….was born at Corps, on August 26, 1835. His mother, Anne-Marie Templier hails from this same region. His father, Germain Giraud is from a neighboring district.
Maximin had a difficult childhood. During the three years following the Apparition his half-brother Jean-Francóis, his step-mother Marie Court, and his father Giraud the wheelwright, all died. Constant pressure from pilgrims and busybodies don't moke Maximin's life any easier. A few visionary partisans of the so-called son of Louis XVI wanted to use him for political purposes. A mere listing of the places Maximin travelled to makes one realize to what extent the boy was exploited.
His remains lie in the cemetery of Corps, but his heart rests within the La Salette basilica. He wanted to underscore once again his love for La Salette: “I believe firmly, even to the shedding of my blood, in the famous apparition of the most Blessed Virgin on the holy mountain of La Salette, on September 19, 1846, the apparition that I have defended in word and suffering... It is with this spirit that I give my heart to Our Lady of La Salette”.
…saw the light of day at Corps in the midst of a large family on November 7, 1831. Her father Pierre, a pitsawyer by trade took odd jobs. The mother, Julie Barnaud gave birth to ten children. Mélanie was the fourth. The family's poverty was so complete that the young were sometimes dispatched to beg on the street. At a very young age Mélanie was hired out to tend the neighbors' cows. From the spring to the fall of 1846 she worked for Jean- Baptiste Pra at Les Ablandins, one of the hamlets of the village of La Salette.
At the time of the apparition Maximin and Mélanie were financially, intellectually and affectively among the poorest of the poor.
She resided four years with the Sisters of Providence. Her memory was poor and she had still less aptitude for study than Maximin. As early as November 1847, her directress feared “that the celebrity that had been thrust upon her might make her conceited.” Unfortunately, Mélanie then took to lending a willing ear to "troubled and sick individuals," to people whose minds were obsessed with popular prophecies, pseudo-apocalyptic and pseudo-mystical theories. This would affect her for the rest of her life. To give credence to her pronouncements she linked them to the secret she had received from the Beautiful Lady.
Unfortunately, Mélanie pursued her prophetic meanderings. Later, these were orchestrated by the blazing talent of a Leon Bloy and would become a “Melanist” movement allegedly stemming from La Salette, but lacking any foundation except the unverifiable pronouncements of Mélanie.
The message Mélanie attempts to link to La Salette during this period has nothing whatever in common with the testimony she gave about the Apparition in the early years. When the conversation returns to the event of September 19, 1846, she reverts without fail to the simplicity and the clarity of her early narrative, which agrees with that of Maximin. She gave an instance of this on a visit to the Holy Mountain on September 18-19, 1902. She returned to Altamura, near Bari in southern Italy and died there on December 14, 1904.