In her eight Apparitions to the little Mariette Beco (between 15th January and 2nd March 1933), Mary only said no more than eighty words. The rest of her Message was manifested in her welcoming attitudes: the gesture of her hand, her smile, her sweetness and humility, her silent prayer, her direct eye contact, her manner of leading Mariette to the Spring while walking backwards, to confide a secret, her blessing…
The Apparitions and the Message of the Virgin of the Poor (that is the Shrine recalls each year in the Path of Prayer) were occurred at a particularly solemn moment in European History.
In fact, the destructive rage of Nazism was already rumbling behind the scenes of the political stage in neighbouring Germany. Mary came for the first time to Banneux on 15th January 1933; fifteen days later, on 30th January, Adolf Hitler was named chancellor. Europe got slowly but certainly into darkness.
The economic and financial crisis that had exploded in 1929 made it feel painful effects particularly to modest populations and the working world. Likewise today, the anxiety about the future is tighter on isolated people and families.
In the Church, Louis Jamin was a young priest of the diocese of Liège; he was in depression and full of doubt about his faith and vocation. He had been transferred to the chaplaincy of Banneux to regain his health; the chaplaincy is located in a little insignificant village in the “blue Ardennes”. He was also in the darkness like the rest of Europe… and like many priests and faithful people today.
In the midst of economic crisis, anxiety, poverty and even misery, a mortifying ideology easily places its pawns on the chessboard of the destiny of humanity.
A Light in the darkness!
Like in 1933, today, in such situation, Heaven opens itself up in Banneux to give to all nations a new hope and to reveal the presence of the unique Spring reserved for all: as a prophetess, the “Virgin of the Poor” leads the sick, the poor, and all the nations to the “Spring” that is Christ!
God wishes to speak to his people through the most humble and quiet women so as to give them hope at all times, and He reminds them, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20).
For Mary always appears to us as “A Light in the Darkness.”