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Our Lady of La Salette


Our Lady of La Salette

On September 19th 1846, about 3pm, something remarkable occurred near a small village called La Salette, high in the French Alps and about 35 kilometres from Grenoble in S. E. France.

Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud, aged 14 and 11, were spending the day minding a small herd of cattle. In the bright afternoon sun they saw a brilliant light below them in a large ravine. As the children gazed in amazement at the light, they began to see in its interior a most beautiful lady who was weeping in profound grief, her head resting in her hands. The children drew as near as they dared. The lady stood up and called to them:

"Come to me, my dear children. Do not be afraid. I have come to tell you something of great importance."

The children were amazed to see that the lady looked very sad and had tears streaming down her cheeks. She folded her arms over her breast. She wore a dress of white radiance, studded with pearls, and a gold-coloured apron. She wore a wreath of roses around her headdress, which was a high cap, bent slightly forward in front. Her slippers were tipped with roses and attached to her necklace was a crucifix with a hammer at one side and pincers on the other.

At first she spoke to the children in French but quickly started to speak to them in their own local dialect. Our Blessed Lady spoke to them about people swearing, not keeping Sunday as a day of rest and about people disobeying God's laws. 

Dear little children, I entreat my Son constantly for all of you. Will you not listen to your Mother's voice? My Mother's heart bleeds for each of you. I love you so much! Do not bring more suffering upon yourselves.

"Dear little children, return to God. Only in God do you experience peace, joy and love. Only in God, in His ways, in His ordinances is happiness attainable. God has given you six days to work, but you take seven. Many people swear. They profane God's name.

"I came to warn you that a great famine is coming. Nothing can grow without the blessing of God. When the harvest is spoiled, realize you yourselves have caused this . . .

" . . . You must say your prayers . . . both in the morning and at night. Pray more. Pray at least one Our Father, one Ave, each day if you can do no more. Do not devour food like hungry dogs. Fast and abstain for the love of God so that He may fill you with health. Make my words known to everyone in the world."

It was the unmistakeable healings attributed to the waters of the spring that flowed from the site of the apparition that fuelled belief in the veracity of the apparition at La Salette. Several blind people regained their sight after bathing their eyes in the water of the spring, cripples walked and people with intestinal problems were cured when they drank the water. Pilgrimages to the site began and continue to this day.

Within five years the apparition of Our Lady of Sorrows at La Salette was fully approved by the Holy See on November 16th, 1851.

History records that in the years that followed, famine took place in many parts of Europe, including Ireland. Within two years Europe was convulsed by revolution, civil strife and the collapse of government after government . . .

Our Lady of La Salette - video

Prayer to Mary, Our Lady of La Salette:
Remember, Our Lady of La Salette,
true Mother of sorrows,
the tears which you shed for me on Calvary;
be mindful also of the unceasing care which you always take
to shield me from the justice of God;
and consider whether you can now abandon your child,
for whom you have done so much.
Inspired by this consoling thought, I cast myself at your feet,
in spite of my infidelity and ingratitude.
Do not reject my prayer, O Virgin of reconciliation,
but convert me,
obtain for me the grace to love Jesus Christ above all things
and to console you too by living a holy life,
in order that one day I may be able to see you in Heaven.

Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows