Orbey, France 1491
THE FIRST VISION
A blacksmith by the name of Thierry Schoeré who lived in the village of Orbey, was on his way to market on May 3, 1491 when he stopped by an oak tree. A man had died there of a fatal accident and in his memory his family had placed a crucifix on the tree near where he fell. Thierry got off his horse and knelt down to say a prayer for the repose of the victim’s soul. Suddenly Thierry was dazzled by a bright light and in it he distinguished the Blessed Mother dressed in a long white veil. She was holding three ears of corn in her right hand while the other hand held a clump of ice. Without identifying herself she began to speak, Arise, brave man. See these ears? These are the symbols of fine harvests that will reward virtuous and generous people and bring peace and contentment in the homes of faithful Christians. As to the ice, it means hail, frost, flood, famine and all its attendant misery and desolation that will punish disbelievers with the gravity of their sins which tire the Divine Mercy. Go down to the village and announce to all the people the meaning of these prophecies. When the vision disappeared, the blacksmith became terribly frightened, and on reaching the village, he said nothing, in disobedience of the Lady’s wishes. He went inside the market, purchased a sack of wheat and started to adjust it on the back of his mount. But the sack of wheat became uncommonly heavy and could not be lifted. Even with the help of others, the sack could not be moved. It was then that he remembered the words of the Virgin, and realizing that the weight of the sack was a signal to him, he loudly shared the message that had been entrusted to him. Many people heard the message spoken with sincerity and took it to heart, resolving to do better in the future. When he had finished telling of his experience and the message given to him, he easily lifted the sack of wheat, secured it on his mount, and left for home.
CHAPEL IS BUILT ON THE APPARITION SITE
During the summer of the same year, a wooden chapel was built on the site of the apparition. Pilgrims made their way there and miracles were reported. Eventually, this little church was enlarged with the addition of other buildings. For many years, various religious Orders conducted services for the many pilgrims who came from all parts of the country, especially on May 3, the anniversary of the apparition. For the 519th anniversary in 2010, special services were held. During this observance, many ears of corn were blessed by several priests. These priests, the Redemptorists, have cared for the shrine since 1911. Four years following the apparition, in 1495, after careful investigations were conducted, the suffragan of Basel authorized worship † at the shrine, and all demonstrations of faith. The relationship expressed between a bishop and his archbishop. As suffragan, a bishop yields precedence of honor, even his own diocese, to his archbishop. But in the government of his diocese a bishop is independent of archiepiscopal jurisdiction. Along with other suffragans, a bishop has equal votes in provincial councils, held under the presidency of the archbishop. “Worship” as applied to Our Lady does not mean “adoration.” It means “honor” in this context.
~Excerpts from “See How She Loves Us”~