In this "Age of Marian Apparitions" it is noteworthy to realize that since our Blessed Mother first appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure at Rue de Bac in Paris (last issue's installment) she, our Heavenly Mother, has appeared daily to someone, somewhere in the world everyday since that time. Why? Her messages, given from
the early to mid 1800's up to the present time, are all a call back to God, an urgent plea to remove ourselves
from a world filled with sin, and to pray, fast, convert our hearts, and be watchful for the fulfillment of Scripture is
Even to this day her messages continue, only now to many Our Lady is saying that her time to be with us in this
extraordinary way is coming to an end. From the most recent messages emanating from many reliable areas
and the fact many messengers have announced their own messages have ceased, it would seem to indicate it
is sooner than many of us can imagine.
Thus, in this tenth installment of our continuing series on THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS, we return to
1846, to a mountain region in France called LaSalette. It is not as vital to reveal to the reader as much the
background about the apparition as it is to convey the full message, the secret imparted only to the young
visionary Melanie Mathieu; not to the other seer - a young boy named Maximim Giraud.
LaSalette is an approved apparition site, and the secret, only given by word of mouth from Melanie throughout
most osf her life, was finally written down by the visionary shortly before her death. She wrote out the complete
secret in November of 1978. This message was then printed with the "IMPRIMATUR" of Bishop Zola in
November, 1879. It was reprinted "ne varietur" at Lyon, France in 1904 a few months before Melanie's death. But
the translation of the message into English took time. Thus, the secret of LaSalette, so intricately connected to
all of the other Marian apparitions since that time, and particularly in our own day, is necessary in order to try to
understand in the light of the Holy Spirit, what Our Lady's coming truly means, and why she is calling us back even more urgently in these, the End Times.
The date: September 18th, 1846; the setting: the rich pastureland valleys in the mountains of Southern France;
the visionaries: Melanie, a young 14-year old who tended to her master's cows and a visiting 12-year old boy
Maximim who was temporariliy tending his master's cows in the same vicinity. Melanie enjoyed her task of
tending to the herds for it also afforded her privacy during the long hours spent high in the mountains. But that
privacy was invaded on that day when Maximim showed up, announcing he would join her, as he had come
from nearby Corps on the request of his master to shepherd his cattle for a period of ten days. Melanie was
distressed. She didn't want company. This loner liked the quietude, and, especially at her age, didn't in the least
want this boy around. But he persisted, and together they went up the mountain.
Melanie shortly discovered that Maximim was a very good, simple boy who did not really know God, and was not
overly religious; neither was Melanie for the life was hard and the work long and she often missed Mass. But
Melanie took this opportunity to talk to Maximim about God, and they devised a game which they played together
called "Paradise" in which they constructed a small little house of stone. The ground floor was where they were
to live, while the second story was to be "Paradise." This they decorated with flowers of all kinds gathered from
the surrounding hills, and had quite a wonderful time at this "game." Then, having eaten a meager lunch of
bread and cheese, they fell asleep.
It was Melanie who awoke first. Not seeing the cows, she climbed up a little mound until she spotted them in a
gully, grazing peacefully. Starting back down to arouse Maximim, her eyes saw a light shining brighter than the
Melanie managed to call out to Maximum before she felt something inconceivably wonderful happen to her. She
was to describe this later to the authorities as being drawn toward this light. She felt a great respect. She
experienced so much love that her heart was racing.
Then the light, upon which her eyes were transfixed, seemed to open wider, and she caught sight of an even
more brillian light which was moving. It was within this moving light that Melanie first beheld a beautiful lady
sitting on the top of their "Paradise" house, with her head in her hands.
By now Maximim was fully awake and as the two children watched in awe, Our Lady stood up and crossed her
arms, watching the young ones and saying: "Come, my children, fear not, I am here to PROCLAIM GREAT
NEWS TO YOU." At these words the children rushed to her side. Once Melanie was close enough, the beautiful
lady began to speak again, but now there were tears flowing from her eyes.
In the next installment we shall examine why the Blessed Mother was weeping so as we examine some of the
messages that are so very pertinent today in 1996, 150 years after.
NEXT WEEK: The Apparitions of LaSalette: The Warnings from Our Lady of LaSalette part two