We devotees of the message and mission of the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette number in the tens of thousands across the world. Somehow the message has touched us through her ever-flowing tears, her motherly tenderness and deep compassion, and finally her choice of the two poor children to proclaim her message to all her people.
Her commission to them certainly parallels Jesus’ commission of his own disciples:
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw (Jesus), they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matt 28:16-20).
Since that heavenly event on the Holy Mountain of La Salette, Mary’s message continues to be announced no longer by the two children but also by the many thousands of people around the world who first hear her words and mandate and then respond by sharing it with others. These “many thousands” who share her message certainly include the sisters, brother and priests of the two La Salette Congregations but also include the many laity who have heard he call and answered it.
Since the graced event of the Vatican II, the laity have been encouraged to take their rightful part as full members of the Church and followers of Jesus. Especially within the past 40 years, the La Salette Missionaries have, like Our Lady herself, welcomed the presence, support and charism of those we now call our La Salette Laity. The following is basic information of some questions about these laity who so generously respond to Mary’s words and mission and willingly take on Christ’s invitation to be ministers of reconciliation in their daily lives.
Who are the La Salette Missionaries?
The Congregation of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, an international religious community of priests and brothers, is founded on the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette which occurred on Sept. 19, 1846. Two poor unsuspecting children, Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvat, met Our Lady in a mountaintop ravine near the hamlet of La Salette. She asked these two children to “make (her) message known to all (her) people.”
Within a few years, the local Bishop founded the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette. They are committed to minister in collaboration with laity, other religious, and local clergy to promote the message of Mary at La Salette and the ministry of reconciliation.
Who are the La Salette Laity?
They are Catholic laity inspired by the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette who want to connect themselves more closely to our Weeping Mother and the principles of spirituality contained in her message at La Salette. As Our Lady requested in her merciful apparition, these devoted people pray each day, reflect on the scripture and her message and make her message known whenever the opportunity arises.
La Salette Laity are in over twenty countries around the world and have established programs of ongoing formation, living and ministering as co-missionaries, connected with the La Salette Missionaries.
What’s involved in becoming part of the La Salette Laity?
La Salette Laity are open to anyone 18 years of age or older who would like to grow daily in their knowledge and appreciation of the La Salette Apparition and her mandate to make her message known. There are no costs involved in becoming part of the La Salette Laity. It simply requires brief reflection time each day and willingness to attend local presentations about the La Salettte topics and the lifestyle of La Salette Laity.
The steps of this personal commitment include filling out the enclosed form and promising to:
1) Reflect daily, using the ““La Salette Laity Handbook: 31 Days of Apparition Reflections, Vol. One”;
2) Pray daily an Our Father and a Hail Mary;
3) Learn more about the four topics of La Salette Spirituality: La Salette, Community, Ministry, and Spirituality. This can be done by attending La Salette presentations, Retreats, or Days of Recollection offered locally or by viewing DVDs or reading books or other free materials on La Salette.
4) Participate in a ministry in your local parish or nearby La Salette ministry, sharing your La Salette spirituality in the place where you worship and minister.
Who are La Salette Associates?
Being a La Salette Associate is another way to be part of the La Salette Laity. Founded in the early 1970s, the Associates are groups of committed Catholics, across North America who wish a fuller and more regular formation and community involvement with the La Salette Missionaries.
They pray each day but also have monthly meetings to pray together and learn more about the La Salette message and mission, attend a yearly retreat and serve as co-missionaries in nearby La Salette ministries.
As a sign of their commitment, each year they make public promises (near the La Salette Feast, Sept. 19th) to continue their journey of ever-closer bonding to the communities of La Salette Religious and Associates. This is for them a time of celebration of their vocation and recommitment to Mary’s message of reconciliation.
What are some basic mutual benefits that can
come from the close involvement and connection
between La Salette Laity and the La Salette Missionaries?
Greatly encouraged by the Second Vatican Council and the laity’s ever-closer association with the La Salette Missionaries we ask you to reflect on the following two questions:
• How can (or does) being and ministering as a La Salette Layperson benefit your faith and daily life?
• As co-missionaries, can those laity closely associated with the La Salette religious communities expect a legitimate degree of autonomy, respect for their background, faith and gifts, and an active voice in the development of this important new relationship between La Salette Laity and the La Salette Missionaries?
Since the early years of devotion to Our Lady of La Salette, the Memorare to Our Lady of La Salette and the La Salette Invocation have been a part of the prayer of her devotees. I would suggest that you might read – or better pray – these beautiful words, asking for Mary’s help, comfort and intercession with her only Son.
Memorare to Our Lady of La Salette
Remember, Our Lady of La Salette, true Mother of Sorrows,
the tears you shed for us on Calvary.
Remember also the care you have taken to keep us faithful to Christ, your Son.
Having done so much for your children, you will not now abandon us.
Comforted by this consoling thought,
we come to you pleading, despite our infidelities and ingratitude.
Virgin of Reconciliation, do not reject our prayers, but intercede for us,
obtain for us the grace to love Jesus above all else.
May we console you by a holy life
and so come to share the eternal life Christ gained by his cross. Amen.
La Salette Invocation
Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners,
pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you.