Our Lady of La Salette

Our Lady of La Salette (French: Notre-Dame de La Salette) is a Marian apparition reported by two children, Maximin Giraud and Mélanie Calvat[1] to have occurred at La Salette-Fallavaux, France, in 1846.

On 19 September 1851, Pope Pius IX formally approved the public devotion and prayers to Our Lady of La Salette, referring to its messages of apparition as "secrets". On 24 August 1852, Pope Pius IX once again mentioned the construction of the altar to La Salette. The same papal bull granted the foundation of the Association of Our Lady of La Salette, formalised on 7 September 1852.

On 21 August 1879, Pope Leo XIII formally granted a canonical coronation to the Virgin Mary's image at the Basilica of Our Lady of La Salette. A Russian style tiara was granted to the image, instead of the solar-type tiara used in its traditional depictions of Our Lady during her apparitions.

There is also a sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of La Salette in Oliveira de Azeméis, in Portugal, a shrine in Enfield, New Hampshire, and Attleboro, Massachusetts in the United States, both known for their Christmas lights, a Chapel in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, in México.

Our Lady of La Salette
Eglise de Corps-statue-82
LocationLa Salette-Fallavaux, France
Date19 September 1846
WitnessMélanie Calvat
Maximin Giraud
TypeMarian apparition
Holy See approvalPope Pius IX
Pope Leo XIII
ShrineSanctuary of Our Lady of La Salette, La Salette, France
PatronageLa Salette-Fallavaux, Silang, Cavite


La Salette day
Basilica of Our Lady of La Salette.
The Marian Shrine of Our Lady in the great mountain of La Salette.

In 1846 the village of La Salette consisted of eight or nine scattered hamlets. The population was about 800, principally small farmers with their families and dependents. On the evening of Saturday, 19 September 1846, Maximin Giraud and Mélanie Calvat (called Mathieu[2]) returned from the mountain where they had been minding cows and reported seeing "a beautiful lady" on Mount Sous-Les Baisses, weeping bitterly. They described her as sitting with her elbows resting on her knees and her face buried in her hands. She was clothed in a white robe studded with pearls; and a gold colored apron; white shoes and roses about her feet and high headdress. Around her neck she wore a crucifix suspended from a small chain.[3]

According to their account, she continued to weep even as she spoke to them, first in French, then in their own dialect[4] of Occitan.[5] After giving a secret to each child, the apparition walked up a hill and vanished.

After five years of investigation, the Bishop of Grenoble, Philibert de Bruillard announced in 1851 that the apparition was likely to be a true revelation and authorised the commencement of the following of Our Lady of La Salette.[6] This determination was later confirmed by his successor, Bishop Ginoulhiac.[7]


According to the children's account, the Virgin invited people to respect the repose of the seventh day, and to respect the name of God. She sorrowfully threatened punishment, in particular a scarcity of potatoes, which would rot. The context of these punishments places the warning just prior to the winter of 1846–1847, which was in Europe, and especially in France and in Ireland, a period of famine in the months which followed the apparition. This was one of the factors of the apparition's popular appeal.[1]

The message of the visionaries of La Salette focuses on the conversion of all humanity to Christ. John Vianney, John Bosco, and writer Joris-Karl Huysmans were all influenced by La Salette. The spirit of La Salette is said to be one of prayer, conversion, and commitment.[8] Fr. René J. Butler, M.S. of the La Salette Missionaries of North America says "The whole purpose of the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette was reconciliation."[9]

Pope John Paul II stated: "As I wrote on the occasion of the 150th anniversary, 'La Salette is a message of hope, for our hope is nourished by the intercession of her who is the Mother of mankind."[10]


Eglise de Corps - statue vierge en pleurs
Statue depicting Our Lady of La Salette crying in Corps, Isère, France.

Sensation about Our Lady of La Salette arose when Mélanie and Maximin made their message public, which caused the bishop of Grenoble to investigate the apparition. During the investigation, a number of accusations were made against the visionaries, including the assertion that the apparition was actually just a middle-aged woman named La Merlière.[2]


No mention of secrets is made in the children's first accounts, presumably out of fear they would be compelled to disclose them. The children later reported that the Blessed Virgin had confided a special secret to each of them. These two secrets, which neither Mélanie nor Maximin ever made known to each other, were sent by them in 1851 to Pope Pius IX on the advice of Mgr. de Bruillard.[2][11] It is assumed that these secrets were of a personal nature. Maximin advised the Marquise de Monteyard, "Ah, it is good fortune."[12]

Fate of the children

Maximin Giraud, after an unhappy and wandering life, returned to Corps (Isère), his native village, and died on 1 March 1875 before turning 40. Mélanie Calvat died as a Catholic nun at Altamura, Italy, on 15 December 1904.[2]


La Salette Shrine, Attleboro, Massachusetts
La Salette Shrine, Attleboro, Massachusetts

The Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette were founded in 1852 by Bp. Philbert de Bruillard, Bishop of Grenoble, France, and presently serve in some 25 countries.[13] The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette is located in Attleboro, Massachusetts; it is famous for its elaborate Christmas light displays.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Marian Apparitions". University of Dayton. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Clugnet, Léon (1910). La Salette. The Catholic Encyclopedia. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  3. ^ Wyse, John. Manual of the Confraternity of LaSalette, London, Richardson and Son, 1855, p. 9
  4. ^ Stern, Jean. 1980. La Salette, Documents authentiques. Part 1. Paris: Desclée De Brouwer, pp. 66, 71, [about the dialect itself] 279–280.
  5. ^ Bert, Michael and James Costa. 2010. "Linguistic borders, language revitalisation and the imagining of new regional entities", Borders and Identities Archived 19 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine (Newcastle upon Tyne, 8–9 Jan 2010), p. 18.
  6. ^ "Notre-Dame de La Salette", Eymardian Places
  7. ^ Bunson, Matthew. "LaSalette", Catholic Almanac's Guide to the Church Our Sunday Visitor, 2001, ISBN 9781612781754
  8. ^ Castel, R. (1985). La Salette. Dictionary of Mary. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company.
  9. ^ Butler M.S., René. "Feast of Our Lady of La Salette"
  10. ^ "Address of the Holy Father John Paul II to the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette". Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 4 May 2000. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  11. ^ Bourmaud, Fr. Dominique (July – December 2003). "Discovery of the Secret of La Salette". Newsletter of District of Asia. Society of St. Pius X District of Asia. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  12. ^ Zimdars-Swartz, Sandra L., Encountering Mary: From La Salette to Medjugorje, Princeton University Press, 2014 ISBN 9781400861637
  13. ^ "La Salette – A Universal Mission", Les Annales, Jan–Feb, 2011, pgs. 18–19
  14. ^ National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette

See also

External links

Adolphe Perraud

Adolphe Perraud (7 February 1828 – 18 February 1906) was a French Cardinal and academician.

Jacques-Marie-Achille Ginoulhiac

Jacques-Marie-Achille Ginoulhiac (born at Montpellier, department of Hérault, 3 December 1806; died there 17 November 1875) was a French bishop.

La Salette-Fallavaux

La Salette-Fallavaux is a commune in the Isère department in southeastern France. The sanctuary of Our Lady of La Salette in the mountains above the village is a well-known pilgrimage site devoted to an 1846 Marian apparition.

La Salette of Quezon

La Salette of Quezon is a private Catholic school managed by the Salettinian religious order in Quezon, Isabela.

La Salette of Roxas College

La Salette of Roxas College. is a Marian Institution school located in Vira, Roxas, Isabela, Philippines. It is the only Catholic school in the municipality and is one of the leading educational institution in Isabela.

It has sister schools such as La Salette of Aurora, La Salette of Quezon, La Salette of Ramon, La Salette of San Mateo, La Salette of Cabatuan, La Salette of Cordon and University of La Salette- Santiago City. It was founded on September 17, 1958, by the Missionaries of La Salette. It is a Catholic school which provides the town of Roxas with faith, hope and reconciliation. La Salette of Roxas is guided by the Our Lady of La Salette which originated in La Salette, France.

Louis Jacques Maurice de Bonald

Louis Jacques Maurice de Bonald (30 October 1787 – 23 February 1870) was a French cardinal (1841).

Louis Veuillot

Louis Veuillot (11 October 1813 – 7 March 1883) was a French journalist and author who helped to popularize ultramontanism (a philosophy favoring Papal supremacy).

Léon Bloy

Léon Bloy (1846–1917) was a French novelist, essayist, pamphleteer, and poet.

Maximin Giraud

Pierre Maximin Giraud (26 August 1835 Corps en Isère, France - 1 March 1875 Corps en Isère, France), known as Maximin Giraud, was a French member of the Corps of Papal Zouaves and a Marian visionary of Our Lady of La Salette.

Mieczysław Halka-Ledóchowski

Mieczysław Halka-Ledóchowski, (29 October 1822 – 22 July 1902) was born in Górki (near Sandomierz) in Russian controlled Congress Poland to Count Josef Ledóchowski and Maria Zakrzewska. He was uncle to Saint Ursula Ledóchowska, the Blessed Maria Teresia (Theresa) Ledóchowska and Father Wlodimir Ledóchowski, General Superior of the Society of Jesus.

Minor Basilica of Our Lady of La Salette in Dębowiec

Minor Basilica of Our Lady of La Salette in Dębowiec is a Catholic shrine located in the south-east of Poland, founded by the La Salette Missionaries in 1910 on land bought from the Dębowiec Municipal Board on June 7, 1910.

Missionaries of La Salette

The Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette (M.S. - Missionarium Saletiniensis) are a religious congregation of priests and brothers in the Latin Church, one of the 23 sui iuris churches which make up the Catholic Church which is led by the Bishop of Rome. They are named after the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette in France. There is also a parallel religious community of sisters called the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of La Salette. A lay fraternal group of associates also works in cooperation with the vowed religious. The Missionaries are dedicated to making known the message of Our Lady of La Salette, a call to healing of inner brokenness and personal reconciliation with God, especially as found in the first three commandments. The missionaries are popularly known as "the La Salettes."

Mélanie Calvat

Françoise Mélanie Calvat, (French: [fʁɑ̃swaz melani kalva]) called Mathieu (7 November 1831 Corps, Isère, France - 14 December 1904 Altamura, Italy), was a French Roman Catholic nun and Marian visionary and saint. As a religious, she was called Sister Mary of the Cross. Together with Maximin Giraud, she was one of the two Marian visionaries of Our Lady of La Salette. Feast Day on September 14.

Nostra Signora de La Salette

The church of Our Lady of La Salette is a church in Rome, in the Gianicolense district, in the square Our Lady of La Salette.

Order of the Apostles of the Last Days

The Order of the Apostles of the Last Days is a Roman Catholic religious order proposed by the visionary Mélanie Calvat claiming guidance from Our Lady of La Salette at a private apparition on 19 September 1846 on the mountain at La Salette, Isère in France.

Paul Verlaine

Paul-Marie Verlaine (; French: [vɛʁlɛn]; 30 March 1844 – 8 January 1896) was a French poet associated with the Decadent movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.

Peter Julian Eymard

Saint Peter Julian Eymard, SSS (ɛy'mɒ), (La Mure near Grenoble, France, 4 February 1811 – La Mure, 1 August 1868) was a French Catholic priest and founder of two religious institutes: the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament for men and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament for women.

Prospero Caterini

Prospero Caterini (15 October 1795, Onano – 28 October 1881, Rome) was an Italian cardinal.

William Bernard Ullathorne

William Bernard Ullathorne (7 May 1806 – 21 March 1889) was an English prelate who held high offices in the Roman Catholic Church during the nineteenth century.

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