Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By

5/6/2008 (6 years ago)

Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

During the Mass, attended by Roman Curia officials,Bishop de Falco noted these are the first Marian apparitions to be approved in the 21st century.

Highlights

By

Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

5/6/2008 (6 years ago)

Published in Europe


ROME (CNA) - On Sunday during a Mass celebrated in the town of Laus in the French Alps, Bishop Jean-Michel de Falco of Gap, accompanied by numerous cardinals and archbishops from around the world, announced the official approval of the Church of the Marian apparitions to Benôite (Benedicta) Rencurel between 1664 and 1718.

During the Mass, attended by Roman Curia officials including Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, Bishop de Falco noted these are the first Marian apparitions to be approved in the 21st century by the Vatican and the Church in France. He called it the most singular event to take place in France since the apparitions of Lourdes in 1862.

“I recognize the supernatural origin of the apparitions and the events and words experienced and narrated by Benedicta Rencurel. I encourage all of the faithful to come and pray and seek spiritual renewal at this shrine,” the bishop said.

“Nobody is obliged to believe in apparitions,” he continued, “even in those officially recognized, but if they help us in our faith and our daily lives, why should we reject them?” he asked.

Bishop de Falco’s comment was apparently aimed at the French Communist Party, which last week described the announcement of the ceremony as “a marketing ploy of the Church” and denounced the presence of French government officials at the ceremony as a “violation of the separation of church and state.”

The shrine of Our Lady of Laus attracts some 120,000 pilgrims each year. The Catholic philosopher Jean Guitton called it “one of the most hidden and powerful shrines of Europe.”

Our Lady’s message

Benedicta Rencurel was born on September 16, 1647 in Saint-Étienne d'Avançon (in the southern French Alps), and suffered the death of her father when she was 7 years-old. She never learned to read or write and her only education came from the homilies at Sunday Mass.

One day in May of 1664, Benedicta was caring for the animals of some neighbors and praying the rosary when she saw a dazzling lady standing on a rock, holding a beautiful child in her arms.

“Beautiful Lady!” she exclaimed. “What are you doing up there? Do you want to eat with me? I have some good bread which we can soften up at the fountain.” The girl’s simplicity brought a smile to the Lady’s face, but she said nothing.

“Beautiful Lady! Could you give us that child? He would make us so happy.” The Lady smiled again without responding. After remaining a few minutes with Benedicta, she took the child in her arms and disappeared into a cave.

For four months, the Lady appeared to Benedicta every day, talking to her and preparing her for her future mission. Benedicta told the woman who owned the flock that she cared for about the visions, but she did not believe her.

One day, however, the woman secretly followed her to the Fours valley. She didn’t see the vision, but she did hear Mary’s voice, who told Benedicta to warn her that her soul was in danger. “She has something on her conscience,” Mary said. “Tell her to do penance.” The woman was deeply moved by the message, returned to the sacraments and lived piously for the rest of her days.

On August 29, Benedicta asked the Lady what her name was. She replied, “My name is Mary.”

During the winter of 1664-1665, Benedicta went up to Laus frequently, each time receiving a vision of the Blessed Mother, who told her to “pray continuously for sinners.” News of the apparitions spread throughout the entire region.

On September 18, 1665, when Benedicta was 18 years old, the apparitions were officially recognized by the diocese and that fall, construction began on a small church to receive the hundreds of pilgrims coming to visit.

Mary revealed herself in Laus as the reconciler and refuge of sinners, and therefore she offered signs to convince them of the need to repent. She told Benedicta that the oil from the sanctuary lamp would work miracles with the infirm if they received the anointing with faith in her intercession.

Benedicta took the mission she received from Mary seriously and dedicated herself to preparing sinners to receive the sacrament of Penance. She encouraged the two priests at the shrine to receive penitents with charity and kindness in order to help them convert.

Mary asked Benedicta to admonish women and girls about living lives of scandal, especially those who commit abortion, the unjust wealthy and the perverse. She also encouraged priests and religious to be faithful to their vows.

Between 1669 and 1679, Benedicta received five visions of the suffering Christ. On a Friday in July of 1673, the suffering Jesus told her: “My daughter, I show myself in this state so that you can participate in my Passion.”

After more than two decades of suffering and continual apparitions of the Blessed Mother, Benedicta received Communion on Christmas Day 1718. Three days later she made a confession, received the last rites and around 8p.m. said goodbye to those around her. Benedicts then kissed a crucifix and passed away peacefully.

Today the shrine is run by diocesan clergy with the assistance of a community of the Brothers of St. John who are dedicated to promoting the sacrament of Reconciliation.

---

Founded in continued response to Pope John Paul II’s call for a “New Evangelization,” the Catholic News Agency (CNA) has been, since 2004, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world.



Comments


More Europe

SCARY VIDEO! What the heck blew up in Russia's sky? Was it a meteor or something stranger?! Watch

Image of A still taken from footage of the phenomena that took place in Russia on November 14.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What was the mysterious phenomena that occurred in Russia and was witnessed and captured on camera by dozens of motorists? It appears that nobody knows for sure, and even experts are left scratching their heads while they struggle to find reasonable explanations. ... continue reading


Who really was Jack the Ripper? New evidence points to one man Watch

Image of A criminologist from England may have new evidence that points towards the real identity of Jack the Ripper.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new theory about the identity of infamous 19th century London serial killer Jack the Ripper may explain why the murderer was able to elude contemporary and modern authorities for so long and escape justice. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dr. Gareth Norris, a ... continue reading


Which countries drink the most beer? Our list may surprise you! Watch

Image of Beer is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Who still drinks beer?  Beer is one of the most widely consumed beverages, behind water and tea.  Beer is also a Catholic tradition, alongside wine-making, and has been widely practiced in monasteries, especially in Europe. Now, a list has emerged detailing ... continue reading


To raise money for the poor, Pope Francis to raffle gifts Watch

Image of The tickets are only a modest €10, but this includes a new Fiat Panda 4x4, with all optional extras.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Talking the talk, walking the walk: Pope Francis has done it again. The pontiff is raffling gifts that have been given to him in order to raise money for the poor. Posters announcing the raffle have gone up all over Vatican City. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Russia could destabilize Eastern Europe if Ukraine left unchecked, Merkel warns Watch

Image of It's exceedingly tough talk from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She says that Russia's annexation of Crimea and subsequent destabilization of eastern Ukraine

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's exceedingly tough talk from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She says that Russia's annexation of Crimea and subsequent destabilization of eastern Ukraine "called the whole of the European peaceful order into question." Adding to the gloomy outlook was a ... continue reading


The Pope Who Builds Showers for the Poor under St Peters Rattles our Comfort Zones Watch

Image of Pope Francis embracing Jesus in the face of the poor

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Those who love the poor - like Jesus loved the poor- are an instruction manual for the rest of us. They are a sign of the kingdom, making it present in their wake. We have such a man in this Pope named Francis. He recognizes that poverty is more than a lack of ... continue reading


Theory: Putin doesn't want war -- he's selling Russian hardware Watch

Image of Putin is playing a dangerous game on brinkmanship with the world -- or he is trying to sell hardware. Nobody is sure.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Vladimir Putin continues to rattle his saber at the western world with bomber flights, naval deployments and the movement of troops within Russia. Some fear the world may be on the brink of a new cold war with the old superpower. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As ... continue reading


More Catholic Than the Pope? Francis Calls Catholics to Work and Pray with Evangelical Protestants Watch

Image of Pope Francis realistically acknowledges the differences and distinctives in doctrine and practice - as well as the divisions among us. However, he focuses on our common Baptism and shared mission in this decisive moment in Christian history. His message is powerful, prophetic and should be read by every Christian, as well as every other person of faith and good will.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis carries the burden for Christian unity in his heart, proclaims it in his words, and steps it into his actions. The hoped for healing of our divisions and call to collaboration proceeded from the Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church and was ... continue reading


Catholic Cardinal fires back at illegal gay marriages in Italy Watch

Image of While gay marriage is illegal in Italy, many city mayors have begun recognizing same-sex marriages performed outside Italy, which has led to great criticism.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Catholic Cardinal is warning that gay marriage may lead to the destruction of family structure if it becomes culturally accepted by the Catholic Church. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian Bishops Conference gave ... continue reading


Sex-selective abortions now running rampant across Eastern Europe Watch

Image of Female feticide is happening in countries which previously had no history of such practices, such as Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The practice of aborting female fetuses due to a preference for sons is an  "epidemic" which is spreading beyond countries such as India and China to Eastern European nations, a senior United Nations official warned Monday. NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 11:4-12
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamps in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 20:27-40
27 Some Sadducees -- those who argue that there is no ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Cecilia
November 22: In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter