On this day in 1846, two young cowherds had a vision of the Virgin Mary near La Salette in southeastern France. Maximin Giraud was 11 years old and Melanie Mathieu (or Calvat) was 14. They had eaten their lunch and taken a nap. When they woke, they saw a globe of light that opened to reveal a woman sitting on a rock with her head in her hands. She was crying. She stood up and spoke to the children. She warned them about coming catastrophes and told them secrets.
Click here for a video about the apparition.
In the days and months and years that followed, the visionaries were questioned repeatedly by canons, bishops, seminary professors, the Curé of Ars, various secular officials, etc. Finally, in 1851, the vision was approved, and devotion to Our Lady of La Salette was authorized.
For some of Melanie's description of the apparition, see There's Something Under the Bed: Children's Experiences with the Paranormal, by Ursula Bielski, New Page Books, 2010. Search term: La Salette. Page 101.
There was controversy about the apparition from the start. See the Wikipedia article on Our Lady of La Salette. Clicking the names of the two visionaries in the first paragraph will lead to more information about the controversies and about the difficulties in the lives of Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud following the vision.
For more about the secrets and the disputes, see the University of Dayton's page on Marian Apparitions. Scroll down an inch to La Salette.
Click here for the Mass for the feast and here for the Liturgy of the Hours.
Click here for information about the lay Associates of the La Salette Missionaries.
A very happy feast day to the La Salette Sisters, Fathers, Brothers, Associates, and to all who benefit from their service!