Our Lady of Banneux: The Blessed Virgin of the poor
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Uploaded by Ethans Enterprise on Oct 25, 2011
I am the Blessed Virgin of the poor. This is how Mary introduced herself to an 11-year-old little girl named Mariette BÃ©co during the third of eight apparitions, which unfolded from January 15th to March 2nd of 1933. These apparitions took place in Banneux, a small Belgian village in the region of Ardennes, in the intermediate years between the two world wars. The beginning of the 20th century was an extremely tumultuous era: communist power was expanding, the Nazis were just beginning to rise to power in Germany, and the exploitation of the working class was at its height. Mariette was the oldest of seven children, from a family that was not well-off and who did not practice their faith. She was, therefore, a soul in need of conversion -- a soul poor in faith -- whom Mary sought out in order to demonstrate her closeness to all of humanity. On January 18th, during the second apparition, Our Lady pointed out a spring to Mariette that was found along a pathway; Mary said that this spring belonged to her. The next day, while the little girl was praying, the Blessed Virgin explained her desire, saying: This spring is reserved for all the nations -- to relieve the sick. Along with the other fervent requests that Our Lady made to the little girl, Mary also asked for a chapel to be built, the construction and inauguration of which would subsequently take place in the summer of 1933. 16 years later, in 1949, the Bishop of LiÃ¨ge officially approved these apparitions in the name of the Church. The lady who appeared to Mariette and identified herself as The Mother of the Savior, the Mother of God, still encourages pilgrims today to do the same as the child did, to dip your hands in the water of the spring in order to receive Christs grace. It is a message of hope and an invitation to prayer, which Mary, the Mother of Compassion, asks of all mankind. Throughout the year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims come to Banneux, above all during the Triduum (a pilgrimage of three days) in order to commend their poverty to Our Lady of Banneux. Pope John Paul II, during his own pilgrimage to the Shrine at Banneux on May 21st, 1985, said: Today, the poor and there are many forms of poverty! feel at home in Banneux. The poor come here seeking consolation, courage, hope, and union with God during their trials. I encourage those pilgrims who come here to pray, always and with the whole Church, to reflect the merciful face of God. Mary, Our Lady of the Poor -- you lead us to Jesus, the Source of Grace, and you come to relieve our suffering. We implore you with trust to help us to follow your Son with generosity and to belong to Him without reserve.
Mary, Mother of God