La Salette, France: Apparitions of Our Lady of La Salette
The story of La Salette:
The village of La Salette is in the French Alps not far from Grenoble. On Saturday afternoon, September 19, 1846, Maximim Giraud, a boy age 11 and Melanie Mathieu-Calvat, a girl age 14, were were tending sheep when they were attracted to a brilliant light in a ravine.
The figure of a crowned woman with a radiant dress and rose-edged slippers gradually became visible. She was crying and wore a golden crucifix…the youths thought that she was a ‘saint’.
She spoke first to both of them, then gave each a ‘secret’ individually. After a final admonition to both to ‘make this known’ she rose in the air looking heavenward in joy, glanced momentarily toward Rome, and then gradually disappeared. Melanie and Maximim told their fellow townspeople of the vision, but met with initial unbelief (with the exception of Fr. Perrin, the parish priest, who announced the event during Mass). According to the accounts of the children, one of the primary reasons behind her sorrow was because of a lapse in the local observance of Sunday as a day of rest. That situation has certainly not improved much in the ensuing years.
As time progressed, conversions (including Maximim’s father and a locally known rebellious priest) and over 23 healings associated with a stream of water which flowed again from a dried-up spring at the apparition site, made the townsfolk reformed and firm believers.
A three-year investigation led to the Bishop’s approval of the apparition. Bishop Philibert de Bruillard of Grenoble, published his decision on September 19, 1851:
“We judge that the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin to the two cowherds on the 19th of September, 1846, on a mountain of the chain of Alps, situated in the parish of La Salette, in the archpresbytery of Corps, bears within itself all the characteristics of truth, and that the faithful have grounds for believing it indubitable and certain.”
Construction began a year later on a basilica which draws thousands of pilgrims to honor the ‘Virgin of Converts’, the ‘Reconciler of Sinners’.
We celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of La Salette on September 19.
Here is a sampling of Our Lady’s messages:
“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.”
“A forerunner of the antichrist with his troops from several nations will fight against the true Christ, the only Savior of the world; he will spill much blood, and will want to annihilate the worship of God in order to make himself be looked upon as a God.”
Joseph Goebbels said in 1936: “Germany has been transformed into a great house of the Lord where the Fuehrer as our mediator stands before the throne of God.”
In 1937. Pope Pius XI condemned Adolf Hitler for “placing himself on the same level as Christ.”
“Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the antichrist.” (Another secret states that the Pope shall be faithful to the end.)
“Fight, children of light, you the small number who can see; for behold the time of times, the end of ends.”
Check out this book: Melanie and the story of Our Lady of La Salette on all the messages of La Salette.
One of the fruits of the apparitions at La Salette was the founding of The Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette by Philibert de Bruillard on May 1, 1852. The La Salette Missionaries is a congregation of priests and brothers. La Salette missionaries serve all over the world, and are called to share the message of Mary’s grace. They are active in many areas, from caring for the spiritual needs of the order’s shrine visitors and parish community members, to serving as chaplains, teachers, youth ministers and counselors.
The Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas, has approximately 120 members serving in the United States and Canada, as well as in Argentina and Bolivia. They work with bishops, clergy, parishioners, pilgrims and others throughout North America and the mission region in South America. There are more than 1000 missionaries serving in 27 countries around the world. Learn more about the order here.
There are LaSalette Missionaries in over 25 countries, such as the one near Houston, Texas. There is also a parallel religious community of sisters called the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of La Salette.
Traveling to La Salette:
La Salette is a bit isolated and so it is not on many Catholic tours of France. There are, however, some tour operators that do offer La Salette in their itineraries so check around to see if you can find one.
The setting, as you can see here, is naturally beautiful and the atmosphere very peaceful. If you are traveling on your own and don’t have a car, then the best way to reach La Salette is by train from Paris or other cities in France. The high-speed TGV trains from Paris can get you to Grenoble in about 4 hours and then switch to the regional train which will take you to Gap (the nearest town) in a little over 1 hour. Likewise, from Marseille you would take the TGV as far as Grenoble, then transfer. Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here
From Gap you can take a taxi to La Salette.
The shrine has facilities for overnight guests, and a day or two here can be welcome break from a very busy world that most of us live in. You can attend Mass and other activities of the shrine. We highly recommend it!
You might also want to combine your visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Laus, another Marian apparition site in France about 35 miles (56km) from La Salette.
The Feast day of Our Lady of La Salette is celebrated on September 19th so you can be sure there will be crowds on that date.
Address: 38970 La Salette-Fallavaux
GPS coordinates: 44° 51′ 27.9612” N, 5° 58′ 43.6584” E
Tel: +33 (0) 30 476 32 90
Click here for the official website of the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette (in French)
There is also a National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in the U.S. at Attleboro, Massachusetts
In Poland, you can find a Basilica dedicated to Our Lady of La Salette in Debowiec