An Exchange Backed by Gold

By Marc Massery

This is the 10th article in a series on approved apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In late 1932, as Communism spread into western Europe and as Adolf Hitler was rising to power in Germany, Our Lady appeared 33 times to a group of five children in the small town of Beauraing, Belgium.

Due to the political turmoil of the time, many in the West were falling away from the Catholic faith. Through these five Belgian children, the Blessed Virgin Mary led many closer to Christ through her Immaculate Heart.

The visionaries included three children from the Voisin family (Gilberte, 13; Fernande, 15; and Albert, 11), as well as two from the Degeimbre family (Andrée, 14, and Gilberte, 9).

Each evening, Fernande and Albert Voisin, with Andrée and Gilberte Degeimbre, would walk to the other Gilberte's school and wait for her dismissal in a nearby playground, which had a shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes.

One evening in November, Albert saw a woman in a long white gown walking over a bridge. She looked young, in her late teens, and wore a crown that shone heavenly light.

The woman began to float toward them with clouds beneath her feet. The others could see the woman, too, including Gilberte Voisin, who had just been dismissed from school. The children told one of the religious sisters working at the school what they were witnessing. Not able to see the vision herself, she dismissed their story as nonsense.

The following evening, all five children saw the heavenly woman once again in the same place. When their parents found out, they worried that someone was fooling them. One of the mothers, Mrs. Degeimbre, inspected the bushes the next evening, expecting to find the prankster. While she poked through the shrubs, the woman appeared to the children once more. The woman held her hands together in prayer, smiled at them, and disappeared.

In the next apparition, the woman appeared underneath a hawthorn tree in the garden near the school, where she would continue to visit. Every time Our Lady revealed herself to the children, they would immediately drop to their knees in unison and recite the Hail Mary. During one apparition, Albert asked, "Are you the Immaculate Virgin?" She smiled and nodded her head.

Word spread, and crowds gathered each evening Our Lady appeared to them. Still, only the children could see her. In December, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, about 15,000 people gathered at the school, hoping to see a miracle. During this apparition, doctors tested the children while they entered into states of ecstasy. Doctors slapped, pinched, and tried to singe the children, but they remained unaffected.

On Dec. 29, 1933, the Blessed Virgin Mary opened her arms in a farewell gesture, revealing her heart of gold, which gleamed brightly. She gained the name "The Virgin of the Golden Heart." The children wept in bitter disappointment at her departure.

In 1933, 2 million pilgrims reportedly visited that tree, many receiving miraculous cures and powerful conversions. In 1943, Bishop Andre-Marie Charue accepted the apparitions of Our Lady of Beauraing as legitimate.

View the next article in this series.


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