On the 18th of September (1846), the eve of the Holy Apparition of the Holy Virgin, I was alone, as usual, watching over my Master’s cows. Around eleven o’clock in the morning, I saw a small boy walking towards me. I was frightened at this, for it seemed to me that everyone ought to know that I avoided all kinds of company. This boy came up to me and said:
‘Little girl, I’m coming with you, I’m from Corps too’. At these words, the natural evil in me soon showed itself, and taking a few steps back, I told him: ‘I don’t want anybody around. I want to be alone.’ But the boy followed me, saying: ‘Go on, let me stay with you. My Master told me to come and watch over my cows together with yours. I’m from Corps.’
I walked away from him, gesturing to him that I didn’t want anybody around, and when I was some distance away, I sat down on the grass. There, I used to talk with the little flowers of the Good Lord.
A moment later, I looked behind me, and there I found Maximin sitting close to me. Straightway he says to me: ‘Keep me with you. I’ll be very good.’
But the natural evil in me will not hear reason. I jump to my feet, and run a little farther off without saying a word and again I start playing with the little flowers of the Good Lord. In an instant, Maximin was there again, telling me he would be very good, that he wouldn’t talk, that he would get bored all by himself, and that his Master had sent him to be with me, etc. This time, I took pity, I gestured to him to sit down, and I kept on playing with the little flowers of the Good Lord.
It wasn’t long before Maximin broke the silence by bursting into laughter (I think he was making fun of me). I look at him and he says to me: ‘Let’s have some fun, let’s make up a game’. I said nothing in reply, for I was so ignorant I didn’t understand what games with other people were, always having been alone. I played with the flowers, on my own, and Maximin came right up close to me, doing nothing but laughing, telling me the flowers didn’t have ears to listen to me and that we should play together instead. But I had no liking for the game he told me to play. I started talking to him, however, and he told me that the ten days he was to spend with his Master would soon be over and then he would go home to his father in Corps etc…
While he was talking, I heard the bell of La Salette, it was the Angelus. I gestured to Maximin to lift his soul up to God. He took off his hat and was silent for a moment. Then I said: ‘Do you want to have dinner?’ ‘Yes, he replied, let’s eat.’ We sat down and I brought out of my bag the provisions my Master had given me. As was my habit, before breaking into my little round loaf, I made a cross with the point of my knife in the bread, and a little hole in the middle, saying: ‘If the devil’s in there, may he leave, and if the Good Lord is in there, may he stay!’ and I rapidly covered up the little hole. Maximin burst into laughter and kicked the loaf out of my hands. It rolled down the mountainside and was lost from site. I had another piece of bread which we shared. Afterwards, we played a game. Then, realizing that Maximin must still be hungry, I pointed out a place on the mountainside covered with all kinds of berries. I urged him to go and eat some and he went straight away. He ate a few berries and brought back his hat full of them. In the evening we walked back down the mountain together and promised to come back the next day and watch over our cows together.
The next day, the 19th of September, I met Maximin on the way up. We climbed up the mountain side together. I discovered that Maximin was a very good, simple boy, and would willingly talk about what I wanted to talk about. He was also very flexible and had no fixed opinions. He was just a little curious, for, when I walked away from him, as soon as he saw I had stopped, he would run over to me to see what I was doing and hear what I was saying to the flowers of the Good Lord. And if he arrived too late, he would ask me what I had said.
Maximin told me to teach him a game. It was already late morning. I told him to gather some flowers for the ‘Paradise’. We set to work together. Soon we had a number of flowers of various colours. I could hear the village Angelus ringing, for the weather was fine and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Having told the Good Lord what we had learned, I said to Maximin that we ought to drive our cows on to a small plateau near the gully, where there would be stones to build the ‘Paradise’. We drove our cows to the selected spot and then had a small meal. Then we started collecting stones to build our little house, which comprised of a so-called ground floor which was where we were to live, and then a story above which was to be, as we called it, ‘Paradise.’
This story was decorated all over with different-coloured flowers, with garlands hanging from flower stalks. This ‘Paradise’ was covered by a single large stone which we had strewn with flowers. We had also hung garlands all the way round. When we had finished, we sat and looked at the ‘Paradise’. We began to feel sleepy and having moved a couple of feet away, we went to sleep on the grass.
When I woke up I couldn’t see the cows, so I called Maximin and climbed up the little mound. From there I could see our cows grazing peacefully and I was on my way down, with Maximin on his way up, when all at once I saw a beautiful light shining more brightly than the sun.
‘Maximin, do you see what is over there? Oh! my God!’ At the same moment, I dropped the stick I was holding. Something inconceivably fantastic passed through me in that moment, and I felt myself being drawn. I felt a great respect, full of love, and my heart beat faster.
I kept my eyes firmly fixed on this light, which was static, and as if it had opened up, I caught sight of another, much more brilliant light which was moving, and in this light I saw a most beautiful lady sitting on top of our Paradise, with her head in her hands.
This beautiful Lady stood up, she coolly crossed her arms while watching us, and said to us:
‘Come, my children, fear not, I am here to PROCLAIM GREAT NEWS TO YOU.’
These soft and sweet words made me fly to her, and my heart desired to attach itself to her forever.
When I was up close to the Beautiful Lady, in front of her to her right, she began to speak and from her beautiful eyes tears also started to flow.
‘If my people do not wish to submit themselves, I am forced to let go off the hand of my Son. It is so heavy and weighs me down so much I can no longer keep hold of it.
I have suffered all of the time for the rest of you! If I do not wish my Son to abandon you, I must take it upon myself to pray for this continually. And the rest of you think little of this. In vain you will pray, in vain you will act, you will never be able to make up for the troubles I have taken over for the rest of you.
I gave you six days to work, I kept the seventh for myself, and no one wishes to grant it to me. This is what weighs down the arm of my Son so much.
Those who drive carts cannot speak without putting the name of my Son in the middle.
These are the two things which weigh down the arm of my Son so much. If the harvest is spoiled, it is only because of the rest of you. I made you see this last year with the potatoes, you took little account of this. It was quite the opposite when you found bad potatoes, you swore oaths, and you included the name of my Son. They will continue to go bad, at Christmas there will be none left.’
At this point, I was trying to interpret the word ‘potatoes’ (pommes de terre): I thought I understood it to be ‘apples’ (pommes). The Beautiful and Good Lady, reading my thoughts, repeated thus:
‘You do not understand, my children. I will tell it to you another way.
‘If the harvest is spoiled, it does not seem to affect you. I made you see this last year with the potatoes. You took little account of this. It was quite the opposite when you found bad potatoes, you swore oaths, and you included the name of my Son. They will continue to go bad and at Christmas, there will be none left.
If you have corn, you must not sow it. The beasts will eat all that you sow. And all that grows will fall to dust when you thresh it. A great famine will come. Before the famine comes, children under the age of seven will begin to tremble and will die in the arms of those who hold them. The others will do penance through hunger. The nuts will go bad, the grapes will become rotten.’
At this point, the Beautiful Lady, who was entrancing me, for a moment did not make herself heard. I could see, however, that she was continuing, as if speaking, to move graciously her kindly lips. At this moment, Maximin was receiving his secret. Then, turning to me, the Most Holy Virgin spoke to me and gave me a secret in French. Here is this secret in its entirety as she gave it to me:
‘Mélanie, what I am going to tell you now will not always be a secret; you can publish it in 1858.
‘Priests, my Son’s ministers, priests, by their evil life, by their irreverences and their impiety in celebrating the holy mysteries, love of money, love of honor and pleasures, priests have become sewers of impurity. Yes, priests call forth vengeance, and vengeance is suspended over their heads. Woe to priests, and to persons consecrated to God, who by their infidelities and their evil life are crucifying my son anew! The sins of persons consecrated to God cry to heaven and call for vengeance, and now here is vengeance at their very doors, for no longer is anyone found to beg mercy and pardon for the people; there are no more generous souls, there is now no one worthy of offering the spotless Victim to the Eternal on the worlds behalf.
‘God will strike in an unparalleled manner. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! God will exhaust His anger, and no one will be able to escape so many evils at once. The heads, the leaders of the people of God, have neglected prayer and penance, and the devil has darkened their minds; they have become those wandering stars which the ancient devil will drag with his tail to destruction. God will permit the ancient serpent to sow divisions among rulers, in all societies and in all families; both physical and moral punishments will be suffered. God will abandon men to themselves and will send chastisements one after the other for over 35 years.
‘Society is on the very eve of most terrible scourges and greatest events; one must expect to be governed by a rod of iron and to drink the chalice of God’s wrath.
‘Let not my Son’s Vicar, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX leave Rome after the year 1859; but let him be steadfast and generous, let him do battle with the weapons of faith and love; I shall be with him.
‘Let him beware of Napoleon; his heart is double, and when he will want to be both Pope and emperor at the same time, God will soon withdraw from him; he is that eagle who, desiring always to rise, will fall on the sword he wanted to use to force the peoples to exalt him.
‘Italy will be punished for its ambition in wanting to shake off the yoke of the Lord of lords; thus she will be handed over to war; blood will flow on all sides; Churches will be closed or desecrated; priests, religious will be driven out; they will be put to death, and to a cruel death. Many will abandon the faith, and the number of priests and religious who will separate themselves from the true religion will be great; even Bishops will be found among these persons.
‘Let the Pope beware of miracle workers, for the time has come for the most astonishing wonders to take place on the earth and in the air.
‘In the year 1864 Lucifer, together with a great number of devils, will be loosed from hell; little by little they will abolish the faith, and that even in persons consecrated to God; they will so blind them, that without a special grace, these persons will take on the spirit of these evil angels; a number of religious houses will lose the faith entirely and cause many souls to be damned.
‘Bad books will abound over the earth, and the spirits of darkness will everywhere spread universal relaxation in everything concerning God’s service: they will have very great power over nature; there will be churches to serve these spirits. People will be transported form one place to another by these evil spirits, and even priests, because they will not have lived by the good spirit of the gospel, which is a spirit of humility, charity and zeal for the glory of God. The dead and the just will be made to rise.
[Mélanie interpolated here: ‘That is to say, these dead will assume the prospect of righteous souls who once lived on earth, in order to seduce men more easily; these so-called resurrected dead, who will be nothing other than the devil under these faces, will preach another Gospel contrary to that of the true Christ Jesus, denying the existence of heaven, if these be not in fact the souls of the damned. All these souls will appear joined to their bodies.’]
‘There will be extraordinary wonders every place because the true faith has been extinguished and false light illumines the world. Woe to the princes of the church who will be occupied only with piling up riches upon riches, with guarding their authority and lording with pride!
‘My Son’s Vicar will have much to suffer, because for a time the Church will be handed over to great persecutions: it will be the time of darkness; the Church will undergo a frightful crisis.
‘With God’s holy faith forgotten, each individual will want to direct himself and rise above his peers. Civil and ecclesiastical authority will be abolished, all order and justice will be trampled underfoot. Only murders, hatred, jealousy, lying and discord will be seen, with no love of country or family.
‘The Holy Father will suffer greatly. I shall be with him till the end to receive his sacrifice.
‘The wicked will make a number of attempts on his life without being able to harm him; but neither he nor his successor will see the triumph of God’s Church.
‘Civil governments will all have the same objective, which will be to abolish and make every religious principle disappear, to make way for materialism, atheism, spiritism and vices of all kinds.
‘In the year 1865, the abomination will be seen in the holy places; in the convents the flowers of the Church will putrefy, and the devil will establish himself as king of all hearts. Let those who are at the head of religious communities be on their guard concerning the persons they are to receive, because the devil will use all his malice to introduce into religious orders persons given to sin, for disorders and love of carnal pleasures will be widespread over the whole earth.
‘France, Italy, Spain and England will be at war, blood will flow in the streets; Frenchmen will fight Frenchmen, Italian with Italian; then there will be a general war which will be appalling. For some time God will no longer remember France or Italy, because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is no longer known. The wicked will unleash all their malice; even in homes there will be killing and mutual massacres.
‘With the first lightning blow of His sword, the mountains and all nature will tremble with dread, because the disorders and crimes of men are piercing the vault of the heavens. Paris will be burned and Marseilles swallowed up; a number of large cities will be shattered and swallowed by earthquakes; all will seem lost; only murders will be seen, the clash of arms and blasphemies heard. The righteous will suffer greatly; their prayers, their penances and their tears will rise to heaven and all God’s people will ask pardon and mercy and will ask my help and intercession. Then Jesus Christ, by an act of His justice and His great mercy toward the righteous, will command His angels to put all His enemies to death. At one blow the persecutors of the Church of Jesus Christ and all men given to sin will perish, and the earth will become like a desert.
‘Then there will be peace, the reconciliation of God with men; Jesus Christ will be served, adored and glorified; charity will flourish everywhere. The new kings will be the right-arm of Holy Church, which will be strong, humble, pious, poor, zealous and imitative of the virtues of Jesus Christ. The Gospel will be preached everywhere, and men will make great strides in the faith, because there will be unity among Jesus Christ’s workers and men will live in the fear of God.
‘This peace among men will not last long: 25 years of abundant harvests will make them forget that the sins of men are the cause of all the woes which happen on earth.
‘A precursor of the Antichrist, with his troops drawn from many nations, will wage war against the true Christ, sole Savior of the world; he will shed much blood and will seek to annihilate the cult of God so as to be regarded as a god.
‘The earth will be struck with plagues of all kinds;’ [Mélanie added here: ‘Besides pestilence and famine, which will be widespread’] ‘there will be wars up to the last war, which will then be waged by the ten kings of the Antichrist, kings who will all have a common design and will be the sole rulers of the world. Before this happens, there will be a sort of false peace in the world; people will think only of amusing themselves; the wicked will indulge in all kinds of sin; but the children of Holy Church, children of the true faith, my true imitators, will grow in the love of God and in the virtues dearest to me. Happy the humble souls lead by the Holy Ghost! I shall battle along with them until they reach the fullness of maturity.
‘Nature begs vengeance on account of men, and she shudders with dread, awaiting what must happen to the crime-stained earth.
‘Tremble, earth, and you who profess to serve Jesus Christ, while interiorly you adore yourselves, tremble; for God will hand you over to His enemy, because the holy places are in a state of corruption; many convents are no longer houses of God, but pastures for Asmodeus and his own.
‘It will be at this time that the Antichrist will be born of a Hebrew nun, a false virgin who will be in communication with the ancient serpent, master of impurity; his father will be a bishop (Ev.). [We spell out the word ‘bishop’ here. In the French text appear only the first two letters of évèque, the French word for bishop, but there is little doubt that this is the word they stand for, because in Mélanie’s first draft of the message the whole word is spelled out.]
‘At birth he will vomit blasphemies, he will have teeth; in a word, this will be the devil incarnate; he will utter terrifying cries, he will work wonders, he will live only on impurities. He will have brothers who, although not incarnate devils like himself, will be children of evil; at the age of twelve, they will be noted for the valiant victories they will win; soon they will each be at the head of armies, assisted by legions from hell.
‘The seasons will be changed, the earth will produce only bad fruits, the heavenly bodies will lose the regularity of their movements, the moon will reflect only a feeble reddish light; water and fire will lend convulsive motions to the earth’s sphere, causing mountains, cities, etc., to be swallowed up.
‘Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.
‘The demons of the air, together with the Antichrist, will work great wonders on the earth and in the air, and men will become ever more perverted. God will take care of His faithful servants and mend of good will; the Gospel will be preached everywhere, all peoples and all nations will have knowledge of the Truth.
‘I address a pressing appeal to the earth: I call upon the true disciples of the God living and reigning in the heavens; I call upon the true imitators of Christ made man, the one true Savior of men; I call upon my children, my true devotees, those who have given themselves to me so that I may lead them to my Divine Son, those whom I bear as it were in my arms, those who have lived in my spirit; finally, I call upon the Apostles of the Latter Times, the faithful disciples of Jesus Christ who have lived in contempt of the world and of themselves, in poverty and humility, in contempt and silence, in prayer and mortification, in chastity and in union with God, in suffering, and unknown to the world. It is time for them to emerge and come enlighten the earth. Go, show yourselves to be my dear children; I am with you and in you, provided your faith is the light enlightening you in these evil times. May your zeal make your famished for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ. Do battle, children of light, you, the few who see thereby; fir the time of times, the end of ends, is at hand.
‘The Church will be eclipsed, the world will be in consternation. But there are Enoch and Elias, they will preach with the power of God, and men of good will will believe in God, and many souls will be comforted; they will make great progress by virtue of the Holy Ghost and will condemn the diabolical errors of the Antichrist.
‘Woe to the inhabitants of the earth. There will be bloody wars, and famines; plagues and contagious diseases; there will be frightful showers of animals; thunders which will demolish cities; earthquakes which will engulf countries; voices will be heard in the air; men will beat their heads against the walls; they will call on death, yet death will constitute their torment; blood will flow on all sides. Who could overcome, if God doesn’t shorten the time of trial? At the blood, tears and prayers of the righteous, God will relent; Enoch and Elias will be put to death; pagan Rome will disappear; the fire of Heaven will fall and consume three cities; the whole universe will be struck with terror, and many will allow themselves to be seduced because they didn’t adore the true Christ living in their midst. It is time; the sun is darkening; Faith alone will survive.
‘The time is at hand; the abyss is opening. Here is the king of the kings of darkness. Here is the beast with its subjects, calling itself the savior of the world. In pride he will rise skyward to go up to Heaven; he will be stifled by the breath of St. Michael the Archangel. He will fall and the earth -which for three days will be in constant change- will open its fiery bosom; he will be plunged forever with all his followers into hell’s eternal chasms. Then water and fire will purify the earth and consume all the works of men’s pride, and everything will be renewed; God will be served and glorified.’
1. Church Approbations: The above message was approved by the Catholic Church and was published in its entirety at Lecce. France, on A.D. 15 November 1979 with the imprimatur of Bishop Zola and published by the Shepherdess of La Salette with the Imprimatur of Mgr. Bishop of Lecce.