SACBC Uncategorized 11 May – Rosary for the end to the pandemic from the Shrine of the VIRGIN OF THE POOR, Belgium

11 May – Rosary for the end to the pandemic from the Shrine of the VIRGIN OF THE POOR, Belgium

Prayer Intention: For all the poor, the homeless and the economically distressed
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The Apparitions

Mariette Beco was 12 and a half years old when she reported Marian apparitions in 1933 in Banneux, Belgium, a hamlet about 15 kilometres southeast of the city of Liège. The villagers vowed in 1914 to consecrate their town to Our Lady if it escaped the ravages of war. Banneux was unharmed during World War I, and the village was thereafter called “Banneux of Our Lady”.  At these apparitions, the Lady in White reportedly declared she was the Virgin of the Poor and said: “Believe in me and I will believe in you.”

According to Mariette, she first saw the Blessed Virgin on the evening of Sunday 16 January 1933, as she was looking out the kitchen window. A woman in white stood in the garden and called to her to come out, but her mother – thinking that her daughter was crazy – would not let her. Mariette described Mary as a young lady in the yard smiling at her. She was bent slightly forward and wearing a long white gown with a blue sash, and a transparent white veil. Three days later the woman in white reappeared and told Mariette she was “Our Lady of the Poor”. The lady appeared eight times in all, the last on 2 March 1933.

In one of these visions, Mariette said the Lady asked her to plunge (push) her hands into a small stream of water, telling her the spring was for healing and “for all nations”.
Over time the site drew pilgrims. Today, the small spring yields about 9,000 litres of water a day with many reports of miraculous healings. Our Lady told Mariette she had come “to relieve suffering” and to ask her to “pray much”. As the apparitions became known to the villagers,

Mariette became the object of local mockery, with even her grandmother and aunt making fun of her. Boys followed her around, calling her “Bernadette“, kneeling and asking for her blessing. 
Her claims were subject to an official investigation from 1935 to 1937 by an episcopal commission. The evidence collected was submitted to Rome for further analysis. Meanwhile, a hospital was built in 1938.

In May 1942, Bishop Kerkhofs of Belgium’s Roman Catholic Diocese of Liège approved the veneration of Mary under the title of OUR LADY OF THE POOR. Rome at this stage, although it granted permission for veneration had not yet officially approved these apparitions.
At the end of these apparitions, Mariette decided to remain a private person, married and led a quiet family life. A small chapel stands where the Virgin of the Poor is said to have requested it to be built.

Mariette died on 2 December 2011, at the age of 90. In 2008 she made a final statement about her role in the apparitions: “I was no more than a postman who delivers the mail. Once this has been done, the postman is of no importance any more”. By the time Mary appeared for the sixth time, the whole town was aware of the phenomenon but, as Mariette explained to our Lady, the village chaplain wanted a “sign” that the apparitions were authentic. In reply, Mary told Mariette, “Believe in me, I will believe in you. Pray much.”

During the final apparition, which took place on March 2, 1933, Mary said: “I am the Mother of the Saviour, Mother of God, pray much.” She blessed the child, and disappeared.
The apparitions were finally approved by the Vatican in 1949 and hundred of thousands visit it annually to lay their troubles, their poverties and their sufferings at the feet of the Virgin of the Poor. During a pilgrimage to the Shrine in 1985, Saint Pope John Paul II said: “Today, the poor – and there are many forms of poverty!  – feel at home here.

The poor come seeking consolation, courage, hope and union with God during their trials. I encourage those pilgrims who come here to pray, always and with the whole Church, to reflect the merciful face of God.”

INVOCATIONS TO OUR LADY OF BANNEUX

Blessed Virgin of the Poor, lead us to Jesus, the Source of Grace.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor, save all nations.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor, Fountain of Grace, sanctify us.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor, relieve the suffering.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor, relieve the sick.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor, pray for each one of us.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor, we believe in thee.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor, believe in us.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor, we shall pray very much.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor, bless us.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor, Mother of the Saviour, Mother of God, we thank thee.

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