Pellevoisin (France): Our Lady of Mercy

Pellevoisin is a small village of Indre in France located 50 miles from Tours or 20 miles from Châteauroux. 

First Apparitions and Estelle’s Recovery

Estelle Faguette, born on September 12, 1843, in Saint-Memmie, near Chalons-sur-Marne, daughter of a bankrupt contractor, lay dying of pulmonary tuberculosis, of acute peritonitis and an abdominal tumor. During the night of February 14, 1876, she “saw Our Lady” in her room. She had fourteen other apparitions from this date until December 8, 1876. As if to reflect her spiritual struggle, for a few short seconds an apparition of the devil preceded the first apparition of the Virgin.

Estelle said: “She turned to me and said softly, ‘Fear not, you know that you are my daughter. Be brave and patient, my Son will let Himself be touched. You still suffer for five days, in honor of the Five Wounds of my Son. Saturday, you will either die or recover’.”

Between the 15th and the 19th of February (five apparitions), Our Lady came to see Estelle at midnight each time. During the 5th apparition, Mary spoke to Estelle about suffering. It was at the moment when the Blessed Virgin left that Estelle suffered more than she had suffered during her entire illness. Then, when the small cloud of vapor which surrounded the Holy Mother had completely disappeared, she was healed except for her right arm which did not hurt but which she was still unable to move.

The Devotion of the Sacred Heart Scapular

On September 9, 1876, in the octave of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin and the Vigil of the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary,  the ninth apparition occurred. Our Lady raised the small piece of woollen cloth she was wearing on her breast. Estelle noticed a red heart on the scapular and Mary said, “I love this devotion.”

The following messages insisted on the moral difficulties of France, the urgency of conversion and prayer. “France will suffer... I can no longer retrain my Son” (11th apparition, September 15, 1876).

On December 8, 1876—the 15th and last apparition—the Virgin took her scapular in her hand and announced: “I will be invisible, but close to you… I have chosen you to announce my glory and to spread this devotion... You will go yourself to the Prelate and you will show him the pattern (of the scapular) you have made. Ask him to help you as much as is in his power, and tell him that nothing would please me more than to see one of these worn by all my children, and for them all to endeavor to atone for the outrages my Son receives in the sacrament of His love.”

Recognition in the Church

  • On May 10, 1876, Bishop de La Tour d'Auvergne, Archbishop of Bourges, wrote: “I see no difficulty, as far as I am concerned, that you mount a plaque above the statue of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart with the words that were spoken during one of the apparitions: ‘I am all Merciful’ ... I can also see no reason why the room where Estelle was healed should not be transformed into a small private oratory…”
  • In spring 1877, Pope Pius IX (1846 - 1878) approved a draft of the statutes of the Confraternity in honor of Our Lady of Pellevoisin. On July 28, 1877, Bishop de La Tour d'Auvergne introduced it.
    • On April 4, 1900, Leo XIII published a decree approving the Sacred Heart scapular of Pellevoisin.
  • The apparitions were never recognized.
  • In 1983, Archbishop Paul Vignancour, Archbishop of Bourges, gave official and public recognition of the miraculous character of Estelle’s recovery, following medical and theological investigations.
  • In 1992, the management of the shrine was entrusted to a Pilgrimage Center, which has been run by the Brothers and Sisters of the Saint John Community since July 1, 1998.

Life at the Pilgrimage Center "Mary, Mother of Mercy"

The Brothers and Sisters of Saint John organize retreats for families, young people and children: seminars, pilgrimages and festivals. In order to better accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims, construction projects are underway.

For more information see official website

Adapted from  SBALCHIERO, Pellevoisin, LAURENTIN and SBALCHIERO, Dictionnaire encyclopédique des apparitions de la Vierge, Fayard, Paris 2007.

________________________________________

The Marie de Nazareth Team