Please welcome Fr. John Higgins, of La Salette Missionaries, who will speak of their mission at all Masses this weekend. A special collection for the La Salette Missionaries will be taken next weekend.
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 dialect of Occitan. 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.
After five years of research, the bishop of Grenoble, Philibert de Bruillard recognized the authenticity of the apparition and Pope Pius IX approved the devotion to Our Lady of La Salette.