By Father Rich Tomkosky
In these weeks of May, I am going to write about three Church approved apparitions of our Blessed Mother Mary: LaSalette, France, Champion, USA, and Akita, Japan, that are less well known than the famous apparitions at Guadalupe, Mexico, Lourdes, France, and Fatima, Portugal, but with similar important messages from our Lady concerning what is necessary for our salvation. Today, I want to teach you about LaSalette in more detail.
Our Lady’s Kindness and Sympathy for our Human Condition
Our Lady appeared to the cowherder young teenagers Melanie (14) and Max (11) high up in the French Alps on September 19, 1846. She appeared in unusual dress in comparison to some of her other approved apparitions. In this one she appeared with a crown of Roses and in French mountain dress, but what was really unique was the chain she was wearing about her neck that held a big crucifix on her chest and on one side was a pair of pinchers and on the other side a hammer. She tells the children by our life we either hammer or remove the nails of Jesus. She also was crying as the two children encountered her as she tells them because of so much sin. When they first saw her, she said, “Do not be afraid, my children, I bring you a message of great importance.” What is very interesting is that our Lady began to speak in French to the children, of which Max understood more French than Melanie, who was having a hard time understanding certain words, at which point Our Lady saw that and said, “Children are you having a hard time understanding? How’s this?” And in our Lady’s kindness she switched her language to the mountain dialect there. Pretty amazing, and a gift we will only understand in eternity if we are with God.
Her Main Message
She went on to the tell the children and us through them that humans need to get back to keeping Sunday holy by attending Mass with reverence, not to do unnecessary work on Sunday, and never to use Jesus’s name as a curse word when we are frustrated/angry. She tells them that she has suffered greatly for the human race and offers unceasing prayers to God on our behalf, but unless people repent and change their lives away from sin and to embrace the ways of God, chastisements are coming as a punishment for the grave sin in the world and to spiritually wake people up. Think of the grave COVID trial in our time as an example of this reality. She also says people need to do penance and used the counter-example of Catholics going to the butcher shop in Lent, thus violating the rules on abstaining from meat during the whole Lenten penitential season back then, and people only going to Mass on Sunday and Holy days when they had nothing better to do. Again, it applies to our time in 2023. May we heed her message!
Prayer and Spiritual Battle
Our Lady told both to pray well morning and night, and Melanie the following, “the sins of men are the cause of all the woes which happen on earth.” And our Lady then gives the solution if we want to live in union with God, to be a good witness to our Catholic faith, and someday get to Heaven, “I address a pressing appeal to the earth. I call upon the true disciples of the God living and reigning in the heavens; I call upon the true imitators of Christ made man, the one true Savior of men; I call upon my children, my true devotees, those who have given themselves to me so that I may lead them to my Divine Son, those whom I bear as it were in my arms, those who have lived in my spirit; finally, I call upon the Apostles of the Latter Times, the faithful disciples of Jesus Christ who have lived in contempt of the world and of themselves, in poverty and humility, in contempt and silence, in prayer and mortification, in chastity and in union with God, in suffering, and unknown to the world. It is time for them to emerge and come enlighten the earth. Go, show yourselves to be my dear children; I am with you and in you, provided your faith is the light enlightening you in these evil times. May your zeal make you famished for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ. Do battle, children of light, you, the few who see thereby; for the time of times, the end of ends, is at hand.”
(For a summary in more detail of the whole powerful message of Our Lady, go to: http://www.catholicapologetics.info/catholicteaching/privaterevelation/lasalet.html.).
The apparition of Our Lady at LaSalette was approved by the local Bishop in Grenoble, France, in 1851, five years after it occurred. In daily prayer, especially by the Rosary, let’s ask our Lady to help us be more faithful to the Lord and to help us call others to the Lord’s Mercy while there is still time before the Justice of God is upon us. Take advantage of all the special graces of Holy Mass, Confession, and the daily praying of the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the conversion of hardened sinners, spiritual assistance for the dying, relief for the souls in Purgatory and our own growth in holiness.
Our Lady of LaSalette, pray for us, esp. in our diocese and country dedicated to You. God bless.
Father Rich Tomkosky is the Pastor of Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish in Bedford and the Pastor of Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Beans Cove.