The Blessed Mother appeared on September 19, 1846 to two small children in the fields near La Salette in southeast France. Sitting on a rock, she cried with grief and covered her face with her hands. She then explained to Melanie and Maximin the reason for her sorrow and tears; disobedience to the laws of God and of the Church, blasphemy, failure to keep the Lord's day; and lack of prayer. She warned them of what was to come if mankind persisted in its decadent ways. "At the first blow of His thundering sword, the mountains and all of Nature will tremble in terror, for the disorders and crimes of men have pierced the vault of the heavens....several cities shall be shaken down and swallowed up by earthquakes. People will believe that all is lost. Nothing will be seen but murder; nothing will be heard but the clash of arms and blasphemy." She begged them to pray more and appease the Heart of her Son by sacrifice for sins.
Until I became a Traditional Catholic, I had never heard of Our Lady of La Salette. In fact, last September, when our priest gave a sermon about the apparition and Our Lady's messages, I had to come home and Google it. My initial thought was "Why have I never heard a priest talk about La Salette??" While I do have an answer to this question, I won't answer it here. I'd rather just let Our Lady speak for Herself. Then reasonable people can draw their own conclusions.
In the last 170 years, Our Lady has appeared 3 times: La Salette, Lourdes, and Fatima. All three of these apparitions have been approved by the Church. All three times Our Lady has appeared, she has seemed very sad at the state of the world and the Church. All three times, she has left a secret. All three times, Our Lady's message has been rejected, ignored, or falsified. Why? Because her message is one of warning and chastisement.
The modern Catholic Church, and the culture it seems, is one of great optimism. Very few priests talk anymore about Hell, sin, suffering, or sorrow. We are encouraged to think positively, focus on the good things, and over-look people's faults. We remind ourselves that our society and culture is always getting better or progressing. We seldom want to imagine that our culture is decaying our our economy is collapsing. Those that do think on these things are labeling as "dooms-dayers," "nay-sayers," or "end-timers." There doesn't seem to be any place for them in modern culture or the modern Church.
But each time Our Lady has appeared in modern times, She has had the same message and the same warning. She warns, if people do not repent and turn back to Our Lord, that a great chastisement will fall upon the whole world. She warned us first in La Salette, again in Lourdes, and yet again in Fatima. Some may say that its been over 150 years and yet nothing has really happened that is unusual. There have always been wars and famine, earthquakes and volcanoes, murder and mayhem. Surely, if the Lord was to mete out punishment, he would have done so by now.
This is also what the people said to Noah during the 100 years it took him to build the Ark. In spite of their ridicule, Noah remained faithful to God and built his Ark. And the Deluge came. Our Lady has been sent to warn us. Some will remain faithful and be prepared. Others will not. But the Chastisement will come.
These are the words of Our Lady as recalled by little Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvert in France in 1846.
France has corrupted the the universe; one day it will be punished. The faith will die out in France: three quarters of France will not practice religion anymore, or almost no more, the other part will practice it without really practicing it.
Great disorder will arrive, in the Church, and everywhere. Then after that our Holy Father the Pope will be persecuted. His successor will be a pontiff nobody expects.
All that I tell you here will arrive in the other century, at the latest in the year two thousand.
Civil rulers will have all one same design which will be to abolish, and to make disappear all religious principles, in order to make way for materialism, atheism, spiritualism, and all kinds of vices.
God is going to strike in a manner without example.
Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the antichrist.
The holy faith of God being forgotten, each individual will want to be guided by himself and to be superior to his peers. Civil and ecclesiastical powers will be abolished, all order and all justice will be trampled underfoot; one will see only homicides, hatred, jealously, lying, and discord, without love for country, or for family.
There is much more to the messages Our Lady left to the shepherd children in France over 150 years ago. There is also great controversy surrounding those messages, as there is with Fatima. Some dissenters will say that Our Lady did not say these words--that they were made up years later by a girl who had grown tarnished and tainted with pride and ambition. Perhaps.
Or maybe, like the revelers beating down Noah's doors, many of us will be gazing in amazement as the events unfold just as Our Lady has warned.
Our Lady of La Salette, Ora pro nobis.