17th January : Our Lady Of Pontmain

Our Lady Of Bessiere

Country : France

Year : 1871

It was in the winter of 1871 in the village of Pontmain, France, Eugene Barbedette was busy in his father’s barn helping prepare the animal feed, he stood in the open doorway admiring the beautiful evening.  Suddenly the gaze of the 12-year old was held there, opposite the barn and in a framework of stars, stood a beautiful lady – motionless – smiling at him.  “Do you see anything?” he shouted to the others, “Look, over there!”  “Yes,” cried his brother Joseph, “a beautiful lady dressed in a blue robe with golden stars, yes, and blue shoes with golden buckles…and, she has a golden crown which is getting bigger, and a black veil.”

He was severely punished one day by seeing on his return home, his house go up in flames before his very eyes.  All attempts to put out the flames were fruitless.  His house was consumed without anybody being able to discover whence the fire originated.

At the moment the message was being written in the sky a messenger passing in front of the crowd had shouted, “You may well pray, the Russians are at Laval.”  But they never entered it.  On the 17th of January, at six o’clock at night the very hour the Virgin appeared to the children of Pontmain, the division of soldiers, without apparent reason, received the order to retire.

On the 28th of January, the armistice was signed at Versailles.  After long and searching inquiry, Mgr. Wicart, the Bishop of Laval, proclaimed the authenticity of the vision, and at the very spot where Our Lady had appeared, a basilica was erected in honor of Our Lady of Hope of Pontmain.  There the Queen of Heaven receives her countless children and gives them fresh hope in their trials, as she gave France peace in her hour of need.

The basilica is a magnificent structure in the 13th century style, and one may still see the barn where Eugene and Joseph worked when Mary appeared.

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