MARIAN APPARITIONS (46) – L’ile Bouchard, France

December 8, 1947 was going to be a very special day for three little girls, Jacqueline Aubrey (12), her sister Jeanette (7), and their cousin, Nicole Robin (10). It was the feast of the Immaculate Conception and also the day they would meet the Virgin Mary. The girls had eaten their lunch at home and were returning to school when Jacqueline suggested they stop on the way back to visit the chapel.

Halfway through praying a decade of the Rosary in front of the altar, they looked up and were astonished to see a “beautiful lady” with her hands joined in prayer. A white rosary hung from her right arm. To the left of the lady was an angel, holding a lily while his eyes were fixed in contemplation of the lady. The apparition was situated several feet off the ground in the corner between the altar and the window. While the beautiful lady smiled at them, Jacqueline whispered that others should see this wonderful sight as well. She ran outside to notify others. She immediately grabbed two friends, Laura Croizon (8) and her sister, Sergine (13) and then returned to the church.

She had blue eyes and long blonde hair – almost down to her knees! They estimated her to be 16 or 17 years old. The lady stood on a stone block that was decorated with a garland of five pink roses. On the rock, written in gold, were the words, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” This area of the church was strangely lit with colors that the girls had never seen before. Eventually, the apparition disappeared into what appeared to be a “cloud of silvery dust.”

The next day, December 9, the four girls at the appointed time began praying the Rosary. The Blessed Virgin appeared in a shining golden sphere, about 3 feet across that came out of the wall and unfolded itself as a rectangular curtain of silvery light, on which the rocky grotto stood out in relief. Her long hair was now hidden by her veil. Written across her breast in gold letters was the word “Magnificat.” The words on the block of stone underneath her feet had changed. Now the words on the rock read, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Our Lady made subsequent visits, and then on December 10, about 150 people gathered to await the appearance of the Blessed Virgin. Suddenly the Virgin was present and requested a sung version of the Hail Mary. She then asked the girls to kiss her hand again. But then to Jacqueline, she said, “Tomorrow you will see clearly and will no longer have need of glasses.” Then she disappeared into a golden ball of light.

The crowd of two thousand packed into the church of St Giles (and around the outside of it) on December 14 and began praying the Rosary. The Blessed Virgin and Gabriel appeared and remained for over 30 minutes. At Our Lady’s request that the Magnificat be sung, Fr Segelle sang it reverently with the people. Mother Mary asked for more prayers to be said for sinners. In response to the request for a miracle, Mary responded with a smile, “Before I go, I will send a bright ray of sunlight.”

After blessing the people, Our Lady vanished. But a mysterious bright ray of sunshine streamed through a window and settled on the precise place of her appearance which was considered a miraculous occurrence.

Fr Segelle examined the girls separately and found them to be truthful and consistent with all the details of the appearances. After carefully studying the facts of the apparitions, Archbishop Honore approved Mary’s request for a grotto and began construction of it. He permitted pilgrimages and sanctioned the veneration of Our Lady under the title of “Our Lady of Prayer.” The grotto and statues were completed in November of 1988.

Compiled from by Tej Francis


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