Reflection: What is LaSalette?

by Father Don Thomas

LaSalette is a number of things. First of all, LaSalette is an event. O n September 19, 1846, Our Lady appeared to two children, Maxim and Melanie, near the village o LaSalette, which is in southeastern France near Grenoble. She issued a challenge to men and women to return to her Son, Jesus Christ through reconciliation and conversion; and she also spoke words of consolation, inviting me and women to prayer and repentance, in order to experience the grace of her Son's death and resurrection. She came to extend God's invitation to His love, mercy and forgiveness.

LaSalette is also a message. Mary's words were spoken in tears, within a light brighter than the sun. "Come near, my children, do not be afraid. I am here to tell you great news". Ou Lady told the children of the need for all the people to pray more, to keep the Lord's Day holy and to refrain from swearing and using God's Name in vain. She invited the people to observe Lent faithfully. She spoke prophetically of a famine and future plague affecting children. Then she gave the two children a mission: "Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people".

LaSalette is also a ministry . Today, Missionary Priests, Brothers and Sisters continue to welcome pilgrims to the LaSalette Shrine on the site of the apparition in France. In other parts of the world, the Missionaries strive to make known the message of our Lady of LaSalette through ministries of reconciliation in parishes, shrines like the National Shrine in Attleboro, MA, preaching Missions and Retreats and working with the poor. The General Headquarters are located in Rome, Italy. There is one Province here in the States and Canada, the Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas. The message of LaSalette is spreading into many parts of the world, such as South America (Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia), the Philippine Islands, India, Angola, Madagascar, Poland, England, France, Italy, Canada and Spain. In the Congregation, there are about one thousand members, and here in the States, the number is approximately two hundred. To identify the Missionaries of LaSalette, the letters "M.S." are used, coming from the Latin, Missionarius Salettensis.

The Lasalette Crucifix

The children said that the "beautiful Lady" wore a crucifix on her breast, and that she was brighter than the sun. Most brilliant of all was the body of Christ on the cross. Adorned with a hammer and pincers, the crucifix is a symbol of Christ's love for all of us, and the hammer is the symbol of sin, and the pincers, a symbol of repentance. In the language of children, the hammer is a reminder of when we are bad, and the pincers, when we are good. Truly it is a symbol of reconciliation, a sermon in itself.



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