CHAPTER 12

Banneux, Belgium

Chapter 12

“I am the Virgin of the Poor…I am the Mother of the Savior, Mother of God…I come to alleviate suffering.”

Less than two weeks after the last appearance in Beauraing, the Blessed Virgin appeared to an 11 year old girl named Mariette Beco, who came from a poor, lapsed Catholic family in Banneux, a town about fifty miles north of Beauraing. Shortly before suppertime, on the evening of January 15, 1933, Mariette was looking out her kitchen window and noticed a glowing figure standing motionless near the vegetable garden.

The figureThe figure “was enveloped in a in a great oval light, wearing a long white gown with a sash of an unforgettable blue, with a white transparent veil covering her head and shoulders. Her right foot was visible and crowned with a golden rose between the toes. She had a rosary on her right arm with diamond-like beads and a golden chain and cross.”

She stood on a cloud with her head and shoulders bent slightly to the left. She was smiling at Mariette. The young girl asked to go outside, but her mother feared the girl might be seeing a ghost and refused to let her go; however, when Mariette returned to the window, the lady had vanished.

Three days later, Mariette knelt on the frozen ground where she had seen the figure and began praying the rosary. A figure appeared in the distant sky, coming closer and closer until she was only a few feet away. The lady led Mariette to a spring, then spoke for the first time, saying: “Plunge your hands into the water. This spring is reserved for me.”  Then, Our Lady left, promising to return.

Virgin of the Poor

The next day, the lady appeared for a third time. Mariette asked her who she was, and she replied, “I am the Virgin of the Poor.”  Mary led Mariette to the spring again, saying, “This is reserved for all nations, for the sick.”  The following day, Mariette asked, “What do you want, beautiful Lady?”  The Virgin told her that she would like to have a little chapel built. Our Lady then made the sign of the cross.

On February the 11th, the Virgin took Mariette to the spring again and said, “I come to alleviate suffering.”  Four days later, the Virgin said, Believe in me, I will believe in you.” Five days later, Mary told her to “Pray hard.” The last apparition occurred on the 2nd of March. The Virgin said, “I am the Mother of the Savior, Mother of God” then, she repeated, “Pray hard.”

Although the Virgin spoke only briefly during her apparitions, she encouraged the girl to pray, then, led her to a spring with miraculous healing powers. After the apparitions, many miracles that were associated with the spring were reported.

The site of the apparitions in Banneux was officially approved by the Church in 1949. The Shrine of Our Lady of Banneux is now a Marian shrine, known for the healing of the many pilgrims who go there.

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