DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     August 19, 1998     vol. 9, no. 162

THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE & SECTION TWO
    INTRODUCTION
          The secrets imparted to a French peasant girl by a weeping, beautiful Lady who "appeared out of nowhere" high in the French Alps on an autumn afternoon in 1846, have had significant repercussions pertaining to our times in respect to the apostasy in Holy Mother Church, the chastisemnet, the antichrist, and more. All that Our Lady foretold to Melanie Mathieu regarding the secrets have come to pass, leading one to take very seriously those elements the Blessed Mother speaks concerning these times and how, today she is again weeping and imploring all her children to comply before it's too late. In this twelfth installment, we study the effects of LaSalette on both the children and the hierarchy, including Pope Pius IX. No matter the age, Our Lady has been imparting the same message: "Pray! Pray! Pray!" It is only through constant prayer, taken as a bouquet in loving, motherly intercession before the Throne of God, that the hearts of mankind will eventually be softened and all her little ones brought into accord with the Will of God. This continuing in-depth series on the grace-filled mystical phenomena of Our Lady's appearances through the ages and the meaning of her messages will open eyes and hearts because she is the mother of us all and her words of wisdom and warnings must be taken seriously...very seriously!

The Apparitions of LaSalette: The Aftermath of LaSalette
part three

Installment Twelve
          In this third part of the Apparitions of LaSalette in our on-going series of the "Age of Marian Apparitions" we shall explore the trials and travails both young visionaries Melanie Mathieu and Maximim Giraud underwent in their attempts to carry out Our Lady's wishes. Like the events at Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje, the children's experience soon spread throughout the village and the parish priest was summoned to examine the children. This holy priest at once believed, realizing that the messages given were a true warning from Heaven, and that the people had strayed too far from God, because the shepherds were not exhorting them to live their faith fully. As the investigation spread, the people of the villages began to respond to Our Lady's message. Other phenomenon bore out the truth of their experience. The dried-up river bed of the mountain stream called the Petit Fontaine, where the apparition was first seen, was dry, and for as long as anyone could remember it had never been known to be dry during that season of the year. On the following day, scores of people witnessed water flowing through the Petit Fontaine, as in the time of a great thaw. From that day on it has continued to flow at every hour of the day. At an early stage in the investigation, this water was analyzed by experts and declared by the highest chemical expert to be perfectly pure and free from any ingredient capable of acting medicinally on the human body. This water, a precursor to Lourdes, soon became world famous and was sent to many different countries and considered an important agent in most of the cures connected with LaSalette. These cures prompted the Bishop of Grenoble to appoint a commission to inquire into the facts and in the summer of 1847, less than a year after the apparition, received the mark of approbation by two prelates - the Bishop of La Rochelle and the Bishop of Langres. Both became spokesmen for promoting the messages and the approval of LaSalette; the former writing a pamphlet on the apparitions and messages that had been revealed to that point, the latter proclaiming it from the pulpit wherever he went, well before full Church approval. In fact, so impressed with Our Lady's messages was the Bishop that he instituted in his diocese a strict penalty against swearing, blasphemy and profanity on Sunday. It was backed by a Papal Brief. Despite their enthusiasm, one of the most meticulous investigations in the history of the Church took place in respect LaSalette, but in 1851 the Bishop of Grenoble Monsignor de Bruillard declared the apparition as credible and devotion to Mary under the title "Our Lady of LaSalette" was authorized. He approved of building a basilica near the site of the apparition and in 1879 the shrine church was given the title of minor basilica by Pius IX's successor Pope Leo XIII.

          The people did not realize the full content of the messages for Melanie could not reveal them until the year of Our Lady's apparition at Lourdes, as the Blessed Mother had requested of her, "Melanie, what I am about to tell you now will not always be a secret. You may make it public in 1858." Both Maximim and Melanie stubbornly and faithfully refused to divulge their secrets. Though there were slight variations in the words of Our Lady as revealed by Maximim compared to the Melanie's account, the substance was nevertheless the same and the only difference in denoting details. The children were grilled again and again, often contradicting each other in regard to Our Lady's "costume." Melanie would write later, "How could ignorant children, as we were, be expected to find fitting words for the description of things so extraordinary? Probably what we described as crown coif, chain, fichu, and apron hardly had the form of such. There was nothing of earth in the costume we looked upon. Seen in the blaze of multi-colored rays, it presented a magnificent ensemble which we, in describing, have diminished and materialized." Every kind of persuasion was employed to get the children to reveal the secrets, but none were successful. In fact, after the apparition, Maximim applied to study for the priesthood. One priest from Grenoble assured him he'd be accepted if he'd reveal the secret. "If I must tell my secret to become a priest, then I shall never be one" Maximim concluded. It was in March 1851, nearly five years after the apparition that Pope Pius IX expressed a desire to know the secrets Our Lady had imparted at LaSalette. At first the children refused, but when finally introduced to the pontiff realized he was a special and his unique position was where Our Lady wanted it to be revealed - so that it could be disseminated from the top down. Thus they agreed to communicate their secrets but to him only. For a time Melanie was greatly distressed fearing that she must either disobey Our Lady or lose her soul by being separated from the Church for refusing the Holy Father. Yet when the time came, Melanie was filled with total peace and willingly obliged the Pope. As she wrote, she interrupted twice to ask his holiness the meaning of infallibility and what the word "antichrist" meant. It's interesting to note that although the Church does not depend on private revelation, Our Lady's assurance of the Pope's infallibility prompted Pius IX to proclaim this dogma 34 years later in 1870. While Maximim's secrets, as far as we know, dealt with Mercy and Consolation, Melanie's treated Divine chastisement and scourges upon the world. As Pius IX read Maximim's account he remarked, "Here is all the candour and simplicity of a child." As he read Melanie's his face was visibly emotional as he read the message from Our Lady, "May the curate of my Son, Pope Pius IX never leave Rome again after 1859; may he, however, be steadfast and noble, may he fight with the weapons of faith and love. I will be at his side." After reading all the messages conveyed in writing by Melanie he remarked, "These are scourges with which France is threatened, but she is not alone culpable. Germany, Italy, all Europe is culpable and merits chastisement. I have less to fear from open impiety, than from indifference and human respect...it is not without reason that the Church is called militant and here [pointing to himself] you behold its captain." The following day in an audience with Cardinal Fornari and the two envoys from the Diocese of Grenoble, the Pope declared, "I am terrified by these prodigies; we have everything that is needed in our religion for the conversion of sinners; and when Heaven employs such means the evil must be very great."

          Little did he know how great the evil really was as we look back in retrospect. Her appearance in 1846 preceded by two years the release of Karl Marx' Communist Manifesto. Had the people realized what was happening and Our Lady's warnings, it's possible it would have died a natural death, but alas it was not to be as the serpent of communism slithered into Europe and Russia during the din of revolutions throughout Europe. It was also in 1848 that agitation over central Europe broke out in open revolt at Vienna when the Austrian Emperor Frederick I was forced to turn over the city. Similar revolutions rocked other cities throughout Europe as the Industrial Revolution took hold. Below the surface Marx and Engels were setting the stage for cleaning up the spoils and introducing one of the most vile evils this world has ever known. Though the messages were revealed to some extent in 1858, it wasn't until 1878 that they were fully released with an imprimatur by Bishop Zola in November 1878. From that time on it was promoted through the publication Les Annales de Notre-Dame de la Salette. The secrets were clarified even more and reprinted ne varietur at Lyon in 1904 and disseminated by the LaSalette Fathers throughout the world being translated into English a few years later. In the next installment, our final on LaSalette we will deal with the effects of LaSalette in the 20th Century both for Holy Mother Church and the world.

    NEXT WEEK: The Effects of LaSalette 150 years later part four


August 19, 1998       volume 9, no. 162
THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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