The Apparition of “Our Lady of Hope”
On the evening of January 17, 1871 in the village of Pontmain, France the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to four children: Eugene & Joseph Barbadette, Francoise Richer and Jeanne Marie LeBosse. They described seeing the Virgin as a beautiful lady wearing a dark blue dress covered with stars, and having a dark veil on her head with a golden crown. In her hands was a crucifix with the name Jesus Christ written on it in blood.
At the time, France was at war with Prussia, and were close to invading Pontmain. The people, strong in their faith, had been praying for a miracle to save their village from invasion. During the apparition, which lasted three hours, a written message of hope for the people appeared on a large white banner below the feet of Our Lady. It read, “Pray, my children. God will answer before long. My Son lets himself be moved.”
Within eleven days, Prussia had mysteriously withdrawn its troops. An armistice was signed and Pontmain and France had been spared. The bishop of the Diocese of Laval, France authorized the devotion to Our Lady of Hope a year later. Today there exists a large basilica on the site of the apparition where pilgrims from around the world come to pray at the shrine.