A MARIAN YEAR FOR BANNEUX
BISHOP Kerkhofs of Liege has announced a Marian Year will be held at the shrine of Our Lady of the Poor at Banneux, Belgium, beginning this December 8.
Marking the 25th , anther
In a pastoral letter the Bishop
said the apparitions occurred on the 1900th anniversary of the death of Our Lord and on the 75th anniversary of the Lourdes apparitions.
Mariette first saw the Blessed Virgin as she was looking out of a window of her home while waiting for the return of her brother. A woman in white stood in the garden and called to the girl to come out, but her mother would not let her go. Three days later the woman in white reappeared and told Marlette she was Our Lady of the Poor.
The Blessed Virgin appeared
eight times in all. She guided the girl to a nearby spring and told her, " This spring must be reserved for me for the sick of all nations."
Bishop Kerkhofs set up a commission in 1935 to look into the testimony of the child. Two years later the commission reported that " the reality of the apparitions of Our Lady to Marlette Beco is at least probable."
In 1942 Bishop Kerkhofs approved the veneration of Our Lady of the Poor, and in 1949 the Belgian Bishops approved the apparitions as fact.
Banneux has become a popular pilgrimage place, with 10 religious communities located in the area. A site has been
reserved for a large basilica. The
International Union of Prayers, founded there, has 1,500,000 members in 60 countries.
• Many miraculous cures have been performed in Banneux, The English branch of the Union has been promoted by Fr. John Speltz who, until his death only two week ago, lectured up and down the country on the shrine and on Caritas-Banneux, the English organisation. sary of the apparitions of Our Lady to 11-year-old Marlette Beco in 1933 in the village of Banneux, Bishop Kerkhofs invited Catholics from all over the world to attend ceremonies at the shrine during the Marian celebration.