The sky opened…
In the barn, the only sound was the conversation between César Barbedette and Jeanne Détais, who had brought some news of the soldiers gleaned at Saint-Ellier where Jeanne had been preparing a corpse for burial. Eugène went out “to see the weather”. It was then that he suddenly noticed up in the sky, above and behind Augustin Guidecoq’s house, a beautiful Lady.
First phase of the apparition
“She has a blue dress with golden stars, gold-ribboned slippers, a golden crown widening towards the top with a red band around it, and a black veil.” The beautiful Lady smiled at him as she did at Joseph who joined him a few moments later. “Maybe it’s the Virgin Mary” said Victoire, their mother.
While the events of the first phase were taking place, other things were happening. Victoire went to fetch Sister Vitaline, who in turn went to fetch Françoise Richer and Jeanne-Marie, two young boarders and Sister Marie-Edouard who went to fetch the parish priest. The villagers ran to the barn and started to pray with Sister Vitaline.
The parish priest arrived amongst his parishioners.
The crowd was talking, discussing, moving about :
“Let us pray” said the parish priest. Sister Marie-Edouard started to say the Rosary.
The crowd began the Magnificat.
Then Joseph Babin, a carter by trade, came back from the market at Ernée. “You’re right to pray,” he shouted to the crowd, “the Prussians have arrived at Laval.”
At the parish priest’s invitation the villagers sang the litanies of the Virgin Mary.
They sang ‘Inviolata’. At the invocation ‘O Mater alma Christi carissima’,
the crowd ended ‘Inviolata’ and sang ‘Salve Regina’.
The crowd prayed fervently, in silence.
A blue oval with four unlit candles appeared around the beautiful Lady. Also, a small red cross was to be seen on her dress at the place where the heart was.
The beautiful Lady became sad.
A few minutes later, she smiled again and as the prayers became more fervent, she grew slowly in size. The oval also grew and the stars multiplied.
A big white banner unrolled under the feet of the beautiful Lady and then a word appeared letter by letter ‘BUT’.
At that moment the word PRAY was written on the banner and then two other words ‘MY CHILDREN.’
Other words appeared, forming a phrase : ‘GOD WILL ANSWER YOU VERY SOON”
OH ! DO PRAY MY CHILDREN GOD WILL ANSWER YOU VERY SOON ¤
MY SON LETS HIS HEART BE TOUCHED
Two words appeared at the beginning of a second line : ‘MY SON’.
The message finished with ‘LETS HIS HEART BE TOUCHED’ ( or “allows himseif to be moved” ).
Mary, for they were sure that it was Her, (the banner bore the words ‘MY SON’) was still smiling.
The villagers sang the hymn,
“Mother of Hope
Whose name is so sweet
Protect our land of France
Pray, pray for us.”
“Oh, how lovely she is”, the children said again and again.
“It’s as if a roller, the same colour as the sky has passed over the words” said the children.
Then they sang another hymn, the one they had sung at school that afternoon.
The Virgin Mary lifted her hands to the level of her shoulders and moved her fingers in time to the hymn as if to accompany an invisible instrument.
Mary was smiling.
The banner and the message disappeared.
Mary’s face showed great sadness. She seemed to speak but her voice was not beard.
“My gentle Jesus At hast the time has come
To pardon Our Penitent hearts
We will never Again offend
Thy supreme goodness O gentle Jesus.”
The Parce Domine (Spare us, O Lord !) served as a response
“Look, she’s becoming sad again” said the children.
The silent crowd prayed intensely.
A red cross with ‘Jesus Christ’ written in white appeared in front of Her. It bore a Christ of the same colour.
The Virgin took the cross in both hands and tilted it towards the children.
A small star came to light the four candles inside the oval, just as the priest did at church on the Holy Virgin’s altar.
The star then took up a position above the Virgin’s head.
Sister Marie-Edouard started the hymn “Ave Maris Stella”.
“My dear friends, said the parish priest, we will all say the evening prayer together.”
Everyone kneeled down where they were. When they reached the exanimation of their conscience, something new happened.
“Do you still see anything ?” asked Father Guérin.
“No Father, it’s all over”.
It was almost nine o’clock in the evening. Everyone went home. Minds were at rest and all fear was gone.
The red crucifix disappeared. A small white cross appeared on each shoulder and the Holy Virgin smiled again at the children.
A large white veil appeared at the feet of the Virgin. It rose slowly in front of Her, making her disappear from view little by little. It reached the face, then the crown.
No more was to be seen.
Le dernier livre du Père Bernard Dullier Recteur du Sanctuaire…