Notre-Dame de Banneux / Our Lady of Banneux, Belgium (under 2 Titles – Notre Dame des Pauvres / Our Lady of the Poor and Reine des Nations / Queen of Nations) (15 January – 2 March 1933) 15 January:
Our Lady of Banneux, or Our Lady of the Poor, is the sobriquet given to the apparition of the Virgin Mary to Mariette Beco, an adolescent girl living in Banneux, province of Liège (Belgium). Between 15 January and 2 March 1933, Beco told her family and parish priest of seeing a Lady in white who declared herself to be the “Virgin of the Poor,” saying I come to relieve suffering and believe in me and I will believe in you.
Mariette Beco, waiting for her brother to come home, pressed her face against the window while darkness fell – it was seven o’clock in Banneux. Mrs Beco was working in a back room; the rest of the family had retired – none of them had attended Mass that Sunday morning – the father was a lapsed Catholic. Suddenly Marietta called, “Mother, there is a Lady in the garden. It is the Holy Virgin.” Mrs Beco scoffed at this. Taking a Rosary Marietta had found on the road, she began to pray it. When Julien came home and heard what had happened, he said there was ‘nothing in the garden’ perhaps the icicles reflected weirdly and confused Marietta.
The Parish Priest was informed but he did not put much stock in the story, thinking the vision of Beauraing and Lourdes was resulting in an epidemic of visions. He sent word to Marietta to forget about it and not spread stories. The next morning, Wednesday, the Priest was surprised to see Marietta at Holy Mass – she had quit school because she failed in her First Holy Communion examination three times and after that, had not gone to Mass again. That day, Marietta went to school and for the first time in her life, knew her lessons well. The next evening she went into the garden, knelt and said the Rosary; her father followed her with a coat which he threw around her shoulders. He tried to get the Priest who was out, then called a neighbour, a practicing Catholic, and together they followed. The child was being beckoned onto the highway by the Lady, until they reached a spring,, into which Marietta plunged her hands at the command of the Lady, who said, “This spring is set aside for me. Good night!” Then she vanished. When they reached home, the Priest was waiting for them. Marietta described the Lady: “Her robe was long and white; she wore a blue belt and rays of light shone from her head. She was a little more than five feet tall; her right foot was bare and under it, a golden rose. Her hands were raised to her breast on which was a golden heart. A Rosary hung from her right arm” – all similar to the Lourdes apparition.
There were six or seven more apparitions; at one of these, Marietta, on the advice of the Priest asked the Lady her name, to which Mary replied, “I am the Virgin of the poor” and leading the girl to the spring, said, “This spring is for all nations…for the sick…I would like a Chapel built. I come to relieve suffering. Have faith in me and pray much. My dear child, pray hard…” At the end of each visit Mary would say “Au revoir,” which means, “until we meet again” but, at the last visit Our Lady said, “Adieu”, which means, “good-bye.” She blessed Marietta then, at which the girl fainted. Marietta did not see the Lady depart.
The Beco family and many others became model Catholics. The Chapel was built and the spring became the site of endless cures. During the German occupation of Belgium in 1942, the Bishop encouraged the cult of Our Lady of Banneux, Our Lady of the Poor.
In 1947, the Bishop approved the devotion. In 1948 the cornerstone of a new Basilica was laid; this was to supplant the small Chapel. During the war, Marietta married a Dutch salesman. During the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, an American Chaplain found them and their fifteen month old baby living in a cellar of a small home occupied by American troops.
Belgium is one more reminder in these days when communism seems to be sweeping everything before it, that our great hope – our only hope – lies in our carrying out the requests Our Lady made at Fatima and here at Banneux Mary, our Mother, prays for us without ceasing but we, too, must pray, must sacrifice. We must do our part, if we expect Mary to help us!
St Alexander of Goma
Bl Angelus of Gualdo Tadini
St Arnold Janssen SVD (1837-1909)
St Blaithmaic of Iona
St Bonitus of Clermont
St Ceolwulf of Northumbria
St Emebert of Cambrai
St Ephysius of Sardinia
St Francis Ferdinand de Capillas
Bl Geoffrey of Peronne
Bl Giacomo Villa
St Habakkuk the Prophet
St Isidore of Scété
St Isidore the Egyptian
St Ita of Killeedy
St John Calabytes
St Lleudadd of Bardsey
St Macarius of Egypt
St Malard of Chartres
St Maurus OSB (c 512-584) Abbot and Deacon
St Maximus of Nola
Blessed Nikolaus Gross – (1898-1945) Martyr
His Life and Death:
St Pansofius of Alexandria
St Paul the Hermit (c 227-c 342)
Bl Peter of Castelnau
St Probus of Rieti
St Romedio of Nonsberg
St Secondina of Anagni
St Secundina of Rome
St Tarsicia of Rodez
Martyrs of Suances – 5 beati: A priest and four laymen in the archdiocese of Burgos, Spain who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Blessed Donato Rodríguez García
• Blessed Emilio Huidobro Corrales
• Blessed Germán García y García
• Blessed Valentín Palencia Marquina
• Blessed Zacarías Cuesta Campo
They were martyred on
15 January 1937 near Suances, Cantabria, Spain
Venerated on 30 September 2015 by Pope Francis (decree of heroic virtues)
and Beatified on 23 April 2016 by Pope Francis. The beatification was celebrated in Burgos, Spain, presided by Cardinal Angelo Amato.