January 15

Vierge des Pauvres, Banneux, Ličge, Wallonia, Belgium

In 1933, 12 days after the last apparition of Our Lady with the Golden Heart to a group of children at Beauraing, Belgium, a new series of apparitions began 56 miles away in the town of Banneux.
At age 11, Mariette Beco was the oldest of seven children in a nonpracticing Catholic family. On January 15, 1933, at 7 pm, she was sitting at the window, looking out on the snow-covered yard, watching for her brother Julien to come home, when she saw a radiant young woman nearby, in a white robe, transparent veil, and blue sash, with a rosary over her right arm and roses on her feet. Exclaiming, "Look, Mama, it's the Holy Virgin, and she's smiling at me!" the girl began praying on a rosary she'd found in the street. She thought the Virgin wanted her to go to her outside, but her mother locked the door. Mariette now began attending church and catechism class and praying the rosary in the yard every night at 7:00. On January 18, the Virgin reappeared above the pine woods across the street from the house. Mariette followed her into the street, where the Lady asked her to put her hands in the ditch water, which she claimed as "especially hers." The following night, the vision identified herself - "I am the Virgin of the Poor" - and explained that her stream would heal the sick "of all nations." Mariette saw her five more times. At the last apparition, March 2, 1933, the girl had been praying in the rain for nearly an hour when the rain suddenly stopped and the Virgin appeared to say farewell: "I am the Mother of the Savior, the Mother of God. Pray much. Adieu." As word of the apparitions spread, pilgrims began coming, and there were several miraculous cures at the stream. As the Virgin had requested, a chapel was built on the Becos' property that same year. The bishop authenticated the apparitions Aug. 22, 1949.

The main pilgrimage date is August 15, feast of the Assumption. In 2008, the shrine celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Virgin's appearance. (Information from Apparitions and Pictures of Virgin Mary, www.marypages.com/banneuxEng.htm; Some Shrines of France, www.catholictradition.org/Mary/shrines.htm; picture of statue from Jesus Marie et Notre Temps, www.total.net/~jmarient/banneux. See also the shrine's official website, www.banneux-nd.be/.)  

Also celebrated this date:
bulletOur Lady of the Seeds, Maronite Catholic Church
bulletSt. Mary, Kallooppara, Kerala, India. Perunal celebration of Mary's birth, with mass and procession.
bulletRosa Mistica, Cormňns, Gorizia, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy. Statue began sweating, 1737. Festa.
bulletMadonna della Provvidenza, Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Festa in Church of San Giuseppe dei Teatini, with blessing of spring under altar.
bulletMedalla Milagrosa, Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico, Colonia Sabino Crespo district
bulletVirgen de los Pobres, Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico, Colonia Reforma district

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly