Our Lady of Beauraing
|Our Lady of Beauraing|
Statue of the Virgin of the Golden Heart.
|Date||29 November 1932 – 3 January 1933|
|Approval||July 2, 1949
Bishop André-Marie Charue
Diocese of Namur
Our Lady of Beauraing (also known as the Virgin of the Golden Heart) is the title of 33 Marian apparitions reported in Beauraing, Belgium, between November 1932 and January 1933 by five children whose ages ranged between 9 and 15. For several years after the apparitions, pilgrims flocked to the small town of Beauraing, province of Namur (Belgium), and many cures were claimed. She is celebrated under this title on 29 November.
The young people who claimed to have seen the apparitions were Fernande (15), Gilberte (13), and Albert (11), children of Hector and Marie-Louise Perpète Voisin. Hector Voisin was a railway clerk. With them were Andrée (14) and Gilberte (9) Degeimbre, daughters of Degeimbre, a farmer’s widow.
On the evening of 29 November 1932, four of the children walked to a school conducted by the Sisters of Christian Doctrine to meet Gilberte Voisin and walk home with her. When they reached the school, Albert pointed out a lady dressed in a long white robe, near a railroad viaduct just past the school. The other children reported seeing her as well. Over the next several weeks, they saw the lady thirty-two more times, generally in the garden of the convent-school. The final apparition was on 3 January 1933.
The children reported that the lady requested that a chapel be built at the site and stated thatImmaculate Virgin”. She also desired for pilgrims to come to the site and asked the children (and everyone) to “pray, pray, pray” and, in one of the last visions, revealed her “Golden Heart”.
In the final vision, the Lady reportedly asked one of the children, Fernande, “Do you love My Son?” and she replied, “Yes”. She then asked her “Do you love Me?” and Fernande again answered, “Yes”. The Lady then stated, “Then sacrifice yourself for me” and bade them farewell before the child could reply.
In 1935, the Bishop of Namur, Thomas-Louis Heylen, appointed an Episcopal Commission to investigate the events. The work continued under his successor, Bishop André-Marie Charue. On 2 February 1943, he published a decree authorizing public devotions to Our Lady of Beauraing.
In 1949 in Lowell, Massachusetts, the Pro Maria Committee was founded by Joseph Debergh, O.M.I. to disseminate the story of Our Lady’s thirty-three appearances in Beauraing. The committee created an archive of photographs of the history and activities relating to the apparitions, now housed at The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.