Monday, May 05, 2008


The U.K. Telegraph reports:

The Roman Catholic Church has officially recognised a shrine in the French Alps where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a young shepherdess - the first such recognition in France for almost 150 years....

Notre Dame du Laus, which already draws some 120,000 pilgrims each year, was formally acknowledged by the Vatican after three years of research into its credentials by a team of theologians, historians and psychologists.

About 6,000 Catholics, including more than 20 bishops and cardinals, attended a solemn Mass at the sanctuary of Benôite Rencurel – who was 16 when she first reported seeing the Virgin Mary in 1664.

The shepherdess was described by one observer as the French champion of apparitions, because she saw the Virgin Mary around 2,500 times over 54 years – averaging once a week....

Jean-Michel di Falco Leandri, the Bishop of Gap, told the gathering: "I recognise the supernatural origin of the apparitions and facts experienced and recounted by Benôite Rencurel, between 1664 and 1718.

"I encourage the faithful to come and pray and to seek spiritual renewal in this sanctuary," he said.

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