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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Feast of Our Lady of La Salette

excerpt from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

On 19 September, 1846, about three o'clock in the afternoon in full sunlight, on a mountain about 5918 feet high and about three miles distant from the village of La Salette-Fallavaux, it is related that two children, a shepherdess of fifteen named Mélanie Calvat, called Mathieu, and a shepherd-boy of eleven named Maximin Giraud, both of them very ignorant, beheld in a resplendent light a "beautiful lady" clad in a strange costume. Speaking alternately in French and in patois, she charged them with a message which they were "to deliver to all her people".

Here is the message:

Come near, my children, be not afraid; I am here to tell you great news.

If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my Son. It is so strong, so heavy, that I can no longer withhold it.

For how long a time do I suffer for you! If I would not have my Son abandon you, I am compelled to pray to him without ceasing; and as to you, you take not heed of it.

However much you pray, however much you do, you will never recompense the pains I have taken for you.

Six days I have given you to labor, the seventh I had kept for myself; and they will not give it to me. It is this which makes the arm of my Son so heavy.

Those who drive the carts cannot swear without introducing the name of my Son. These are the two things which makes the arm of my Son so heavy.

If the harvest is spoilt, it is all on your account. I have you warning last year with the potatoes ('pommes de terre') but you did not heed it. On the contrary, when you found the potatoes spoilt, you swore, you took the name of my Son in vain. They will continue to decay, so that by Christmas there will be none left.
Ah, my children, do you not understand? Well, wait, I shall say it otherwise.

If you have wheat, it is no good to sow it; all you sow the insects will eat, and what comes up will fall into dust when you thresh it.

There will come a great famine.

Before the famine comes, the children under seven years of age will be seized with trembling and will die in the hands of those who hold them; the others will do penance by the famine.
The walnuts will become bad, and the grapes will rot. If they are converted, the stones and rocks will change into mounds of wheat, and the potatoes will be self-sown in the land.

Do you say your prayers well, my children?

Both answered with complete frankness. "Not very well, Madam."

Ah, my children, you must be sure to say them well morning and evening. When you cannot do better, say at least an Our Father and a Hail Mary. When you have time, say more.

There are none who go to Mass except a few aged women. The rest work on Sunday all summer; then in the winter, when they know not what to do, they go to Mass only to mock at religion.

During Lent, they go to the meat-market like dogs.

Have you never seen wheat that is spoilt, my children?

"No, Madam," they replied.

But you, my child [Maximin], you must surely have seen some once when you were at the farm of Coin with your father.

The owner of the field told your father to go and see his ruined wheat. You went together. You took two or three ears of wheat into your hands and rubbed them, and they fell to dust.

Then you continued home. When you were still half and hour's distance from Corps, your father gave you a piece of bread and said to you: "Here, my child, eat some bread this year at least; I don't know who will eat any next year, if the wheat goes on like that."

Confronted with such precise details, Maximin eagerly replied, "Oh yes, Madam, I remember now; just at this moment I did not remember."

Then the Lady, again speaking French as the beginning of her discourse and when giving the secrets, said to them:

Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people.

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