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Reconnecting With Mary… Apparitions At L’Ile Bouchard

December 4, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY

Part 2

The previous article looked at the initial stages of the apparitions at L’Ile Bouchard, and now we can look at how things developed.
Fr. Ségelle, the parish priest at L’Ile Bouchard had been asked to come to the church at 2 p.m. on the second day of the apparitions, but probably for reasons of prudence, refused to do this, and so Jacqueline, Jeanette, and Laura, with about 20 other children, and 30 adults, assembled in the church. After they had said ten Hail Marys, the Virgin and the angel appeared as before, out of the golden ball.
She asked for hymns and prayers, before telling them to return each day at one o’clock, until everything was over. At half past five, Fr. Ségelle informed the archbishop of the day’s events. That same day, to general surprise, the Communists decided to call off their general strike.
On the third day, Wednesday, December 10, 150 people waited in the church for the next appearance of Mary. Suddenly the Virgin was present, and she requested a sung version of the Hail Mary, before asking the girls to kiss her hand. Then Jacqueline’s mother called out to her daughter requesting a miracle so that all would believe, to which Mary replied:
“I have not come here to perform miracles, but to tell you to pray for France. However, tomorrow you will see clearly and you won’t need to wear glasses anymore.”
Naturally enough, the people wanted to know what the answer to the request for a miracle had been, and the girls related what our Lady had said. At five o’clock, Fr. Ségelle interviewed Jacqueline, and poured scorn on the idea that her eyes, which were really in a dreadful condition, could possibly improve overnight. Nevertheless, a miracle had been promised, and few of the adults closely associated with these events had a sound night’s sleep. Jacqueline went home in tears, and was met by her father and mother who were also in tears.
Jacqueline’s parents were in something of a quandary; they were non-practicing Catholics, and her father had been embarrassed by remarks concerning his daughter and become angry. In the event, when Jacqueline woke up, she was able to open her eyes without any difficulty and had normal vision. She called to her parents in delight, who were overjoyed at seeing their daughter’s eyes cured so miraculously.
Her father rushed to get Fr. Ségelle, who exclaimed on seeing Jacqueline: “So it’s true that she has descended among us!” The priest immediately contacted the archbishop and was told to be present at the next apparition.
This was the fourth day, Thursday, December 11, and by one o’clock the report of this miracle had ensured a full church. Mary appeared and requested that they sing the Hail Mary, before asking: “Do you pray for sinners?” They replied that they did, and then she led them through ten Hail Marys, but only said the first part of each prayer, the Angel Gabriel’s message, and not the second part. After this, the girls were questioned separately in the sacristy.
On the fifth day, Friday, December 12, 300 people were in the church for the one o’clock rendezvous. When Mary appeared, the girls could see something new: Now she was wearing a “crown” made up of twelve shining rays, each about a foot long, two narrow blue ones in the center and then five wider ones to each side, colored red, yellow, green, pink, and a brownish red. Now the Virgin held her hands lower so the word “Magnificat” could be read. The girls thought the crown resembled a rainbow.
She then asked them to sing the Hail Mary, before leading them, as on the previous day, in ten spoken Hail Marys.
After this she said: “Do you pray for sinners?” to which they replied “Yes, Madame,” and then she continued: “Good, above all pray a lot for sinners.” Jacqueline asked for a miracle, but Mary repeated her previous statement that she had not come to perform miracles, but to ask for prayers for France. After another decade of the rosary she disappeared, and again the girls were questioned separately as to what they had seen and heard.
For the sixth day of the apparitions, Saturday, December 13, 500 people were in the church at one o’clock, as the Virgin appeared again, but this time without the crown. Mary again asked for prayers, invocations, and hymns, as Jacqueline repeated her request for a miracle, to hear the reply, “Later.” Then after more prayers and invocations, the Virgin told them that she would appear the next day for the last time.
The last day of the apparitions, Sunday, December 14, saw L’Ile Bouchard crowded with pilgrims and the Church of St. Gilles jammed solid with 2,000 people, while more gathered outside. While waiting for the girls, the congregation prayed the rosary — many had not prayed in years — as the young seers took their places for the last time. Once more, Mary and the angel were before them, for an apparition which lasted over half an hour.
After more prayers and invocations, Mary requested that the congregation sing the Magnificat, and Fr. Ségelle led everyone in this, and later still she emphasized once more the need to pray for sinners. Realizing that the apparition would soon be over, Jacqueline asked the Virgin to give some proof of her presence, to which Mary responded with a smile: “Before I go I will send a bright ray of sunlight.”
With that, she began to bless the crowd, and as she did so, a mysterious ray of sunshine streamed in through a pane in the southwest window of the choir, illuminating the precise spot of the apparition. It grew in strength and began to cover a larger area, forcing those near the altar of the Virgin to shield their eyes. Those affected also remarked on the heat of this ray.
This ray of sunlight was inexplicable in natural terms, since given its point of entry, it should have been blocked by some of the pillars of the choir. In addition, subsequent tests would show that it was physically impossible for a normal ray of sunlight to have illuminated that particular part of the church on the winter’s day in question, and so we are in the presence of a miracle. This is the connection with Fatima and the miracle of the sun.

Faithful To Their Testimony

After it was over, Fr. Ségelle gave the congregation, many of whom were in tears, benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and once more the girls were closely examined. They faced much further questioning over the next few months from the curious, and many other trials, but remained faithful to their testimony.
Several ecclesiastical investigations into the apparitions were held, and in 2004, Archbishop André Vingt-Trois approved the message of the Virgin of L’Ile Bouchard.
Regarding the critical political and economic situation in France, the fifth day of the apparitions seems to have coincided with the point at which the crisis in France was over, and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the prayers said at L’Ile Bouchard church, and elsewhere in the country, were instrumental in preventing the outbreak of a possible civil war that would have had catastrophic results for both France and Europe.

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(Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, and maintains a related website at www.theotokos.org.uk.)

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