On November 29, in the year 1932, five children from the ages of nine to fifteen years old were playing as they were walking in the direction of a railway bridge. They were of the Voisin and Degeimbre families, not the most passionate Catholic families in the area. They lived in city of Beauraing, which is nestled in the Vallon region of Southern Belgium. As they made their way to the bridge, one of the children witnessed seeing a very bright light. At first, the children thought it was a car, but at a further glance that realized it was the dimensions of a lady, as they got closer, they realized it was the Blessed Virgin Mary.
After the children shared their story with their families and the townspeople, nobody really wanted to believe what they said. The following evening the children came home with the same exact story. Again, everyone laughed at them and this time their parents were upset. The lady continued to appear to the children and each time they came home with more detailed information. She was more beautiful than any statue – she was adorned in pure white, with a crown of golden rays shining from her head.
During the December 2 apparition, they children asked the Our Lady questions. As she smiled at them, she said that she was the Immaculate Virgin. She demanded that they “always be good.” As the apparitions continued, people from the town of Beauraing began to come out to the site where Our Lady was appearing to the children. Even doctors and psychologists were among the individuals.
Although Our Lady did not appear every night, the children did gather to pray the Rosary. The largest gathering of people, some 30,000 to 35,000, happened on December 8 – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The people could not see Our Lady, but did witness the children drop to their knees in unison and watched as they fell into ecstasy. The children did not move even when matches where lit under their hands, pins pricked their skin, and lights were shone in their eyes.
From late 1932 to early 1933, there were a total of 33 apparitions to the children. During the December 29 vision, the children said that the Lady revealed on her breast a heart of gold. On December 30, she asked that more prayers be said. On the first day of the new year, Our Lady told the oldest of the children, Fernande Voisin, to continue to “Pray, pray, pray” and said – “If you love my Son and love me, then sacrifice yourself for me.”
For many years, the Belgium bishops refused to allow any processions and devotions to happen on and around the apparition site and to Our Lady of Beauraing. Over the ten-year investigation, serious accusations were brought against the children. In 1943, the Bishop of Namur issued a decree affirming the miraculous nature of Our Lady of Beauraing and permitting devotions to begin. On July 18, 1947, Monsignor Charue received papal blessings for the Sanctuary for Our Lady of Beauraing – the Virgin of the Golden Heart.
In 1949, the shrine was completely recognized officially with two promulgated documents. The first one spoke of two cures, although there were many, that happened through the intercession of Our Lady of Beauraing. The second document was written from the bishop to the priests which said, “we are able in all serenity and prudence to affirm that the Queen of Heaven appeared to the children of Beauraing during the winter of 1932-1933, especially to show us in her maternal Heart the anxious appeal for prayer and the promise of her powerful mediation for the conversion of sinners.”
To read more about Our Lady of Beauraing, see the National Catholic Register article.
Our Lady of Beauraing…Pray for Us.
Foley, Donal. “The Apparitions at Beauraing.” The Apparitions at Banneux, http://www.theotokos.org.uk/pages/approved/appariti/beaurain.html.
“Our Lady of Beauraing.” Roman Catholic Saints, http://www.roman-catholic-saints.com/our-lady-of-beauraing.html.