One day back in the year 1846, 14-year-old Melanie and 11-year-old Maximin were pasturing their flocks on a mountainside in La Salette, France, when suddenly they saw a bright light, in the midst of which was a beautiful lady-the Blessed Virgin Mary. She was seated on a rock, weeping bitterly. She told the children that people should not work on Sundays or swear, and that because they did these things, her Son would have to punish them with famine and disease. She gave each of the children a secret message. After a time, both of the children wrote down their secrets to be sent to the Holy Father. The Pontiff remarked that Maximin's secret had the simplicity of a child. But after he had read Melanie's, he became grave and spoke of calamities soon to fall upon France, and of the guilt of France, Germany, Italy and all Europe. The Pope was much impressed with the secrets; he sent word that a new church should be built at La Salette. Soon La Salette became a place of pilgrimage. Both Maximin and Melanie were to have a difficult time finding their calling in life. After some years God called home these two messengers of Our Lady-first Maximin, then later Melanie. Today there is a big church in La Salette, and a shrine in honor of Our Lady which recalls the warnings she gave to us with such sorrow and love through two shepherd children in 1846.
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