APPARITION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN ON THE MOUNTAIN OF LA SALETTE
September 19, 1846
Part I of III
Published by the Shepherdess of La Salettewith Imprimatur by the Bishop of Lecce.
Only the witness herself, Melanie, can, along with Maximin, give an account of the apparition. After giving it by word of mouth an incalculable number of times, she decided to write it all down in 1878. It was published at Lecce on the 15th of November 1879 with the "Imprimatur" of Bishop Zola and reprinted "ne varietur" at Lyons in 1904, a few months before Melanie's death. This slim booklet is now a rarity. The text is followed exactly here.
The original texts of the Message and Secret of La Salette, approved by the Catholic Church, are published here in their entirety. In our turn, we authorize all people, journalist, editor or association to republish this faithfully in whole or in part.
It is essential that these prophetic messages be widespread more than ever in all of the world and as quickly as possible. It is an order from the Mother of God. "Well My children, you will pass it on to all of My people." We are counting on the support and initiative of all people of good will to attain our goal. We ask Our Lady's blessings on this apostolate and its supporters.
On the 18th of September (1846), the eve of the Holy Apparition of the Holy Virgin, I was alone, as usual, watching over my Master's cows. Around eleven o'clock in the morning, I saw a small boy walking towards me. I was frightened at this, for it seemed to me that everyone ought to know that I avoided all kinds of company. This boy came up to me and said:
"Little girl, I'm coming with you, I'm from Corps too". At these words, the natural evil in me soon showed itself, and taking a few steps back, I told him: "I don't want anybody around. I want to be alone." But the boy followed me, saying: "Go on, let me stay with you. My Master told me to come and watch over my cows together with yours. I'm from Corps."
I walked away from him, gesturing to him that I didn't want anybody around, and when I was some distance away, I sat down on the grass. There, I used to talk with the little flowers of the Good Lord.
A moment later, I looked behind me, and there I found Maximin sitting close to me. Straightway he says to me: "Keep me with you. I'll be very good."
But the natural evil in me will not hear reason. I jump to my feet, and run a little farther off without saying a word and again I start playing with the little flowers of the Good Lord. In an instant, Maximin was there again, telling me he would be very good, that he wouldn't talk, that he would get bored all by himself, and that his Master had sent him to be with me, etc. This time, I took pity, I gestured to him to sit down, and I kept on playing with the little flowers of the Good Lord.
It wasn't long before Maximin broke the silence by bursting into laughter (I think he was making fun of me). I look at him and he says to me: "Let's have some fun, let's make up a game". I said nothing in reply, for I was so ignorant I didn't understand what games with other people were, always having been alone. I played with the flowers, on my own, and Maximin came right up close to me, doing nothing but laughing, telling me the flowers didn't have ears to listen to me and that we should play together instead. But I had no liking for the game he told me to play. I started talking to him, however, and he told me that the ten days he was to spend with his Master would soon be over and then he would go home to his father in Corps etc. ...
While he was talking, I heard the bell of La Salette, it was the Angelus. I gestured to Maximin to lift his soul up to God. He took off his hat and was silent for a moment. Then I said: "Do you want to have dinner?" "Yes", he replied, "let's eat." We sat down and I brought out of my bag the provisions my Master had given me. As was my habit, before breaking into my little round loaf, I made a cross with the point of my knife on the bread, and a little hole in the middle, saying: "If the devil's in there, may he leave, and if the Good Lord is in there, may He stay!" and I rapidly covered up the little hole. Maximin burst into laughter and kicked the loaf out of my hands. It rolled down the mountainside and was lost from sight. I had another piece of bread which we shared. Afterwards, we played a game. Then, realizing that Maximin must still be hungry, I pointed out a place on the mountainside covered with all kinds of berries. I urged him to go and eat some and he went straight away. He ate a few berries and brought back his hat full of them. In the evening we walked back down the mountain together and promised to come back the next day and watch over our cows together.
The next day, the 19th of September, I met Maximin on the way up. We climbed up the mountainside together. I discovered that Maximin was a very good, simple boy, and would willingly talk about what I wanted to talk about. He was also very flexible and had no fixed opinions. He was just a little curious, for, when I walked away from him, as soon as he saw I had stopped, he would run over to me to see what I was doing and hear what I was saying to the flowers of the Good Lord. And if he arrived too late, he would ask me what I had said.
Maximin told me to teach him a game. It was already late morning. I told him to gather some flowers for the "Paradise". We set to work together. Soon we had a number of flowers of various colours. I could hear the village Angelus ringing, for the weather was fine and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Having told the Good Lord what we had learned, I said to Maximin that we ought to drive our cows on to a small plateau near the gully, where there would be stones to build the "Paradise". We drove our cows to the selected spot and then had a small meal. Then we started collecting stones to build our little house, which comprised of a so-called ground floor which was where we were to live, and then a storey above which was to be, as we called it, "Paradise."
This storey was decorated all over with different-coloured flowers, with garlands hanging from flower stalks. This "Paradise" was covered by a single large stone which we had strewn with flowers. We had also hung garlands all the way round. When we had finished, we sat and looked at the "Paradise". We began to feel sleepy and having moved a couple of feet away, we went to sleep on the grass.