Apparition at Pontmain
At the time of the apparition Pontmain was a small village, inhabited
by simple and hardworking country folk, who were guided by their
parish priest Abbé Michel Guérin. The Barbadette family
consisted of father César, his wife, Victoire, with their
two sons Joseph and Eùgene, aged ten and twelve, and another
older boy who was away in the army. On the evening of 17 January
1871, the two boys were helping their father in the barn when the
eldest, Eùgene, walked over towards the door to look out.
As he gazed at the star studded sky he noticed one area practically
free of stars above a neighboring house. Suddenly he saw an apparition
of a beautiful woman smiling at him; she was wearing a blue gown
covered with golden stars, and a black veil under a golden crown.
His father, brother, and a neighbor came out to look and Joseph
immediately said he too could see the apparition although the adults
saw nothing. The mother, Victoire, came out but she too could see
nothing, although she was puzzled because her boys were usually
very truthful. She suggested that it might be the Blessed Virgin,
and that they should all say five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys
in her honor.
As it was now about a quarter past six, and time for supper, the
boys were ordered inside but soon after allowed to go outside again.
The Lady was still there and so the local schoolteacher, Sister
Vitaline, was sent for. She couldn't see the Lady, and so she went
to fetch three young children from the school to see their reactions.
Immediately they arrived the two older children, two girls aged
nine and eleven, expressed their delight at the apparition, describing
it as the boys had done, although the youngest child saw nothing.
The adults in the crowd, which had now grown to about sixty people
including the priest, could still see nothing and began to say the
rosary, as the children exclaimed that something new was happening.
A blue oval frame with four candles, two at the level of the shoulders
and two at the knees, was being formed around the Lady, and a short
red cross had appeared over her heart.
As the rosary progressed the figure and its frame grew larger, until
it was twice life size; the stars around her began to multiply and
attach themselves to her dress until it was covered with them.
As the Magnificat was being said the four children cried out, "Something
else is happening." A broad streamer on which letters were
appearing unrolled beneath the feet of the Lady, so that eventually
the phrase, "But pray, my children," could be read.
Fr. Guérin then ordered that the Litany of Our Lady should
be sung, and as this progressed new letters appeared, making the
message, "God will soon answer you." As they continued
to sing, another message was formed, one that removed any doubt
that it was the Blessed Virgin who was appearing to the children;
"My Son allows Himself to be moved."
The children were beside themselves with joy at the beauty of the
Lady and her smile, but her expression then changed to one of extreme
sadness, as she now contemplated a large red cross that had suddenly
appeared before her, with a figure of Jesus on it in an even darker
shade of red.
One of the stars then lit the four candles that surrounded the figure,
as the crucifix vanished and the group began night prayers. As these
were being recited, the children reported that a white veil was
rising from the Lady's feet and gradually blotting her out, until
finally, at about nine o'clock, the apparition was over.
The following March a canonical inquiry into the apparition was
held, and in May the local bishop questioned the children, the inquiry
being continued later in the year with further questioning by theologians
and a medical examination. The bishop was satisfied by these investigations,
and in February 1872 declared his belief that it was the Blessed
Virgin who had appeared to the children.
Joseph Barbadette became a priest, a member of the Congregation
of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, while his brother Eùgene
became a secular priest. He was assisted by one of the girls who
had seen Mary as his housekeeper, with the other, Jeanne-Marie Lebossé,
becoming a nun. A large basilica was built at Pontmain and consecrated
OF THE SAINTS
St. Felix II
St Felix II, the pope is an ancestor of the future Pope St. Gregory the Great who lived from 540 to 604.
Blessed Charles the Good
Count Charles of Flanders, was called "the good" by the people of his kingdom. They named him for what they found him to truly be.
Blessed Katharine Drexel
Blessed Katharine was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 26, 1858. Katharine's mother died when she was a baby.
St. Casimir was born in 1458, son of Casimir IV, king of Poland. Casimir was one of thirteen children.
St. John Joseph of the Cross
St. John Joseph of the Cross was born in southern Italy on the feast of the Assumption, 1654. He was a young noble, but he dressed like a poor man.
St. Nicolette was named in honor of St. Nicholas of Myra. She was born in 1380. Her loving parents nicknamed her Colette from the time she was a baby.
St. Perpetua and St. Felicity
St. Perpetua and St. Felicity lived in Carthage, North Africa, in the third century. It was the time of the fierce persecution of Christians by Emperor Septimus Severus.
St. John of God
St. John was born in Portugal on March 8, 1495. His parents were poor, but deeply Christian. John was a restless boy.
St. Frances of Rome
St. Frances was born in 1384. Her parents were wealthy, but they taught Frances to be concerned about people and to live a good Christian life.
St. Simplicius became pope in 468. Sometimes it seemed to him that he was all alone in trying to correct evils that were everywhere.
St. Eulogius of Spain
St. Eulogius lived in the ninth century. His family was well-known and he received an excellent education. While he learned his lessons, he also learned from the good example of his teachers.
St. Fina (Seraphina)
St. Fina was born in a little Italian town called San Geminiano. Her parents had once been well off, but misfortune had left them poor.
St. Euphrasia was born in the fifth century to deeply Christian parents. Her father, a relative of the emperor, died when she was a year old.
St. Matilda was born about 895, the daughter of a German count. When she was still quite young, her parents arranged her marriage to a nobleman named Henry.
St. Zachary was a Benedictine monk from Greece who lived in the eighth century. He became a cardinal and then pope.
Blessed Torello was born in 1202, in Poppi, Italy. His life as a child in the village was ordinary and uneventful. But after his father's death.
St. Patrick was believed born in fifth-century Britain to Roman parents. When he was sixteen, he was captured by pirates and taken to Ireland.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
St. Cyril was born around 315 when a new phase was beginning for Christians. Before that date, the Church was persecuted by the emperors.
St. Joseph is a great saint. He was Jesus' foster-father and Mary's husband.
St. Cuthbert lived in England in the seventh century. He was a poor shepherd boy who loved to play games with his friends.
St. Serapion lived in Egypt in the fourth century. Those were exciting times for the Church and for St. Serapion.
St. Deogratias was ordained bishop of the City of Carthage when it was taken over by barbarian armies in 439.
St. Turibius of Mongrovejo
St. Turibius was born in 1538 in Leon, Spain. He became a university professor and then a famous judge.
Blessed Didacus Joseph was born on March 29, 1743, in Cadiz, Spain. He was baptized Joseph Francis.
ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD
The time arrived for Jesus to come down from heaven. God sent the Archangel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth where Mary lived.
St. Ludger was born in northern Europe in the eighth century. After he had studied hard for many years, he was ordained a priest.
St. John of Egypt
St. John was man who desired to be alone with God was to become one of the most famous hermits of his time.
St. Tutilo lived in the late ninth and early tenth centuries. He was educated at the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Gall.
St. Jonas and St. Barachisius
King Sapor of Persia reigned in the fourth century. He hated Christians and persecuted them cruelly. He destroyed their churches and monasteries.
St. John Climacus
St. John was believed born in Palestine in the seventh century. He seems to have been a disciple of St. Gregory Nazianzen.
Blessed Joan of Toulouse
In 1240, some Carmelite brothers from Palestine started a monastery in Toulouse, France.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven,
submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke
3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of
the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the
cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning
of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among
sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s
will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death
for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust
and submission to God?