The Apparitions of Our Lady at Pellevoisin
1876, Pellevoisin, France
Estelle Faguette was born at St. Memmie near Châlon-sur-Marne the 12th September 1843 and was baptized the 17th of the same month. At the beginning of the year 1876 in the village of Pellevoisin the department of the Indre, Estelle Faguette lay dying, at the age of 33, of pulmonary tuberculosis, of an acute peritonitis and an abdominal tumor. On the 10th of February 1876, one of the doctors consulted, Doctor Benard of Buzançais only gave her a few hours to live. During the night of the 14th-15th of February, she was the object, she affirmed, of an apparition of the Blessed Virgin which was to be followed during the year by the others.
1st Apparition - Night of 14/15 Feb. 1876
The first part of the apparitions in Pellevoisin started in the night of February 14, 1876. A demon appeared at the foot of her bed. Just after Estelle spied the demon, she saw the Blessed Mother at her bedside. Our Lady rebuked the demon and he immediately departed. Our Lady then looked at Estelle and said to her: “Fear nothing, you are my daughter. Have courage for you are to suffer for five more days in honor of the five wounds of Christ. On Saturday, you will be either dead or cured.”
2nd Apparition - Night of 15/16 Feb. 1876
This night the Devil reappeared at the same moment as the Blessed Virgin. She said: ”Be not afraid, for I am here. This time my Son is showing His Mercy. He will let you have life; on Saturday you will be healed”. Then I said: ”My Mother, if I could choose I would rather die now as I am well prepared”. She answered with a smile: ”Ungrateful, if My Son gives you life, it is because you need it. What other more Precious thing can He give the people on earth other than life? Don’t think that you will be free from suffering. No! You will suffer and not be free from troubles. This is what life brings. You have touched My Sons Heart by your self-denial and patience. Don’t loose those fruits by making the wrong choice. Did I not say that if He lets you live, you shall make My glory known?” At that moment I saw again the marble tile wrapped in white silk paper and I tried to pick some up, but this was impossible. The Blessed Virgin smiled and said: ”Now we shall look at time past”. Her face looked a bit sad, but the gentle expression also remained. I was completely stunned at the mistakes I had made, which I thought were mild ones. I remain silent about what She said and just admit that She really told me off severely, which I know I deserved. I wanted to shout for forgiveness, but was unable to do so as I was overwhelmed with sorrow. I was beaten. The Blessed Virgin looked at me with an expression of goodness and then She disappeared without a word.
3rd Apparition - Night of 16/17 Feb. 1876
During this night, I again saw the Devil, but he was a long way away. The Blessed Virgin said: ”Courage my child”. The telling off of the previous time come to my mind and I was frightened and shaking. The Blessed Virgin seeing my sorrow, said: ”That is all past; by your self denial you have put right the wrongs”. She showed me some of the good I had done, but that was so much less than the wrong. Seeing my sadness, The Blessed Virgin said: ”I am merciful and Mistress of My Son. The few good works and the intense prayers, which you offered me, have touched My Mother-heart, especially that letter which you wrote to me in September. What touched me most was the sentence: "See the misery of my parents, if I am no longer here, they will soon have to beg for their food. Remember what You suffered when Your Son Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross". I showed this letter to My Son. Your parents need you. In the future be faithful to this task. Don’t loose the graces you have been given and make My glory known”.
4th Apparition - Night of 17/18 Feb. 1876
That night, it seemed to me that She did not stay so long. I wanted to ask her for graces but was unable to do so. My thoughts were racing and I could see in my mind the words that the Blessed Virgin had repeated: “Do not be afraid of anything. You are my daughter and my Son has been moved by your resignation”; also the reproaches of my faults and their forgiveness, with her words: “I am all merciful and hold sway with my Son” as well as “Have courage, patience and resignation; you will suffer and will not be free of troubles; try to be faithful and make known my glory”.
5th Apparition - Night of 18/19 Feb. 1876
On this night the Blessed Virgin seemed to come closer and She reminded me of my promise. I also saw the large tile, with on each corner a golden rosebud, in the middle a golden heart pierced by a sword and with a crown of roses. Written on it were the following words:
“I called to Mary in the depth of my despair. She pleaded with Her Son for me and gained my total healing for me”.
She then said to me: “If you want to serve me, be simple and let your deeds prove your words". I asked Her if I was to change in any way or go to another place. She answered: ”Wherever you are and whatever you do, you can gain blessings and can proclaim my glory”. Then She said very sadly: “It saddens Me the most to see that people have no respect for My Son in The Holy Eucharist and the way the people pray whilst their minds are on other things. I say this to those who pretend to be pious.” I then asked Her if I should start straight away to proclaim Her glory. “Yes! Yes!, but first ask your Father confessor what he thinks. You will meet obstacles, be badly teased and people will say that you are mad and such like, pay no attention to them, be faithful to me and I shall help you”. Then She gently disappeared.
There followed a dreadful period of great suffering. My heart seemed to jump out of my body and I had dreadful pains in my stomach and abdomen. Then I remembered that I was holding my rosary in my left-hand. I offered my suffering up to God. I did no know that this was the last bit of my illness. After a minutes rest I felt fit and well. Wondered what time it was and saw that it was 12.30. I felt healed, only my right arm was still useless. About 6.30 the Parish Priest came and I sat on the edge of my bed. (Estelle had told him about these apparitions). “Don’t worry, I am going to say Holy mass and I’ll bring you Holy Communion, at which time you will be able to use your right hand to make the sign of the cross, I believe”. That is what happened. Father. Vernet later wrote in his book over Pellevoisin, that Estelle had lived through the experience of death and resurrection.
6th Apparition - 1 July 1876
The second part of the apparitions in Pellevoisin started on Saturday the first of July. At quarter past ten in the evening and I was kneeled saying my evening prayers when I suddenly saw The blessed Virgin completely surrounded by light. She was dressed in white. She looked at something, crossed Her hands over her chest and smiled saying: “Stay calm my child, patience, it will be difficult for you, but I am with you”. I was so happy, but could say nothing. She stayed for a little time and said: ”Courage, I shall return”. Then She disappeared as She did in February.
7th Apparition - 2 July 1876
I went to, bed at 10.30 p.m. hard to do as I had seen The Blessed Virgin the previous evening. But I went to sleep right away. At 11.30 p.m. I awoke, seeing the time. I hoped that I would see The Blessed Virgin before midnight. I knelt by my bed and had said half a Hail Mary, when the Blessed Virgin appeared before me. Bright light streaming out of Her hands, then She crossed Her hands over Her chest. Her eyes looking at me. She said: ”You have already proclaimed my glory”. (Then She entrusted me with a secret) “Carry on, My Son has gained more souls who have devoted themselves more deeply to Him. His Heart is so full of Love for My Heart, that He can never refuse me anything. For me He will touch and soften the hardest hearts”. Whilst saying this, She was so wonderfully beautiful. I wanted to ask Her for a sign of Her power, but did not know what to say and how to ask, so I said: ”My good Mother, Please, for your glory”. She understood and said: ”Is your healing not great evidence of My Power? I have come especially to save the sinners”. Whilst She spoke I was thinking of all the different ways in which She could radiate and show Her Power. She answered: ”Let the people see this”. She then left quietly.
8th Apparition - 3 July 1876
Monday, July 3, I saw Her again. She only stayed a few minutes and reprimanded me gently: “I want you to be calmer, more peaceful, I have not told you which day or hour I shall return, but you need rest”. I wanted to show Her all my desires, but She just smiled. “I have come to end the festivities“. Then She left in Her usual way, before midnight.
9th Apparition - 9th September 1876
The third part of the apparitions in Pellevoisin starts on the 9 of September. For several days I had had the urge to go into the bedroom where I had been cured. At last, today, 9th September, I was able to do so. I was finishing reciting my rosary when the Blessed Virgin came. She was the same as on 1st July. She looked around in silence before speaking to me, then said: ”You deprived yourself of My visit on 15th August because you were not calm enough. You have a real French character: they want to know everything before learning, and understand everything before knowing. I could have come again yesterday; you deprived yourself of my visit because I was waiting for an act of submission and obedience from you.”
10th Apparition - 10th September, 1876
On 10th September the Blessed Virgin came at about the same time, staying briefly to say: “They should pray; I will set them an example”. As She said this, She joined her hands then disappeared. The bell for Vespers was just ringing.
House of the Apparition 1876
11th Apparition - 15th September, 1876
This night Mary appeared to Estelle to inform her that she was to live. But Our Lady reproved Estelle for her past sins. Though Estelle had not lived a worldly life, she was overcome with remorse for her failings. Mary said sadly:
“I CAN STOP MY SON NO LONGER”
She seemed to be upset as She added: “France will suffer”. She stressed these words, stopped again, then continued: “Take courage and have confidence”. Then, at that moment, a thought came to my mind: “If I say this, perhaps no one will believe me”, but the Blessed Virgin understood because She replied: “I have paid in advance; so much the worse for those who will not believe; they will acknowledge the truth of my words later on”. Then She gently left me.
12th Apparition - 1st November, 1876
For a fortnight now, in spite of all my efforts to stop myself thinking of seeing the Blessed Virgin again, I could not help it; and just as I was doing all I could not to think about it, my heart beat faster in the hope of seeing her again. Finally, today, All Saints Day, I saw my dear heavenly Mother again. She appeared in her usual way, with arms outstretched, and wore the scapular that She had shown to me on 9th September. As She arrived, She stared, as usual, at something which I could not see; then looked all around, saying nothing. Then She gazed at me with a look of much goodness and departed.
13th Apparition - 5th November, 1876
Sunday 5th November when I was finishing saying my rosary I saw the Blessed Virgin. I thought how very unworthy I am to receive Her, that there are others much worthier of Her blessing and who would be so much better at proclaiming Her Glory. She looked at me smiling and said: ”I have chosen you”. This made me so very happy!! She said: ”I choose the meek and mild for My glory. Be brave, your time of trails are about to commence”. She crossed Her hands over Her breast and left.
14th Apparition - 11th November, 1876
Saturday 11th of November. During the past several days I have felt the compulsion to go to my room and pray. At 10 to four today I was praying my rosary and "Remember most Holy Virgin Mary"… then She came. She stood there so as always with the scapular. Then She said to me: ”You have not wasted your time today, you have worked for Me”. I had made a scapular. “You must make many more”. Then She waited for a considerable time, Her expression was one of great sorrow. Then She said to me: “Courage”. Crossed her hands over Her breast, completely covering the scapular and She left.
Scapular of the Sacred Heart
15th Apparition - 8th December, 1876
Friday 8 December I have been home from Pellevoisin for several hours and have still not recovered from my very deep emotions. I shall not see the Blessed Virgin again here on earth. Nobody could possibly understand what I am going through! After High Mass She appeared more beautifully than ever! Following the usual silence, She said: “My daughter do you remember my words?” Everything that She had said to me came to my mind very clearly specially: “I am totally merciful and Mistress of My Son. His Heart has so much love for mine… that He will touch the most hardened hearts for me. I have especially come to save sinners. The treasure stores of My Son are long since wide open, if only they would pray. (pointing at the scapular) I love this devotion. I implore all to come to rest and peace…. Also The Church and France”.
In-between these words I saw many other secrets. During this entire period She looked at me, then She said: ”Repeat these things very often, they will help you during your trails and tribulations. You will see me no more”. I cried out, "what shall become of me Blessed Mother?" She then answered: ”I shall be with you, but invisible”. I saw rows of people pushing against me and threatening me, this made me frightened. The Blessed Virgin smiled and said: ”You have no need to be afraid of them, I have chosen you to proclaim my glory and to spread this devotion”. Whilst saying this She was holding the scapular in Her hands. She was so encouraging that I said: ”My beloved mother, would you please give me that scapular?” It was almost as of She had not heard me. She said: ”Come and kiss it”. I stood up very quickly and The Blessed Virgin bent down towards me and I kissed the scapular. This was an extremely wonderful moment for me.
Then the Blessed Virgin said, refering to the scapular: “You will yourself, go to the Prelaat and present him with the model which you have made, tell him that helping you pleases Me more than seeing how my children wear it whilst they turn away from everything which insults My Son whilst people receive the Sacrament of His Love and do all they can to repair the damages already done. See the graces which I shall pour out over all who wear it in trust of me and whilst spreading this devotion”. Whilst so saying, She spread Her hands and rain fell very generously, within each drop clearly written was a grace: Health, Trust, Respect, Love, Holiness, all the graces which one could ever things of in greater or lesser amount. To this She added: “These graces are from My Son; I take them out of His Heart. He can refuse me nothing”. I then asked: "Mother what shall I put on the other side of the scapular?" The Blessed Virgin answered: “I have reserved that side for Myself, you shall think about it and then tell your thoughts to the Holy Church who will decide.” I felt The Blessed Mother was going to leave me and I was very sad. She raised herself slowly, constantly looking at me and said to me: ”Courage, if he does not do what you desire (She was speaking of the Prelaat) go higher up. Do not be afraid, I shall help you”. She made a semicircle of my room and disappeared at about the place where my bed stood.
THANK YOU LOVING MOTHER, I SHALL DO NOTHING WITHOUT YOU
The apparitions were quickly recognized by Monsignor de La Tour d’Auvergne, the Archbishop of Bourges. He authorized the making and distribution of the scapular and allowed public worship of Our Lady of Pellevoisin. The Archbishop ordered two canonical inquiries into the apparitions, which resulted in a favorable verdict on December 5, 1878. Later, in 1883, the parish priest of Pellevoisin, Fr. Salmon, accompanied by Fr. Auvrelle, the Vicar General, journeyed to Rome to present Pope Leo XIII with a bound record of the apparitions and a picture of Our Lady of Pellevoisin. The Pope was pleased to grant indulgences to encourage pilgrimages to the shrine.
Estelle was privileged to visit Pope Leo XIII on two occasions, during which the Pope promised to submit her Scapular of the Sacred Heart to the Congregation of Rites. A decree was issued two months later approving the scapular.
Estelle Faguette died in Pellevoisin at the age of 86 on August 23, 1929 – 53 years after her miraculous healing from death.