. Days later, bothered by the people coming and going,
trying to see Maximino and ask him questions, he threatened to
punish him severely if it continued. “But, Papa She spoke to me
about you,” the boy exclaimed. He reminded his father of the episode
of the ruined wheat in the farm of Coins. In this instant, his
father had been worried that his son would have nothing to eat
because the crop of wheat had been ruined. However, on Maximino’s
trip back home to Corps, someone had given Maximino some bread.
Maximino had forgotten the incident, the same way his father had
forgotten. Mr. Giraud was surprised; he believed that he had
expelled God out of his life. With this incident, he realized that
that God never ceases, not even for an instant, to hear the hopes
and anxieties of His children, even the fear of not having bread to
give to his son. This discovery was the beginning of an authentic
conversion, which intensified later with the miraculous healing of
his chronic asthma.
We can ask ourselves if we are really conscience of the presence of
God wherever we go. When we share our bread with others in need,
anywhere in our lives, the Father in heaven is there, for He is the
fountain of life.
Urgent Missionary Dimension (Mt 28:18; Lk 10:1; Jn 17:18; 20:21;
“Well my children, say all this to my people.” The missionary
dimension is essential for every Christian and Our Lady reminds us.
Christ our Lord, came to create new conditions of life, through
reconciliation with God and neighbor. We should dedicate ourselves
to a life of reconciliation in the midst of a divided world.
Reconciliation is the vital force capable of opening the future to
all people, renewing broken bonds or weakened ones caused by
selfishness and fear. We are to strive to be missionaries in a world
where all work, construct, suffer and hope.
Many pilgrims come to the mountain and the apparition site of La
Salette. All individually feel called by the beautiful Lady who
reminds us that God is “rich in mercy“ and is present in each of our
How can we not answer to such tenderness? How can we resist the
unceasing tears of Mary that cry and intercede for us? She is near
us with her maternal attention, in each detail and incident of our
lives. Mary most Holy, faithful to her mission received in Calvary,
never ceases to remind us of the ways necessary to return to her
Son; without her help we cannot construct new lives or a new world.
To reject Her graces brings grave consequences. Mary, our advocate
and reconciler came to La Salette to remind us of this truth.
We have forgotten the truths of the Gospel. Upon contemplating her
apparition and meditating on her words, we should be moved to
respond to her call, to alleviate her pain, to dry her tears, to
return to God with all our hearts through her Son Jesus Christ, who
is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He was crucified for our sins
and resurrected among the dead for our salvation. Jesus, our peace
THE VISIONARIES AFTER THE APPARITIONS
Maximino tried to become a priest and entered the minor
seminary. He had difficulty learning, had many doubts about his
vocation, and left the seminary. Many ask why? Did he not receive
the grace of a vocation or did he not respond to it? We can only say
that the life of each soul, the graces and the response given, is a
Many affirm that Maximino had profound faith and solidly possessed
the virtue of chastity. “When one has seen Our Lady, we can no
longer thing of women.” He worked in the hospital for some time,
later became a soldier, and finally ended up administrating a small
There has been some confusion concerning an encounter between St.
John Vianney (Cure of Ars) and Maximino. The young man visited the
Saint when he had the vocational crises. The Cure of Ars, at that
moment, misinterpreted him and believed that Maximino had denied
seeing Our Lady. St. John Vianney, being obedient, submitted it to
authority of the Bishop and the Pope, who eventually approved the
apparitions. “God does not confirms with miracles a superstition,
nor the Church enrich it with indulgences” (Journal d́une
Institutrice, page 117). Maximino, on his part, denied that he
retracted. According to the explanation from Maximino, the Cure of
Ars was hard of hearing and understood wrong, and he was only able
to speak to him in the confessional. It became a confusion: Maximino
said he confessed to lying on occasions, and St. John Vianney
understood he was talking about the apparitions . . . Years later
the Saint received a confirmation from God concerning the
authenticity of the apparitions of La Salette. (Even though it was
not necessary because of the Church’s approval.) All of this
confusion, however, was all providential, for the newspapers and
other periodicals printed the news. The news reached Archbishop of
Lyon and Pope Pius IX, who from all this, received the secret and
officially approved the apparition.
Regardless of all this, by God’s divine providence, Maximino lived
through many moments of suffering, poverty, sickness and calamities.
Maximino gained much merit here on earth, and without a doubt, has
reached the glory of heaven. He died in state of grace at age 38.
Melanie also tried to enter religious life. She visited
several communities, but never stayed for very long. Community life
was very difficult for her. She was persecuted for being selected to
communicate Our Lady’s messages. She courageously rejected the
offenses against her. Even though she faced many contradictions, she
admirably maintained constancy with the content and transmission of
the messages of Our Lady of La Salette.
Her prayer life was intense, and some miracles were attributed to
her while she was still living. One of the miracles concerns the
illness of Rev. Combe, who was healed the day after Melanie visited
him and told him he will be well and live to an old age. The priest,
astounded, asked her, “What did you say to Our Lady?” Melanie
answered, “Well, I only prayed to Our Lady and told her: ‘My Mother,
Father Combe is very ill; he works for you and you have left him
Father Combe lived to be 82 years old.
In June 1904, Melanie left France to a small town called Altamura,
south of Italy. Bishop Cecchini, O.P. was her friend and welcomed
her with affection. She found a house outside of the city and
settled there. She was tranquil and happy in her solitude. She went
daily to the Cathedral. However, on December 15th she did not appear
at the Cathedral. She had died during the night of December 14th.
They entered her house by force and found her lying on the floor, completely
dressed. She was 72 years old.
In February 1903 she had prophesied that her door of her house would
be forced open and she would be found dead, somewhere in
an unknown place of Italy. Two neighbors in Altamura related that
the previous evening they had heard the beautiful Tantum Ergo hymn
sung in the room of the French lady, as well as the ring of a small
bell used to accompany the Sacred Viaticum taken to the dying. The
people of Altamura believe Holy Communion was given to Melanie by
the Lord Himself.
IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THE SECRET GIVEN TO MELANIE BY OUR LADY
The Beautiful Lady of La Salette communicated a secret to be
revealed years later. Maximino assured that Our Lady said something
to Melanie that he did not hear. This secret, however, is not
included in the Church approval of the apparition because it was
Melanie: “What I’m to say to you will not always be a secret; you
can announce it in 1858. Priests, my Son's ministers, priests, by
their evil life, by their irreverences and their impiety in
celebrating the holy mysteries, love of money, love of honor and
pleasures, priests have become sewers of impurity. Yes, priests call
forth vengeance, and vengeance is suspended over their heads. Woe to
priests, and to persons consecrated to God, who by their
infidelities and their evil life are crucifying my son anew! The
sins of persons consecrated to God cry to heaven and call for
vengeance, and now here is vengeance at their very doors, for no
longer is anyone found to beg mercy and pardon for the people; there
are no more generous souls, there is now no one worthy of offering
the spotless Victim to the Eternal on the worlds behalf.
"God will strike in an unparalleled manner. Woe to the inhabitants
of the earth! God will exhaust His anger, and no one will be able to
escape so many evils at once. The heads, the leaders of the people
of God, have neglected prayer and penance, and the devil has
darkened their minds; they have become those wandering stars which
the ancient devil will drag with his tail to destruction. God will
permit the ancient serpent to sow divisions among rulers, in all
societies and in all families; both physical and moral punishments
will be suffered. God will abandon men to themselves and will send
chastisements one after the other for over 35 years.
"Society is on the very eve of most terrible scourges and greatest
events; one must expect to be governed by a rod of iron and to drink
the chalice of God's wrath.
"In the year 1864 Lucifer, together with a great number of devils,
will be loosed from hell; little by little they will abolish the
faith, and that even in persons consecrated to God; they will so
blind them, that without a special grace, these persons will take on
the spirit of these evil angels; a number of religious houses will
lose the faith entirely and cause many souls to be damned.
"Bad books will abound over the earth, and the spirits of darkness
will everywhere spread universal relaxation in everything concerning
God's service: they will have very great power over nature; there
will be churches to serve these spirits. People will be transported
form one place to another by these evil spirits, and even priests,
because they will not have lived by the good spirit of the gospel,
which is a spirit of humility, charity and zeal for the glory of
"There will be extraordinary wonders every place because the true
faith has been extinguished and false light illumines the world. Woe
to the princes of the church who will be occupied only with piling
up riches upon riches, with guarding their authority and lording
“Because of the abandonment of the Holy Faith in God, each
individual would want to guide himself and to be superior to his
neighbor. "The Holy Father will suffer greatly. I shall be with him
till the end to receive his sacrifice. "The wicked will make a
number of attempts on his life without being able to harm him; but
neither he nor his successor will see the triumph of God's Church.
"Civil governments will all have the same objective, which will be
to abolish and make every religious principle disappear, to make way
for materialism, atheism, spiritism and vices of all kinds.
“In the convents the flowers of the Church will putrefy, and the
devil will establish himself as king of all hearts. Let those who
are at the head of religious communities be on their guard
concerning the persons they are to receive, because the devil will
use all his malice to introduce into religious orders persons given
to sin, for disorders and love of carnal pleasures will be
widespread over the whole earth.
“The righteous will suffer greatly; their prayers, their penances
and their tears will rise to heaven and all God's people will ask
pardon and mercy and will ask my help and intercession. Then Jesus
Christ, by an act of His justice and His great mercy toward the
righteous, will command His angels to put all His enemies to death.
“At one blow the persecutors of the Church of Jesus Christ and all
men given to sin will perish, and the earth will become like a
desert. Then there will be peace, the reconciliation of God with
men; Jesus Christ will be served, adored and glorified; charity will
flourish everywhere. The new kings will be the right arm of Holy
Church, which will be strong, humble, pious, poor, zealous and
imitative of the virtues of Jesus Christ. The Gospel will be
preached everywhere, and men will make great strides in the faith,
because there will be unity among Jesus Christ's workers and men
will live in the fear of God.
"This peace among men will not last long: 25 years of abundant
harvests will make them forget that the sins of men are the cause of
all the woes which happen on earth.
"I address a pressing appeal to the earth: I call upon the true
disciples of the God living and reigning in the heavens; I call upon
the true imitators of Christ made man, the one true Savior of men; I
call upon my children, my true devotees, those who have given
themselves o me so that I may lead them to my Divine Son, those whom
I bear as it were in my arms, those who have lived in my spirit;
finally, I call upon the Apostles of the Latter Times, the faithful
disciples of Jesus Christ who have lived in contempt of the world
and of themselves, in poverty and humility, in contempt and silence,
in prayer and mortification, in chastity and in union with God, in
suffering, and unknown to the world. It is time for them to emerge
and come enlighten the earth. Go, show yourselves to be my dear
children; I am with you and in you, provided your faith is the light
enlightening you in these evil times. May your zeal make your
famished for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ. Do battle,
children of light, you, the few who see thereby; for the time of
times, the end of ends, is at hand.”
The Blessed Mother predicted events to be fulfilled at specific
dates, affecting nations, the Church and the whole world.
Official Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette