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L'Ile Bouchard, France (1947)

   
History

Traditionally Approved

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Unapproved Apparitions

Our Lady of Prayer

Please note: This apparition has been approved for faith expression at the site but the authenticity of events has never been confirmed.

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Summary

In the parish church of St Gilles, in L'Ile Bouchard south of Tours, from the 8th to the 14th of December 1947, four children witnessed the apparition of the Virgin Mary and an angel. She asked that they pray for France and construct a grotto at the location.

Timeline

Dec 8, 1947
1:00 PM

At about one o'clock in the afternoon on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Jacqueline Aubry, aged 12, her sister Jeanette, aged 7, and their cousin, Nicole Robin, aged 10, stopped at the church of St Gilles to pray.

While praying the rosary at the altar, Jacqueline suddenly saw a beautiful Lady before her, all in white, with hands joined in prayer and a rosary over her right arm. To the left was an angel holding a lily, eyes fixed in contemplation of the Lady.

They wanted to tell other people what was happening, so they ran out together and saw a school friend, Laura Croizon, aged 8, and her 13 year old sister, Sergine. Laura cried out that she could see a beautiful lady and an angel but Sergine, though, saw nothing, and the others had to describe the scene for her. The altar of the Virgin had a stained glass window featuring Our Lady of Lourdes to its left, and a statue of Our Lady of Victories directly above it. The apparition was situated several feet off the ground in the corner between the altar and the window.


Dec 8, 1947

Jacqueline and Jeanette rushed home to tell their mother, but she did not believe them. One of the sisters at school, Sr. Marie de L'Enfant Jésus, believed instantly, but feared a negative general reaction.

The parish priest, Fr Clovis Ségelle, and the head teacher, Sr. Saint-Léon de la Croix did not accept their story. They decided to separately question the children who each gave the same account. Jacqueline found the other girls and went back to the altar of the Virgin where she was awaiting them.

As they knelt before her, though, her expression became extremely sad as she slowly uttered her first words: "Tell the little children to pray for France, for her need is great." Jacqueline, still not sure who the lady was, then whispered to Jeanette and Laura to ask the Lady if she was their "Maman du Ciel," (Heavenly Mother). They did so, and the reply was "But of course I am your Maman du Ciel!" The angel said: "I am the angel Gabriel."

Mary then turned back to the girls and asked for their hands to kiss, bending low to reach the hands of Jacqueline and Nicole. But the other two girls were much smaller and could not reach high enough. Jacqueline took them up, one after the other, and lifted them up at arms length, as though they were practically weightless.

All four testified to the solidity and warmth of Mary's hand and the touch of her lips. Before disappearing in a cloud of silvery dust, she asked them to return that evening at five o'clock and the next day at one o'clock. After the girls left the church, they noticed a shining white oval on their fingers, but before they got back to school these traces, which they did manage to show to a local woman, had faded.

Jacqueline and Nicole spoke of what had happened, and after class they were separated and asked to write out accounts of their experiences, which were matching. Once the girls got home they found their parents not inclined to believe them, and only Jacqueline was able to return to the church, for the rosary and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in honor of the feast of the Immaculate Conception

Dec 8, 1947
5:00 PM

Mary appeared and beckoned to Jacqueline, but as she debated whether to go forward or not, looking back toward Sr. Saint-Léon for permission, assuming that she too could see the apparition, the bell rang for Benediction, and when she looked back the apparition was gone. But once the Blessed Sacrament had been returned to the tabernacle, Mary reappeared.

Dec 9, 1947
1:00 PM

All four girls assembled in the church, and so the general pattern for the week's events was set. They knelt by the Virgin's altar and began to pray Hail Marys, when suddenly a shining golden sphere, about three feet across, came out of the wall and unfolded itself as a rectangular curtain of silvery light, on which the rocky grotto stood out in relief.

The girls were then joined by a certain Madame Trinson, who owned a shoe shop in the town. Mary, with a grave expression, showed the girls the golden cross of her rosary, and asked them to kiss it. Jacqueline and Nicole both stood up to do this, and Madame Trinson was amazed to see Jacqueline repeat her feat of the previous day, lifting up the two younger girls as though they were featherweight dolls so that they too could kiss the golden cross. The metal was cold to their lips and they were penetrated with a sense of Mary's grief.

The Virgin then made a beautiful, but extremely slow, sign of the cross. It took two minutes to complete, and the girls copied her movements, with Madame Trinson looking on in astonishment. Once this was over Mary said that she would tell them a secret that they could reveal in three days, and with great emphasis said: "Pray for France, which in these days is in great danger." Then she asked that the priest come at two o'clock, with the children and a crowd, so that they could all pray. She also asked for a grotto, and that her statue and that of the angel should be placed in it, promising to bless them once this was done. With that the apparition disappeared.


Dec 10, 1947
2:00 PM

Fr Ségelle refused to come and so Jacqueline, Jeanette and Laura, with about twenty other children, and thirty adults, assembled in the church. After they had said ten Hail Marys, the Virgin and the angel appeared as before, out of the golden ball. She asked for hymns and prayers, before telling them to return each day at one o'clock, until everything was over. At five-thirty Fr Ségelle informed the archbishop of the day's events.

That same day the Communists surprisingly decided to call off their general strike.

Dec 11, 1947
1:00 PM

One hundred and fifty people waited in the church for the next appearance of Mary. Suddenly the Virgin was present, and again she requested a sung version of the Hail Mary, before asking the girls to kiss her hand. The crowd was amazed to see Jacqueline repeat her feat of lifting the two smallest girls.

Then Jacqueline's mother called out to her daughter requesting a miracle so that all would believe, to which Mary replied: "I have not come here to perform miracles, but to tell you to pray for France. However, tomorrow you will see clearly and you won't need to wear glasses any more."

Dec 11, 1947

When Jacqueline woke up, she had normal vision. Her father rushed to get Fr Ségelle, who exclaimed on seeing Jacqueline: "So it's true that She has descended among us!" The priest immediately contacted the archbishop and was told to be present at the next apparition.

Dec 11, 1947
1:00 PM

Mary appeared and requested that they sing the Hail Mary, before asking: "Do you pray for sinners?" They replied that they did, and then she led them through ten Hail Marys, but only said the first part of each prayer, the angel Gabriel's message, and not the second part.

Jacqueline asked her to heal people who had petitioned the girls for cures, to which the Virgin replied that she promised that there would be "happiness in families." Before disappearing she again asked about the grotto. After this, the girls were questioned separately in the sacristy.

Dec 12, 1947
1:00 PM

Three hundred people were in the church when Mary appeared. She was wearing a "crown" made up of twelve shining rays, each about a foot long, two narrow blue ones in the center and then five wider ones to each side, colored red, yellow, green, pink and a brownish red.

Now the Virgin held her hands lower so the word "Magnificat" could be read. The girls thought the crown resembled a rainbow. She then asked them to sing the Hail Mary, before leading them, as on the previous day, in ten spoken Hail Marys. After this she said: "Do you pray for sinners?" to which they replied "Yes, Madame," and then she continued: "Good, above all pray much for sinners." Jacqueline asked for a miracle, but Mary repeated her previous statement that she had not come to perform miracles, but to ask for prayers for France. After another decade of the rosary she disappeared, and again the girls were questioned separately as to what they had seen and heard.

Dec 13, 1947
1:00 PM

Five hundred people were in the church as the Virgin appeared again, but this time without the crown. Mary again asked for prayers, invocations and hymns, as Jacqueline repeated her request for a miracle, to hear the reply, "Later." Then after more prayers and invocations, the Virgin told them that she would appear the next day for the last time. Again the children were interrogated afterwards.

Dec 14, 1947
1:00 PM

The church of St Gilles was jammed with two thousand people, while more gathered outside. While waiting for the girls, the congregation prayed the rosary - many had not prayed in years - as the young seers took their places for the last time.

Once more, Mary and the angel were before them, for an apparition which lasted over half an hour. Again prayers and hymns were requested, after which Jacqueline read some messages that had been given to her, including one from Sr. Marie which said: "Madame, what should we do to console our Lord for the suffering sinners cause him?" The response was: "Pray and make sacrifices."

After more prayers and invocations, Mary requested that the congregation sing the Magnificat, and Fr Ségelle led everyone in this, and later still she reemphasized the need to pray for sinners. Realizing that the apparition would soon be over, Jacqueline asked the Virgin to give some proof of her presence, to which Mary responded with a smile: "Before I go I will send a bright ray of sunlight."

With that, she began to bless the crowd, and as she did so, a mysterious ray of sunshine streamed in through a pane in the southwest window of the choir, illuminating the precise spot of the apparition.

After it was over, Fr Ségelle gave the congregation, many of whom were in tears, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and once more the girls were closely examined.

January 7, 1948

The girls were subjected to a rigorous examination and answered more than 72 questions with certainty.

1966

The new Bishop Ferrand, authorizes the invocation of "Our Lady of Prayer."

November 1988

The cult of Notre-Dame de la Prière, "Our Lady of Prayer," was reaffirmed by Mgr. Honoré, the archbishop of Tours, in a letter published in the L'Ile Bouchard parish bulletin.

1992

The French theologian Fr. Vernet, published a lengthy study favorable to the apparitions.

Dec 8, 2001

in a public decree, the Archbishop of Tours, André Vingt-Trois, authorized "pilgrimages, and the public cult celebrated in the church of St. Gilles of L'Ile Bouchard, to invoke Our Lady of Prayer."

May 21 and 22, 2004

Archbishop André Vingt-Trois approved the message of the Virgin, together with the bishop of Puy, Bishop and Henri Brincard and Mons. Louis Brigues, Bishop of Angers.

Description of the Virgin

The Virgin Mary appeared as a beautiful Lady, all in white, with hands joined in prayer and a rosary over her right arm. To the left was an angel holding a lily, eyes fixed in contemplation of the Lady .She was surrounded by a golden light, wearing a brilliant white dress edged with gold, and a blue sash, and carrying a white rosary. Her veil was a white of a different hue and fell down to near her feet, while the girls could see her striking long blond hair falling down the front of her body, in two parts, to her knees. Her smile was wonderful, and they thought her to be aged about 16 or 17.

The angel, surrounded by an intense white light, was kneeling on his right knee in profound contemplation, and wore a rosy-white robe, also edged with gold. Like the Lady he had blue eyes and blond hair. In his right hand he held out a lily stalk, while his left hand was placed upon his heart. He had white wings, also trimmed with gold, whose feathers shone and moved slightly in a "breeze" the children could not feel. The two figures were in a rocky grotto.

The Lady stood on a rectangular stone block, decorated with a garland of five pink roses, while on the rocks just below were the following words in letters of gold, about three inches high: "O Marie conçue sans péché, priez pour nous qui avons recours à vous." (O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you). This is the invocation made famous at the Rue du Bac.

The next day Mary's appearance had changed. Her long golden hairwas now hidden underneath her veil. The angel was kneeling on the other side, while the words on the rocks had changed. Now they read: "Je suis l'Immaculeé Conception," (I am the Immaculate Conception) words made famous at the apparition at Lourdes. They could also see parts of a word written in letters of gold across Mary's breast: "Ma ...cat," but didn't understand what they meant; her hands hid the middle part of what would be revealed later as, "Magnificat," the traditional name given to Mary's song of praise uttered during the Visitation to Elizabeth, (Lk 1:46-55), which took place shortly after the Annunciation.

On December 13, She was wearing a "crown" made up of twelve shining rays, each about a foot long, two narrow blue ones in the center and then five wider ones to each side, colored red, yellow, green, pink and a brownish red.


Messages


The Virgin appeared 9 times between December 8th and 14th, 1947.

Click here to read the messages of L'ile Bouchard.


Miracles and Signs

Jacqueline's mother called out to her daughter requesting a miracle so that all would believe, to which Mary replied: "I have not come here to perform miracles, but to tell you to pray for France. However, tomorrow you will see clearly and you won't need to wear glasses any more." When Jacqueline woke up, she had normal vision. Her father rushed to get Fr Ségelle, who exclaimed on seeing Jacqueline: "So it's true that She has descended among us!" The priest immediately contacted the archbishop and was told to be present at the next apparition.

Jacqueline asked the Virgin to give some proof of her presence, to which Mary responded with a smile: "Before I go I will send a bright ray of sunlight." With that, she began to bless the crowd, and as she did so, a mysterious ray of sunshine streamed in through a pane in the southwest window of the choir, illuminating the precise spot of the apparition. It grew in strength and began to cover a larger area, forcing those near the altar of the Virgin to shield their eyes. Those affected also remarked on the heat of this ray. The girls had their backs to the light, but those placed so they could see their faces, and the flowers they held, saw them gently lit by marvelous sparkles and colored lights, as if by reflection from the jewel-like interior of the grotto.

This ray of sunlight was inexplicable in natural terms, since normal sunlight does not spread out like a fan from a single point—for this to happen the sun would need to have been situated virtually outside the window. Moreover, this ray, given its point of entry, should have been blocked by some of the pillars of the choir. In addition, subsequent tests would show that it was physically impossible for a normal ray of sunlight to have illuminated that particular part of the church on the winter's day in question, and so we are in the presence of a miracle.


Church Approval


Several ecclesiastical investigations were conducted including the one of the Vicar-General of the diocese, Mgr. Fiot. While the Church has not officially recognized the events at L'Ile Bouchard as being of supernatural origin, there has been an implicit approval from the archbishops of Tours - a grotto has been constructed, statues of Mary have been placed in the church of St Gilles, and pilgrimages have been encouraged. In addition, the French theologian Fr. Vernet, published a lengthy study favorable to the apparitions in 1992.

The cult of Notre-Dame de la Prière, "Our Lady of Prayer," has been recognized, a recognition reaffirmed in November 1988 by Mgr. Honoré, the archbishop of Tours, in a letter published in the L'Ile Bouchard parish bulletin.

On December 8th, 2001 in a public decree, the Archbishop of Tours, André Vingt-Trois, authorized "pilgrimages, and the public cult celebrated in the church of St. Gilles of L'Ile Bouchard, to invoke Our Lady of Prayer."

On May 21 and 22, 2004, Archbishop André Vingt-Trois approved the message of the Virgin, together with the bishop of Puy, Bishop and Henri Brincard and Mons. Louis Brigues, Bishop of Angers.

 

Shrine

By the A10 Highway: Exit at Sainte Maure
By the S.N.C.F. Train: Sainte Maure station - Noyant
(St Gilles church is located on the north side on the right bank of the Vienne River that runs through L'Ile-Bouchard, right bank)



Prayer

HOLY MARY, OUR LADY OF PRAYER

In complete faith, you received the message of the Archangel Gabriel
and became the mother of Jesus, the only Son of God:
Teach us to pray, in order to grow in faith.

At the Visitation, you exulted with joy in the Magnificat:
Teach us to give thanks to God.

At Cana, you asked Christ to provide wine for the wedding-feast:
Teach us to intercede in favor of our brothers and sisters.

Standing at the foot of the Cross, you suffered with Jesus for the love of sinners:
Teach us to welcome the mercy of the Father.

At Pentecost, you prayed with the Apostles when they received the plenitude of the Holy Spirit:
Teach us to ask the Spirit to help us bear witness to the Gospel.

You are the Mother of the Church and the Protectress of families.
May you watch over each of our families:
Teach us to love each other faithfully.

You are the Mother of humanity and the Patroness of France.
Open our country to the universal love of God:
Teach us to serve with generosity.

Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you !
Our Lady of Prayer, teach us to pray.

December 8, 1999
André VINGT-TROIS
Archbishop of Tours


Books

Monseigneur FIOT, Les faits mystérieux de l'Ile-Bouchard, Tours, Gibert-Clarey, 1951

Abbé Henri SOUILLET, Les apparitions de Notre-Dame à L'Ile Bouchard, du 8 au 14 Décembre 1947 en l'église Saint-Gilles, 1972. Nouvelle édition 2002, Paris, Téqui, 192 pages.

Philippe ANTHONIOZ, Préface de René LAURENTIN, Le 8 décembre 1947 - Marie apparaît à L'Ile Bouchard - Le message de Notre Dame de la Prière, Paris, O.E.I.L., 1989, 272 pages. Epuisé.

René EHRET, 1947, L'année terrible - Notre Dame de la prière, Paris, Tequi, 1990, 128 pages. Epuisé.

Marie-Réginald VERNET o.p., L'Ile Bouchard - La Vierge et ses apparitions, Paris, Tequi, 1992, 424 pages. Imprimatur de Monseigneur Jean HONORE, Archevêque de Tours.

Bruno RONDET, L'Ile Bouchard, 1947, Apparitions de Notre Dame, Bulat - 22160 Callac de Bretagne, Edition "L'Icône de Marie", 1995, 32 pages.

Les Evénements de L’Ile-Bouchard, Témoignage de Jacqueline AUBRY, 29 juillet 2002, Paray-le-Monial, A.V.M. Editions de l’Emmanuel, 2002. Compact Disc DEP 2410 ou cassette audio CEP 2410.

Bernard PEYROUS, Les Evénements de L'Ile-Bouchard, Une présence de Marie au milieu de nous, Paris, Editions de l'Emmanuel, 1997. 3e édition actualisée en 2004, 112 pages.
Dossier de la revue IL EST VIVANT n°183, mai 2002 : L’Ile-Bouchard, nouveau sanctuaire marial, en dépôt à la Paroisse de L'ILE-BOUCHARD 37220, 16 pages. (frais 1€ + port, disponible dans l'église Saint-Gilles).

Bernard PEYROUS et Elisabeth BARANGER, Les Apparitions de L'Ile-Bouchard, Documents authentiques, Paris, Editions de l'Emmanuel, 2002, 224 pages.

Le Message de L’Ile-Bouchard, Mémoire et espérance, Actes du Colloque 21-22 mai 2004 - L’Ile-Bouchard, sous la responsabilité de Jean-Romain FRISCH et Bernard PEYROUS, Editions de l'Emmanuel, 2004, 360 pages.

Les Evénements de L’Ile-Bouchard, Témoignage de Jacqueline AUBRY, 2006, DVD-Vidéo.

L’Ile-Bouchard 1947-2007, Notre Dame de la Prière, Sanctuaire de L’Ile-Bouchard, Editions Bénédictines, Coll. Prières et Textes, 2006, 72 pages. Livret du 60e anniversaire ! Méditations du Rosaire, Chemin de Croix, prière à Saint Gabriel Archange.


Links

Official Site of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Prayer
The Apparitions at L'Ile Bouchard - Theotokos.org

 
   
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