Reviews - What do customers think about Sister Mary of the Cross-Shepherdess of LA Salette?
Melanie of LaSalette May 11, 2010
A very good and authoritative book on Melanie, so needed in the light of the importance of its messages
The True Story of Melanie Calvat, Seeress of La Salette Oct 12, 2008
Born on November 7, 1831, in Corps, France, Françoise Melanie Calvat was the fourth of ten children born to Pierre Calvat, an honest stonemason and sawyer, and Julie Barnaud. The family was terribly poor, with Pierre often gone from home for long periods of time, to find work to feed his family. As soon as the children were old enough, they were put to work too, to help the family. At age six, Melanie was taught to be a shepherdess, and at age 14 she was sent from home to stay with a family in La Salette, a few kilometers away from Corps, to care for their cows. It was in this tiny town, performing her simple tasks, that Melanie and another child, Maximin Giraud, whom she met only that very day, were to come to the attention of the world.
On September 19 1846, eve of the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon just after the Angelus bells rang, she had, together with Maximin Giraud, an apparition of the Virgin Mary in the mountains of La Salette, France. They were watching the cows on the mountain side, a few kilometers from the home where she'd been staying. Near the small brook on a little stone benches there was a globe of fire. A woman appeared within the light; she was sitting, her head in her hands, her elbows on her knees, in deepest grief. The Lady rose slowly. The children had not moved. She spoke to them in French: "Come near, my children, do not be afraid. I am here to tell you great news." They approached the Lady. The beautiful Lady spoke to the two shepherds. "She wept all the while she spoke to us", said Maximin and Melanie later. "We listened. All our attention was on her."
Mary's message to the two children at La Salette was the warning of a mother concerned over her wayward children. She complained: "If my people refuse to submit, I will be forced to let go the arm of my Son" and more specifically: "Those who drive the carts cannot swear without using my Son's name...they labor all day Sunday...there are none who go to Mass...when they do not know what to do, they go to Mass just to make fun of religion..." She warned: "If the harvest is ruined, it is only on account of yourselves...If you have wheat, you must not sow it. Anything you sow the vermin will eat...A great famine is coming..." She promised: "If [my people] are converted, rocks and stones will turn into heaps of wheat, and potatoes will be self-sown in the fields..." She pleaded: "Well, my children, make this known to all my people..." Mary's apparition at La Salette is a modern-day reminder of an ancient truth: that Mary constantly intercedes for us before God; that she is the Reconciler of Sinners, calling us back to the message and way of he Son, Jesus.
This book tells the story of "hidden" story of Melanie's life - how she was rejected by her mother, yet guided and comforted by the Holy Child Jesus throughout her lonely childhood, calling her the "sister of My Heart." Melanie needed such comfort and guidance as she grew to adulthood. As one of the seers of La Salette, controversy and speculation surrounded her, even after the local bishop declared the apparition valid, and she received the Imprimatur of the Archbishop of Nales, and the approval of the Pope, when she published her Secret, as told to her by the Blessed Virgin. Her life was one of constant miraculous help from Heaven amid unceasing contradictions; her soul, hidden behind a very modest exterior which only the holy consecrated souls of her time could penetrate, was one of beautiful innocence and of a sanctity far from ordinary.
On November 10, 1851, the bishop of Grenoble promulgated this judgment: "We judge that the apparition of the Holy Virgin to the two shepherds, September 19, 1846 ... in the parish of La Salette ... carries within it all the characteristics of truth, and that the faithful have reason to believe it indubitable and certain."
The events at La Salette immediately stirred up a great fervor in French society, and it also provoked enormous discussions. The children were constantly called upon to describe what they'd seen, and became a target of perpetual interrogations, and even threats, sometimes violent from political and ecclesiastical opponents, and also the assaults of fervor.
Melanie came to be venerated in the manner of a saint, not unlike what happened to Saint Bernadette Soubirous, the seer of Lourdes, a few years later. Yet, Bernadette was successful in defending herself against this, whereas Melanie was less protected. This harmed the equilibrium of the two visionaries. Melanie had difficulty living a stable religious life. Maximin, who once entered the seminary, also had difficulties living a normal life. Also, some of the bishops of France resisted the Secret with, at times, a real fury, because its warnings as to the political ambitions of Napoleon III and the regrettable state of the clergy in general, were not to their liking. Melanie was called insane, she was vilified, she was at times refused Holy Communion; she was exiled from certain dioceses for a few years.
After the apparition in 1846, Melanie was placed as a boarder in the Sisters of Providence Convent in Corenc close to Grenoble, where an inquiry concerning the apparition took place. She entered religion at the age of twenty, and was known as Sister Mary of the Cross. In 1850 she became a postulant with this order and in October 1851 she took the veil. In May 1853, Bishop de Bruillard died and was replaced. In early 1854 his replacement refused to grant permission for Melanie to be professed, because he found that she was not "spiritually mature enough". Melanie, who had had a deep spiritual life since she was a toddler, felt that the real reason for the refusal was that the bishop was aiming to gain the favor of the emperor. Melanie agreed to the suggestion of an English visiting priest, and was allowed to move to the Carmel at Darlington in England, where she arrived in 1855. This removed her from the French political controversies, so the bishop was pleased to agree to this move. She took temporary vows there in 1856. In 1860, she was released from her vow of cloister at the Carmel by the Holy Father in order to further accomplish her mission and return to mainland Europe. She then entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Compassion in Marseille. A sister, Marie, was appointed as her companion. After a stay in their convent of Cephalonia, Greece were she and Sister Marie went to open an orphanage, and a short sojourn at the Carmelite convent of Marseille, she returned to the Sisters of Compassion for a brief time. In October 1864 she was admitted as a novice on condition she kept her identity secret. But she was recognized and her identity was no longer secret. In early 1867 she was officially released from the order and she and her companion then went to live at Castellamare near Naples in Italy, where she was welcomed by the local bishop. She resided there seventeen years, writing down her secret, including the rule for a future religious foundation. After her time in Naples, Melanie traveled throughout Italy and France. She visited the Holy mountain at La Salette a final time on September 18-19, 1902. She then returned to Altamura, near Bari in southern Italy and died there on December 14, 1904. Her remains are buried under a marble column with a bas-relief depicting the Virgin Mary welcoming the shepherdess of La Salette into heaven. Throughout a difficult lifetime, Melanie remained poor and devout, ever faithful to her first testimony.
She had foretold: "The spirit of La Salette can be transported. And when the hour has sounded, the Blessed Virgin will be able to resurrect La Salette and accomplish Her Work... The Blessed Virgin's words are not sterile like those of men... Her Work will be done. Men and devils can do nothing against Her. She will triumph. Men can resist the call of grace and Her appeal, but She can transport Her great light and show it to others. Let us await Her help and Her hour." Today, Missionaries of La Salette are all over the world, and
Today, the Missionaries of La Salette (M.S. - Missio Saletyni) are a world-wide Catholic missionary order of priests, nuns and lay fraternities named for the La Salette apparition, whose stated goal is healing, reconciliation, and the upholding of human dignity and integrity. The distinctive cross of the order depicts a hammer and pincers. Traditionally ascribed to the Virgin Mary at her apparition at La Salette, France in 1846, these symbols represent the order's goal of healing and reconciliation.