Notre Dame au Coeur d'Or, Beauraing, Namur, Belgium
On the evening of November 29, 1932, a group
of children aged 9 to 15 saw a luminous woman floating above the railroad bridge
near their Catholic school. Afraid, they ran home. On the next night, they
saw her there again, but she vanished, reappearing on a hawthorn
bush by the school's garden gate. Glowing in white robes with blue
highlights and a crown of rays, the woman didn't speak until December 2, when
the children asked what she wanted of them. "To be very good," she said. She
later asked for a chapel, for pilgrimages and prayers, and identified herself:
"Je suis la Vierge Immaculée." From December 29 until the last apparition, a golden heart showed on the Virgin's breast.
On January 3, 1933, witnesses saw a ball of fire crackle at the bush right
before the children dropped to their knees in Our Lady's presence. She spoke
individually to each child; they all heard her say "Adieu."
Unlike many apparitions, those of Beauraing did not occur
in a gorgeous rural setting or leave untutored seers speaking in theological
tongues. In this homeliest of miracle stories, the Immaculate appeared above an overpass and
spoke tersely, in language the youngest child could
The Virgin with the Heart of Gold got her wishes. In
1933, two million pilgrims arrived in the small town. Ten years later, the
Bishop of Namur approved devotion to Our Lady of Beauraing, ratified by
the Vatican in 1949. Two years later a statue of her was installed beneath
the hawthorn, by then a tree. The chapel, begun soon after the war, was
consecrated in 1954. Now some 400,000 pilgrims visit annually. The feast
day of Notre Dame de Beauraing is celebrated August 22, formerly the feast
of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (now moved to June).
The shrine also celebrates the anniversary of the apparitions November 29.
Also commemorated this date:
Statue by local sculptor Aurélien Pierroux (from
"Some Shrines of France," www.catholictradition.org/Mary/shrines.htm).
|Immaculate Conception, Catholic Church. Start of novena preceding feast
|Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes, Itarema, Ceará, Brazil. Church dedicated,
1909. Now rededicated to Nossa Senhora de Fátima.|
|Notre Dame du Très Saint Rosaire, Diémoz, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France.
Apparition to Marie-Louise Nerbollier, 1884.|
|Santa Maria di Chiaravalle, Fiastra, Macerata, Marche, Italy. Abbey
construction begun, 1142.|
|Madonna del Dormitorio, Caccamo, Palermo, Sicily, Italy|