What is the Significance of Our Lady of Banneux, Belgium?
Between January 15th and March 2nd 1933, twelve-year-old Mariette Beco experienced eight apparitions of the Virgin Mary, though it wasn’t to be officially approved by The Church until some 16 years later. Nowadays the once quiet hamlet of Banneux, Belgium is a pilgrimage site welcoming hundreds of thousands of devoted pilgrims each year.
As pilgrimage tour organisers, we see first-hand the deepening of faith, the expansion of understanding, and the reconnection with God that Christian pilgrimages offer followers of the Lord. Whilst we plan religious pilgrimage tours across the globe, here we want to share the story of Our Lady of Banneux.
The Story of Our Lady of Banneux
A small town in Belgium, Banneux was a poor farm village where many families lived out their days in poverty, battling brutal winters and humid summers in the swampy surroundings. The story of Our Lady of Banneux begins with the Baco family. Not particularly pious people, they were considered particularly poor for the region with eleven children in a four bedroom house. It is with the eldest daughter, Mariette Beco, equally disinterested in Christian teachings, who was to be blessed in the bitter winter of 1933.
Whilst at her kitchen window, Mariette saw a lady in a white gown and blue sash standing in her garden, smiling at her. Mariette called to her mother who seeing a faint white figure, closed the curtain afraid that the apparition was a ghost or witch. Three days later, whilst Mariette knelt at the place where she had first seen the lady in white, the apparition returned before Mariette She then led Mariette to a small spring, telling her to plunge her hands into the water. The lady in white appeared a third time, declaring that she was the Virgin of the Poor, the Blessed Virgin Mary. She said that she had come to console the sick and the suffering and that the spring she had shown to Mariette during the second vision was a source “reserved for All the Nations”.
The spring soon became a site of miraculous healing and prayer and has continued to provide comfort and wellness to pilgrims ever since.
Mariette passed away in 2011, saying only a few years earlier that she was “no more than a postman” for Our Lady of Banneux. She was laid to rest in Banneux Notre Dame cemetery.
What to Find at the Shrine of Our Lady of Banneux
Pilgrims who journey to the shrine of Our Lady of Banneux, the Virgin of the Poor, will undoubtedly have the opportunity to visit the sacred spring. A small chapel which Our Lady of Banneux is said to have requested during one of her eight apparitions stands close to the spring. Appropriately named the Chapel of Apparitions, pilgrims are welcomed for prayer. A large church and several more small chapels in the surrounding forest hold regular mass whilst the Stations of the Cross, a hospital for sick pilgrims takes in those who come looking to be healed in the blessed village of Banneux.
To learn more about our group and individual pilgrimage tours, contact ITS Travel today or have a browse of our website.