Our Lady of La Salette
|Our Lady of La Salette|
|Location||La Salette-Fallavaux, France|
|Date||19 September 1846|
|Holy See approval||November 1851, during the pontificate of Pope Pius IX|
|Shrine||Basilica of Our Lady of La Salette, La Salette, France|
On September 19 1846, Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvat reported seeing the Virgin Mary on Mount Sous-Les Baisses, weeping bitterly. According to their account, she continued to weep even as she spoke to them—first in French, then in their own dialect2 of Occitan.3 After speaking, the apparition vanished. The following day the children's account of the apparition was put into writing and signed by the visionaries and those who had heard the story.
According to the children's account, the Virgin invited people to respect the repose of Sunday, and the name of God. She threatened punishment, in particular a scarcity of potatoes, which would rot. The context of these punishments places the warning just prior to the winter of 1846-1847, which was in Europe, and especially in Ireland and in France, a period of famine, in the months which followed the apparition. This was one of the factors of the apparition's popular appeal.1
After 5 years of research, the bishop of Grenoble, Philibert de Bruillard recognizes the authenticity of the apparition and Pope Pius IX approves the devotion to Our Lady of La Salette.4
The children also reported that the Blessed Virgin had confided a special secret to each of them. These two secrets, which neither Mélanie or Maximin ever made known to each other, were sent by them in 1851 to Pius IX on the advice of Mgr. de Bruillard. 5
The visionaries sent two secrets to Pope Pius IX—one given to each of them, which they never revealed to one another—and which the pope never made public until, believing lost, were miraculously discovered on October 2, 1999 by Fr. Michel Corteville in the Vatican archives. 6
She wrote the Secret a first time, on July 3, in Corenc, at the Sisters of Providence. She sealed it at 10.00 am, and it was carried at the Bishop's House. The following day, she said she had not expressed herself well on the misfortunes which were to befall to two cities (Paris and Marseilles): they appeared simultaneous, whereas they were successive. Canon Rousselot made her rewrite her Secret, on July 6, then the engineer Dausse led her to the Bishop's House, where Bishop of Bruillard read the document before sealing it.
Secret which the Blessed Virgin gave me on the Mountain of La Salette on September 19, 1846
Mélanie, I will say something to you which you will not say to anybody:
The time of the God's wrath has arrived!
If, when you say to the people what I have said to you so far, and what I will still ask you to say, if, after that, they do not convert, (if they do not do penance, and they do not cease working on Sunday, and if they continue to blaspheme the Holy Name of God), in a word, if the face of the earth does not change, God will be avenged against the people ungrateful and slave of the demon.
My Son will make his power manifest! Paris, this city soiled by all kinds of crimes, will perish infallibly. Marseilles will be destroyed in a little time. When these things arrive, the disorder will be complete on the earth, the world will be given up to its impious passions.
The pope will be persecuted from all sides, they will shoot at him, they will want to put him to death, but no one will not be able to do it, the Vicar of God will triumph again this time.
The priests and the Sisters, and the true servants of my Son will be persecuted, and several will die for the faith of Jesus-Christ.
A famine will reign at the same time.
After all these will have arrived, many will recognize the hand of God on them, they will convert, and do penance for their sins.
A great king will go up on the throne, and will reign a few years. Religion will re-flourish and spread all over the world, and there will be a great abundance, the world, glad not to be lacking nothing, will fall again in its disorders, will give up God, and will be prone to its criminal passions.
[Among] God's ministers, and the Spouses of Jesus-Christ, there will be some who will go astray, and that will be the most terrible.
Lastly, hell will reign on earth. It will be then that the Antichrist will be born of a Sister, but woe to her! Many will believe in him, because he will claim to have come from heaven, woe to those who will believe in him!
That time is not far away, twice 50 years will not go by.
My child, you will not say what I have just said to you. (You will not say it to anybody, you will not say if you must say it one day, you will not say what that it concerns), finally you will say nothing anymore until I tell you to say it!
I pray to Our Holy Father the Pope to give me his holy blessing.
Mélanie Mathieu, Shepherdess of La Salette, Grenoble, July 6, 1851.
Maximin wrote his Secret at the bishop's palace, in front of Bishop de Bruillard's people, perfectly unconcerned, on July 3 in the evening. He was asked to rewrite it again because of spots of ink. The soiled autograph was burnt. Lastly, Mr. Dausse handed the Secret to Bishop de Bruillard, to be sure of its importance before affixing his own seal to it, and to send it to the pope. The sealed envelope was countersigned by two witnesses, at 7.00pm.
Here is the secret of Maximin written in 1851 that was never revealed until 1999:
On September 19, 1846, we saw a beautiful Lady. We never said that this lady was the Blessed Virgin but we always said that it was a beautiful Lady.
I do not know if it is the Blessed Virgin or another person. As for me, I believe today that it is the Blessed Virgin. Here is what this Lady said to me:
"If my people continue, what I will say to you will arrive earlier, if it changes a little, it will be a little later.
France has corrupted the universe, one day it will be punished. The faith will die out in France: three quarters of France will not practice religion anymore, or almost no more, the other part will practice it without really practicing it. Then, after [that], nations will convert, the faith will be rekindled everywhere. A great country, now Protestant, in the north of Europe, will be converted; by the support of this country all the other nations of the world will be converted.
Before all that arrives, great disorders will arrive, in the Church, and everywhere. Then, after [that], our Holy Father the Pope will be persecuted. His successor will be a pontiff that nobody expects.
Then, after [that], a great peace will come, but it will not last a long time. A monster will come to disturb it.
All that I tell you here will arrive in the other century, at the latest in the year two thousand."
(She told me to say it some time before.)
My Most Holy Father, your holy blessing to one of your sheep.
Grenoble, July 3,1851.8
Sensation about Our Lady of La Salette arose when Melanie and Maximin made their message public, which caused the bishop of Grenoble to investigate the apparition.9 During the investigation, a number of accusations were made against the visionaries, including the assertion that the apparition was just a young woman named Lamerliere.9 In 1851 the local bishop of Grenoble declared the apparition to be worthy of belief, the first step in approval by the Catholic Church.1
There are two versions of the secret of Melanie, one written by her in 1851, and another by the same author published in 1879 in Lecce, Italy, with the local bishop's approval. This last secret however, is not included in the approval given by the Church to the apparition since it was disclosed later.
It is unknown what impressions these mysterious revelations made on the pope, for on this point there were two versions diametrically opposed to each other.
Nowadays we know the two versions of the Melanie's secrets and the difference between them, but in that time, a lively controversy followed as to whether the secret published in 1879 was identical with that communicated to Pius IX in 1851, or in its second form it was not merely a work of the imagination. The latter was the opinion of wise and prudent persons, who were persuaded that a distinction must be made between the two Mélanies, between the innocent and simple voyante of 1846 and the visionary of 1879, whose mind had been disturbed by reading apocalyptic books and the lives of illuminati. As Rome uttered no decision the strife was prolonged between the disputants. Most of the defenders of the text of 1879 suffered censure from their bishops. Maximin Giraud, after an unhappy and wandering life, returned to Corps, his native village, and died there a holy death (1 March, 1875). Mélanie Calvat ended a no less wandering life at Altamura, Italy (15 December, 1904). 10
The most controversial aspect of this second version of the Melanie' secret is it was reported that She said "Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist." 11 12which is used by the Traditionalist Catholics to claim that the papacy of John XXIII and his successors are not valid popes of the Catholic Church.
The secret of Melanie 1879 can be read in its entirety at the following external sources:
John Paul II stated: "As I wrote on the occasion of the 150th anniversary, 'La Salette is a message of hope, for our hope is nourished by the intercession of her who is the Mother of mankind." (Letter to Bishop Louis Dufaux of Grenoble, 6 May 1996; L'Osservatore Romano English edition, 3 July 1996, p. 8).13
The message of the visionaries of La Salette focuses on the conversion of all humanity to Christ. Though La Salette's message is embedded in the bygone environment of the nineteenth century, rural France, it has had a tremendous impact on the modern world. Saints (for example, John Vianney), pastors (such as Don Bosco), and religious writers (like Joris-Karl Huysmans) have all been influenced by La Salette. The spirit of La Salette is one of prayer, conversion, and commitment.14
La Salette - Authentic Documents, Volumes I-III, compiled by Fr. Jean Stern, the archivist of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette in Rome, presents "the authentic documents on La Salette in chronological order, of which only bits have been revealed to the public up to this point": the interviews with the witnesses, the reports of the investigators, reactions of pilgrims and the opponents of the Apparition, brochures that were peddled at the time, articles in newspapers, etc.
- "Marian Apparitions". University of Dayton. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
- Stern, Jean. 1980. La Salette, Documents authentiques. Part 1. Paris: Desclée De Brouwer, pp. 66, 71, [about the dialect itself] 279-280.
- Bert, Michael and James Costa. 2010. "Linguistic borders, language revitalisation and the imagining of new regional entities", Borders and Identities (Newcastle upon Tyne, 8-9 Jan. 2010), p. 18.
- Bourmaud, Fr. Dominique (Jul-Dec 2003). "Discovery of the Secret of La Salette". Newsletter of District of Asia (Society of St. Pius X District of Asia). Retrieved 2013-11-23.
- Clugnet, Léon. La Salette The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 23 Nov. 2013.
- "The Message of Our lady of La Salette". Retrieved 2013-09-21.
- "Address of the Holy Father John Paul II to the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette". Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 4 May 2000. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
- Castel, R (1985). "La Salette". Dictionary of Mary (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company).
- "Basics on Apparitions", Univ. of Dayton
- Diocese of Grenoble at Catholic Encyclopedia
- "La Salette", Dictionary of Mary. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1985
- Missionaries of La Salette
- Modern History Sourcebook: The Apparitions at La Sallette, 1846, Fordham Univ.
- The complete Melanie's secret
- The Authentic Message of La Salette
- The two letters sent to Pope Pius IX on July 18, 1851 in French language with the "secrets" revealed to shepherds by Our Lady of La Salette.