19th Century Apparitions in France: Rue du Bac, La Salette, and Lourdes
February 7, 2009 12 Comments
Bro. Francis Mary Kalvelage F. F. I., ed., You Will Make This Known to All My People: 19th Century Apparitions in France–Rue du Bac, La Salette, and Lourdes (Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, Our Lady’s Chapel, New Bedford, MA USA, 1998), 182 pages. Imprimatur by Most Rev. Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., Bishop of Fall River, Mass., USA, 8 Dec 1998, Feast of Immaculate Conception. Preface by Fr. John Hardon S.J.
[Note: There is a new edition by Ignatius Press with an additional shrine of Pontmain (Our Lady of Hope). The new edition is entitled, Marian Shrines of France. This is available in the F.F.I. Immaculate Mediatrix Online bookstore. Price: $12.50. (PROD ID: SMS-MSF007, 198 pp, perfect bound, illustrated.)]
This book is a a collection of essays on the three 19th century apparitions in France: Rue du Bac, La Sallete, Lourdes. But why France?
In modern times, it seems, France has been more a prodigal daughter of the Church than her “Eldest Daughter.” The history of Catholicism in France has been a glorious and turbulent one: at times France has been a great defender of the Church and at other times, her greatest adversary.
Christianity arrived there in the middle of the Second Century in the area around what is now the city of Lyons, at that time a part of the Roman province of Gaul. Its first bishop, Hilary, was martyred but by the middle of the Third Century, there were over 30 bishoprics. Much of this expansion was due no doubt to the first Saint to be canonized other than a martyr, namely the popular St. Martin of Tours. When the Vandals and Franks overran the country, the brought with them the Arian heresy, which caused much confusion and falling away from the Faith. Following the conversion and baptism of King Clovis in 496, the Franks were converted. But it wasn’t until two centuries later that the Christianization of France was completed. From that time on virtually every development and important event revolved around the Catholic Church–through the periods of the Carolingians, feudalism, the Middle Ages and monarchies right up to the Eighteenth Century and the French revolution.
It was that revolution and the bloody persecution of the Church that caused a devastating break between church and state and the introduction of the strictly secular state. This break with the past Christian roots of France was symbolized and made visible in her national flag. For centuries the French flag had the fleurs-de-lis on a blue field. They every symbolized the Christian virtue of purity and the Immaculate Virgin in particular, thus uniting Mary and the Church with French patriotism. The present tricolor was introduced at the time of the French revolution when religion was being exiled from public life. But love and loyalty to the Church could never by taken away from the hearts of Frenchmen. Our Lady saw to that. (pp. 1-2 by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate)
The book does not only tell the story of the apparitions, but also provides character sketches of seers, the meaning of the message, the subsequent developments, and the testimonials on the miracles. Like a diamond cut in a multitude of facets, this book is a gem.
by Fr. John Hardon, S.J.
Saints and Marian Shrines are gaining in popularity. Thus, the series of Marian Saints and Shrines, of which this book is the third, is well-timed. The present Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has been criticized for the numerous men and women, clerical and lay, whom he has beatified and canonized in the last two decades, much more than any previous pontiff. Recently, he announced that there will be many more beatifications and canonizations in celebrating the second millennium of Christianity. All of this points to the fact that we are living in extraordinary times. As the saying goes “where evil abounds, good abounds that much more.” St. Louis de Montfort predicted in his great spiritual classic, True Devotion to Mary, “God will raise up great saints towards the end of time,” and these saints will be noted for their true devotion (total consecration) to the Blessed Mother.
In recent decades there has been a diminution of the cult of the saints. One has to but look at the number of lives of the saints, books that have been written in the last thirty years, compared to the previous thirty years. But one can say today that the trend is gradually changing. The series of books on Marian Saints and Shrines published by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, is one indication to that fact. Ignatius Press, possibly the largest Catholic book distributor in the country, has carried in their catalogues the first two books in this series. The Guadalupe Handbook and St. Therese, Doctor of the Church. They have found that there is a growing market for books of this type.
. . .
Thus again, the vital importance of showing Mary’s presence in our times, in particular through her apparitions and her admonitions at Lourdes, La Salette and other Church-approved apparitions. It is a well-known fact, besides the physical cures at these shrines, there are countless spiritual lepers, or sinners, who have been cleansed and reconciled to God. So I welcome this latest and third in the series of Marian Saints and Shrines. May it increase the number of those who are sincerely striving to become Saints. As Mother Theresa used to say to priests, even at this time of shortage of vocations, “We do not need more priests but holy priests.” That can apply to all of us. For the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ is built up by “little people,” the saints, and will triumph ultimately united to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Part I. From a Historical Perspective
- The Eldest Daughter of the Church is Marian
- Mary, Mother of the Church
- The Ballad and the Message
Part II. Rue du Bac, Paris 1830–Mary’s First Message to the Modern World
- Revelation of the Medal called Miraculous
- The Triple Mission
- Rich Symbolism of the Miraculous
- The Conquest of a Rabid Anti-Catholic
- The “Bullets” Hit the Mark
- The Saint of Silence
Part III. La Sallete, 1846, The Madonna in Tears Appears as the Reconciler of Sinners
- A Mother Weeps for Her Children
- How She Touched the Most Hardened Sinners
- He Skied Into Mary’s Arms
- “. . . The Seventh I Kept for Myself”
- A Cautious “Mother” Investigates
- Why Believe in Private Revelations
- Faithful to Their Mission
- What about the Secret?
- The Lady Gives a Lesson in Theology
- The Ars Incident
Part IV. Lourdes, 1858, The Immaculate Virgin of the Grotto and Her Sainted Seer
- The Lady of the Grotto
- The Brave Little Heroine
- Lady Poverty Finds a Home
- School of Evangelical Penance
- The Penetrating Sweetness of that Smile
- Pope Pius XII Remembers Lourdes
- A Most Astounding Miracle
- “I Met a Miracle”
- Where the Miraculous Confronts the Science-Skeptics
- Interview of Doctor from the International Medical Committee
- Human Interest Side of Medical Bureau
- Two Novelists Went to Lourdes
- The Real Bernadette
- He Wrote About Lourdes and the Immaculate Conception
- The Two Things Go Together
- Guardian and Teacher of the Faith
- She Pushed Back the Germans
- Bernadette Speaks from the Heart
The following information is from the book’s last page (This was still in 1998; the website address is still valid):
Special bulk rates are available with 10% to 60% discount depending on the number of books, plus postage. For ordering books and further information:
Academy of the Immaculate, POB 667, Valatie NY 12184, phone/FAX (518) 758-1584. E-mail Mimike@pipeline.com.
Quotations on bulk rates shipped directly by the box from the printery, contact:
Friars of the Immaculate, P.O. Box 3003, New Bedford, MA 02740, (508) 984-1856, FAX (508) 996-8296, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.marymediatrix.com.
The FFI website is Immaculate Mediatrix Online (same address as above). The book may be purchased in their bookstore here.
Here is a tabular list of bookstores for the book “Marian Shrines of France”:
|Immaculate Mediatrix Online
|The Catholic Company||$12.50||softcover||Yes||1-2 business days|
||£ 9.95 (UK)||paperback||Yes|
|All Catholic Books
|EWTN Religious Catalogue
||AUD 25.95||paperback||Yes||1-2 business days|
||£ 24.23 to £ 86.20||Used and new books||Yes|
|The Abbey Shop
Updated: 10 Feb 2009