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 dialect. 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.
Sensation about Our Lady of La Salette arose when Melanie and Maximin made her message public, which caused the bishop of Grenoble to investigate the apparition. 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. In 1851, the local bishop of Grenoble declared the apparition to be worthy of belief, the first step in approval by the Catholic Church.
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. However, sensation again arose when Melanie allegedly published her secret in a pamphlet, which she herself had printed, in Lecce, with the local bishop's approval. The Church has condemned the published secret. Melanie, later in life, was known to have been disturbed by reading apocalyptic books and similar materials.
John Paul II stated: As I wrote on the occasion of the 150th ann "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).
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 J.K. Huysmans) have all been influenced by La Salette. The spirit of La Salette is one of prayer, conversion, and commitment.
La Salette - Authentic Documents, Volumes I-III, written 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.
- Apparitions of the Modern Era, Univ.of Dayton
- Clugnet, Léon. "La Salette." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 29 Dec. 2012
- Address of John Paul II to the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, May 4, 2000
- Castel, R. "La Salette," Dictionary of Mary. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1985