Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pray, my children. God will answer you shortly

Une Minute avec Marie
An initiative of the Mary of Nazareth Association

January 17 – Our Lady of Holy Hope (Pontmain, France, 1871)

"Pray, my children. God will answer you shortly."

Norte-Dame d'Esperance de Pontmain
In the winter of 1870-1871, a large part of France was occupied by the Germans. Humanly speaking, there was little hope of stopping the invasion. On the evening of January 17th, the German General Von Schmidt noted: "Right now, my troops are in Laval." This city is 52 kilometers from the village of Pontmain, France.

Anxiety was high in Pontmain for the safety of the 38 men from the village who had gone to war. After the men were sent off, the priest asked his parishioners to come to Mass every day if possible. His appeal was heard. The parish became a genuine community of prayer and the whole village wanted to join in.

Children probably prayed even harder than their parents. Among them, the two young Barbedette children were especially assiduous. On January 17th the Virgin Mary promised peace to the children of Pontmain, at the very same time that German troops were ordered to attack the defenseless city of Laval... But later that night, a counter-order was given. The next day, 2 km from Laval, the last combats ended to the advantage of the French army. The message of Pontmain was fulfilled: "Pray, my children. God will answer you shortly." On January 28th, the Armistice was signed.

Adapted from Chanoine Foisnet’s book, Notre Dame de Pontmain, Belles histoires belles vies, Editions Fleurus