The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 171.


Pellevoisin, a small township in the department of the Indre, has become famous through the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to Estelle Faguet. In the spring of 1876 Estelle was thought to be dying at Pellevoisin. For twelve years she had suffered from an internal tumour. She was now judged by the doctors to be in the last stage of pulmonary consumption. Her condition was also complicated by acute peritonitis. A holy girl, she had attempted to be a Nun, but ill-health had made this impossible. On leaving the Convent she had entered the service of the Countess de la Rochefoucauld. On February 10, since her ordinary medical attendant, a Dr. Bernard, had said that it was useless for him to waste his time in going to see her, another physician, a Dr. Hubert, visited her in his place, but having made his examination, pronounced that her lungs were cavernous, and that it was use less to torture her further with medicine, as she had only two or three hours to live. Estelle overheard these words. Had it not been that she was the only support of her poor and aged parents, she would have been perfectly content to die, but she had written a petition to the Blessed Virgin, which she had caused to be placed beneath a statue of our Lady of Lourdes : " Behold my parents' sorrow. O Mary, you know that I am their all. If because of my sins I cannot be completely cured, you can at least obtain for me a little strength of body, so that I may be able to earn my living and provide for the needs of my father and mother, who, as you see, are on the eve of being obliged to beg their bread. The thought of this causes me intense suffering. I put my trust in you, my Mother. I know that if you wish it, your Son will cure me. . . . May He restore me to health if such be His good pleasure. If not, may His Holy Will be done." The faith and confidence of Estelle were to be marvellously rewarded. Of the fifteen visions of our Lady with which she was favoured, five in the month of February were connected with her restoration to perfect health. A few nights after the doctor had declared that the poor young woman had but a few hours to live, and for five nights in succession, Estelle Faguet gazed upon a figure of surpassing loveliness, surrounded by a halo of soft light. First it appeared at the foot of her bed, clothed in a white flowing garment with white girdle and white veil. The Apparition spoke words of surpassing sweetness : " Have courage and patience. You will have to suffer five days longer in honour of my Son's Five Wounds. On Saturday you will either die or be restored to health. If my Son grants you life, I wish you to proclaim my glory." The next night Estelle was told definitely that she would be well on the Saturday. Amongst other words to which she listened, she heard these: " Think not that on being restored to life you will be exempt from suffering. It is in suffering that the merit of life consists." Meanwhile there were no signs of any recovery, and the parish priest, to whom, as her spiritual father, Estelle told all that had occurred, was, perhaps naturally, sceptical. On the Friday night Estelle was thought to be on the point of death. The next morning she declared to the priest who visited her that she was cured. Appearances, however, seemed to say otherwise. She was still in bed and her right arm still lay helpless by her side, paralysed and swollen to double its normal size. The priest, still sceptical, told Estelle that he would bring her Holy Communion, adding the words : "The Blessed Virgin can obtain your cure if she will. As soon as you have received the Blessed Sacrament, try to make the sign of the Cross with your right hand. If you succeed, it will be a sign that what you say is true." Estelle shortly after wards received Communion. About twelve persons were present in the room. As commanded, she made the sign of the Cross with the hand till then swollen and helpless. It too now was healed. The rest of her bodily restoration to perfect health had, it was discovered, already taken place. She herself said that it was about half-past twelve in the night— early on the Saturday morning—when she knew that she had been suddenly and completely cured. The prediction had been fulfilled. It was found that the tumour, of twelve years' growth, which lately had considerably increased in size, had disappeared, leaving no trace—all pain had ceased, and the lungs were once more sound and healthy. Shortly after her Communion Estelle rose, dressed herself, laughed gaily, and ate solid food with a good appetite. Since then she has enjoyed in all respects perfect health. The two doctors who had attended her did not hesitate to bear witness to the extraordinary nature of her cure. Dr. Bernard affirmed that it was of a nature to upset all medical prognostics. Dr. Hubert declared, as was evident, that it could be explained by no natural laws.