Appearance of Our Lady of Hope

In the midst of the Franco-Prussian War, the people of Pontmain, France, were on the brink of despair. The parish priest, Father Michel Guerin, continued to guide the townspeople spiritually even during these difficult times.


On January 17, 1871, Father Guerin told his parishioners, “God will have pity on us. His mercy shall come to us through Mary.” That night, a boy, Eugene Barbedette, while helping his father in the barn, was greeted by a smiling woman who had appeared in the darkness of the sky. He was joined by his entire family, but only his brother, Joseph, could see Our Lady.
A crowd formed, hoping to see the heavenly vision. They began to pray the Rosary, and after some time, the children saw a blue oval frame with four candles around Our Lady, whose dress was covered with stars.


Father Guerin led the assembled people in the Magnificat and the Litany of Our Lady. Words appeared beneath the vision: “God will soon answer your prayers…My Son allows Himself to be moved.”  After thorough investigation, the Catholic Church approved the apparition of Our Lady of Pontmain, or Our Lady of Hope.


January 17, the day of the apparition, 140 years ago, became the feast day of Our Lady of Hope and thus the feast day of Our Lady of Hope Parish.

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