Monday, August 29, 2011

My Name is Lady Mary

One day in May 1664, seventeen-year old Benoite Rencurel was tending sheep in a valley surrounded by rocky cliffs with crevices resembling shallow grottos. While she was reciting her rosary, she suddenly saw a beautiful Lady standing on a rock, holding the hand of an adorable Child. “Beautiful Lady!” she said to her. “What are you doing up there? Would you like to share my lunch with me? I have a little bit of hard bread-we could dip it in the spring!”

The Lady smiled at her simplicity, and did not say a word to her. “Beautiful Lady, would you like to give us this Child, He would make our hearts so glad?” The Lady smiled again without answering. After a few moments with Benoite, she took her Child in her arms and disappeared into a grotto in the side of the cliff, where the shepherdess saw her go in and out several times.

Over the course of the next four months, the Lady appeared every day to Benoite, talking very familiarly with the young girl. She instructed her in preparation for her future mission, by correcting her vivaciousness and her abruptness, her stubbornness and her attachment to things and animals. On August 29, Benoite asked the visitor what her name was, and heard this response, “My name is Lady Mary, Jesus’ Mother.” The Virgin also told her that the apparitions would now come to an end for an indefinite time. This absence served to purify her soul, a month in all, by depriving her of a considerable consolation.

The apparition later gave rise to a sanctuary and place of pilgrimage.

Adapted from an article written by Dom Antoine Marie osb.


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