Was It Just Accident Or Does Bus Crash Point To A Famed Message From France?
Accidents happen in life. Some are a matter of course. Some may be signs.
One can be excused for wondering about the recent spate of mishaps, including catastrophic bus crashes involving pilgrims.
There were two in close proximity two months ago (going to or from Medjugorje, in Bosnia-Hercegovina), and last month was a major disaster in which 26 Polish pilgrims were killed (nearly as many as are missing in Minneapolis) and scores injured when a bus plunged off a highland on the way back from the French shrine of LaSalette.
The bus missed a 90 degree bend in the road, smashed through a barrier, and fell about 65 feet onto the bank of the La Romanche River, shortly after bursting into flames, firefighters said. Bodies were so disfigured that DNA was used for identification.
Such was the accident that Polish President Lech Kaczynski declared a period of national mourning after returning from scene, where he rushed a week ago last Sunday to meet the injured along with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
In 1999, flames erupted at another shrine dedicated to LaSalette at Attelboro, Massachusetts, with the Our Lady of LaSalette statue silhouetted uncannily against the flames of the Provincial House as it burned on November 5 [click here for photo]. There was also an incident in Brazil. Fire is a theme of our day. So is collapse.
It was at LaSalette, south of Grenoble, and 10,000 feet up the French Alps (nearest Corps), that the Blessed Mother appeared to two shepherding children on September 19, 1846. They saw her in a little ravine, where she arrived in a luminous orb or light and then was sitting on a rock, weeping. It is an appearance that has full Church approval and is now commemorated with a large church along with pilgrim dorms.
There were two main messages from LaSalette. One was approved. The other was rejected, accepted, then condemned again.
The first message was that if men did not stop insulting God by using the Name of Jesus in vain and working on Sundays, the crops would soon be destroyed and there would be disease and hunger. Such occurred immediately after in the way of a potato famine that also struck Ireland (the famous Potato Famine).
The second message, allegedly granted as a secret to seer Melanie Calvat, was far more dramatic, apocalyptic, and controversial, predicting and condemning immorality among clerics, occultism in convents, materialism across the breadth of society, the predominance of evil books, and anti-Christian living, prophesying that as a result, a time would come when great quakes and storms would shake major areas, an anti-christ would arise, and the seasons would be "altered." It was this secret that has been both accepted and rejected -- most recently rejected, placing it in limbo (with the Church preferring that it not be promulgated, but not outright forbidding such).
For many decades, pilgrimages have seemed specially protected.
In most cases, they still are.
But now we enter strange times.
Are the crashes, are bridge collapses, an indication?
Noted viewer Vivian Ybanez:
"As we pray for these pilgrims, their families, and their friends, we too realize how fleeting life can be. We also marvel at the response to this tragedy by the President of Poland who declared three days, yes, three whole days, of national mourning. This outpouring of national prayer is a powerful example of the loving solidarity that the faithful Roman Catholic people of Poland have for one another, and a sign that God is at the center of their lives.
"However, aside from showing us the need to pray more fervently to God and to mourn more faithfully with those who mourn, what more is Our Lord trying to say to us through this terrible circumstance? Is He once again trying to draw the attention of His flock to the messages of Our Lady of LaSalette?
"With this question in mind, let us carefully re-examine the Church approved appearance of Our Lady at La Salette.
"When did Our Lady appear at La Salette?
September 19th, 1846
"In what year did Holy Mother Church approve the message of La Salette as worthy of belief?
"To whom did Our Lady appear at La Salette?
To a peasant girl and peasant boy, Melanie Calvat, age 15, and Maxim Giraud, age 11.
"What was the purpose of Our Ladyís appearance of La Salette?
As always, Our Lady appeared to call people to return to God.
"How did Melanie and Maxim describe Our Lady ?
They said that she looked very sad and had tears streaming down her face.
"Why was Our Lady of LaSalette so sad?
Our Lady told Melanie and Maxim that she was sad because people were not obeying Jesus and that she was trying very hard to hold back His Hand from punishing the people. She said that His Hand was growing heavier and heavier because people were more frequently taking the Name of the Lord in vain, and many people were working seven days a week and not keeping Sunday as a day of rest and worship and acts of mercy.
"As always Our Ladyís message at LaSalette emphasizes her maternal love and intercession for her children, our need to be obedient to Godís will in our lives, our need to stay close to God through prayer, and our need to honor the Lordís Day by resting and recalling the good things He has done for us.
"In most of America in the 1950ís there were no restaurants or grocery stores open on Sundays. Now, however retailers of all kinds are open on Sundays, and dining out, sports events, and shopping are the centerpieces of our lives. Does this really please God? Would He rather not see the people that call themselves Christians resting from their labors, gathering to worship Him, and then going out and ministering to those less fortunate? Or is it all about what we want rather than what He wants?
"So we wonder if the 26 pilgrims from Poland perished for the sake of making the Message of LaSalette known again? Only God knows the answer; however, since it has caught our attention, let us examine our lives in the light of Our Ladyís message at La Salette, and let us make the necessary changes by submitting ourselves more completely to Godís Will.
"What else did Our Lady of LaSalette speak of to Melanie and Maxim?
Our Lady told Melanie and Maxim that if the people would not submit their wills to Godís Will, then she would be forced to let the arm of her Son fall, which meant that there would be chastisements; specifically she spoke of children dying of disease and of a famine if the people did not turn back to God. And she told the children to remember to pray their morning and evening prayers, and to offer more prayers if time allowed.
"What were her final words to the children?
Well, my children, you will make this well known to all my people.
What have you done to spread the message?
[resources: Tower of Light, The Final Hour, and The Day Will Come]
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