Sanctuary of Our Lady of Pontmain – Mass times, statue and website

Basilique Notre-Dame, 53220 Rue Notre Dame, Pontmain, France

Website of the Sanctuary

02 43 05 07 26

Every day: from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm

Coming to Pontmain and having the best stay:

Apparition of Our Lady of Pontmain

On January 17th 1871, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Virgin Mary appeared in the sky of Pontmain to four children. She gave a message of prayer and hope.

On February 2nd 1872, the Bishop of Laval, Monsignor Wicart, acknowledged the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Pontmain to be genuine.
29 May 1872

After the death of Father Michel Guérin, Monsignor Wicart, Bishop of Laval, commissions the Missionaries of the Oblats of Mary Immaculate to the construction of a Sanctuary.

15 october 1900 – Consecration of the Sanctuary by Monsignor Geay

21 February 1905 – Pope Pius X elevates the status of the Sanctuary to that off a Basilica

24 July 1934 – Coronation of the Virgin Mary (the work of Vallet)

Places of Prayer in Pontmain

Pray in the Chapel of Light – open day and night, excepted Saturday

Chapel of Light – Situated by the entrance to the Basilica. The chapel contains a beautiful mosaic.

Pray in the Parish Church – open summer 8am – 7pm

The parish church has been maintained in its original state, at the time of the apparition.

Sanctuary of Our lady of Pontmain

It is in the church that it all started: on Sunday 15th January 1871, the parishioners gathered for prayer with their parish piest Father Michel Guérin, weighed down in their hearts with anxiety and fear for their 38 youths who had left for the warand for whom there was no news.

It is in this church that they prayed regularly and with fervour. But on that Sunday, they said: “Father we have prayed well, but the good Lord doesn’t hear us” Three days later, on Tuesday 17th January, the Virgin Mary will come to renew their hope: “OH! DO PRAY MY CHILDREN GOD WILL ANSWER YOU VERY SOON, MY SON LETS HIS HEART BE TOUCHED”

Pray in the Basilica – open summer 7.30am – 7pm

  • In front of the Blessed Sacrament (Blessed Sacrament Chapel)
  • In front of the crowned statue of Our Lady of Pontmain ( Chapel of the Virgin Mary)
  • in front of the adjacent statue of Saint Joseph
  • In front of Saint-Michel (St Michel Chapel)
  • In front of the icon of Our Lady of Families
  • In front of the chapel of the Blessed John-Paul II.
  • In front of Saint Curé d’Ars, Saint Therese of Lisieux

Pray in front of the column of the Apparition

Situated in the square in front of the Basilica, in an area signified by the Witnesses. It is at some 40 metres above this column that the Virgin Mary appeared. Pilgrims like to pray in front of this statue.

Sanctuary of Our lady of Pontmain

Pray in the Barn of the Barbedette Family – open summer 8am-7pm

The occurrence took place in front of the barn of the Barbedettes where the witnesses gazed at the Apparition of the Virgin Mary; they were surrounded by sixty parishioners who prayed, with their parish priest Michel Guérin.

Today, this barn, with it’s thatched roof is a place developed: for prayer, alone or in a group and to gain an understanding of the apparition:

Pray in the Chapel of the Pastoral Centre of the Sanctuary

It is open for small groups

Pray on the Way of the Cross

Individuals or groups can visit the Domaine de la Croix which is situated on the edge of the town of Pontmain.

It is wooded place, full of history (remains of the Château of Pontmain that was burnt by the English on 31 May 1431), which allows one to prayerfully reflect on the Way of the Cross as described in the Gospel.

To travel from the Last Supper on Holy Thursday to Pentecost and to gather all nations to Mary, in a place where 4 stones bear the letters PAIX (PEACE).

History of the Apparition 

The sky opened… In the barn, the only sound was the conversation between César Barbedette and Jeanne Détais, who had brought some news of the soldiers gleaned at Saint-Ellier where Jeanne had been preparing a corpse for burial.

Eugène went out “to see the weather”. It was then that he suddenly noticed up in the sky, above and behind Augustin Guidecoq’s house, a beautiful Lady.

First phase of the apparition

“She has a blue dress with golden stars, gold-ribboned slippers, a golden crown widening towards the top with a red band around it, and a black veil.”

The beautiful Lady smiled at him as she did at Joseph who joined him a few moments later. “Maybe it’s the Virgin Mary” said Victoire, their mother.

While the events of the first phase were taking place, other things were happening. Victoire went to fetch Sister Vitaline, who in turn went to fetch Françoise Richer and Jeanne-Marie, two young boarders and Sister Marie-Edouard who went to fetch the parish priest.

The villagers ran to the barn and started to pray with Sister Vitaline.

Sanctuary of Our lady of Pontmain

Second phase

The parish priest arrived amongst his parishioners. The crowd was talking, discussing, moving about: “Let us pray” said the parish priest. Sister Marie-Edouard started to say the Rosary.

The crowd began the Magnificat. Then Joseph Babin, a carter by trade, came back from the market at Ernée. “You’re right to pray,” he shouted to the crowd, “the Prussians have arrived at Laval.” At the parish priest’s invitation the villagers sang the litanies of the Virgin Mary.

They sang ‘Inviolata’. At the invocation ‘O Mater alma Christi carissima’, the crowd ended ‘Inviolata’ and sang ‘Salve Regina’. The crowd prayed fervently, in silence. A blue oval with four unlit candles appeared around the beautiful Lady.

Also, a small red cross was to be seen on her dress at the place where the heart was.

Sanctuary of Our lady of Pontmain

The beautiful Lady became sad. A few minutes later, she smiled again and as the prayers became more fervent, she grew slowly in size. The oval also grew and the stars multiplied.

A big white banner unrolled under the feet of the beautiful Lady and then a word appeared letter by letter ‘BUT’.

At that moment the word PRAY was written on the banner and then two other words ‘MY CHILDREN.’

Other words appeared, forming a phrase : ‘GOD WILL ANSWER YOU VERY SOON”

Third phase

The villagers sang the hymn,
“Mother of Hope
Whose name is so sweet
Protect our land of France
Pray, pray for us.”
“Oh, how lovely she is”, the children said again and again.
“It’s as if a roller, the same colour as the sky has passed over the words” said the children.
Sanctuary of Our lady of Pontmain

Then they sang another hymn, the one they had sung at school that afternoon.

The Virgin Mary lifted her hands to the level of her shoulders and moved her fingers in time to the hymn as if to accompany an invisible instrument.

Mary was smiling. The banner and the message disappeared. Mary’s face showed great sadness. She seemed to speak but her voice was not beard.

Fourth phase

“My gentle Jesus At hast the time has come
To pardon Our Penitent hearts
We will never Again offend
Thy supreme goodness O gentle Jesus.”
The Parce Domine (Spare us, O Lord !) served as a response
“Look, she’s becoming sad again” said the children. The silent crowd prayed intensely.

Sanctuary of Our lady of Pontmain

A red cross with ‘Jesus Christ’ written in white appeared in front of Her. It bore a Christ of the same colour.

The Virgin took the cross in both hands and tilted it towards the children.

A small star came to light the four candles inside the oval, just as the priest did at church on the Holy Virgin’s altar. The star then took up a position above the Virgin’s head.

Fifth phase

Sister Marie-Edouard started the hymn “Ave Maris Stella”. “My dear friends, said the parish priest, we will all say the evening prayer together.”

Everyone kneeled down where they were. When they reached the exanimation of their conscience, something new happened.
“Do you still see anything ?” asked Father Guérin. “No Father, it’s all over”.

Sanctuary of Our lady of Pontmain

It was almost nine o’clock in the evening. Everyone went home. Minds were at rest and all fear was gone.

The red crucifix disappeared. A small white cross appeared on each shoulder and the Holy Virgin smiled again at the children.

A large white veil appeared at the feet of the Virgin. It rose slowly in front of Her, making her disappear from view little by little. It reached the face, then the crown. No more was to be seen.

The witnesses – Eugène Barbedette 

Eugène was born in Pontmain on 4th November 1858. Like his brother, he was taught to pray from a very young age. It has to be remembered that at Pontmain the rosary was said each day in every household since the arrival of Father Michel Guérin.

“As soon as we came back from school, all kinds of small tasks were waiting to be done at home. We had to turn the spinning wheel for our mother and for the servant, fray the old woollen rags, crush the gorse in the barn, slice up the beetroot and carrots to give the animals to eat. I remember that this work was quite hard.we never had time to be idle”(Eugène’s words).

On the morning of 17th January 1871, after working with his father, because he had to replace his elder brother Auguste who had gone off to join the war, Eugène went to church to pray and serve Mass before going to school. In the evening he went back to the barn to work when, going outside to “see what the weather was like”, he was the first to see the Beautiful Lady.

Sanctuary of Our lady of Pontmain

The witnesses – Joseph Barbedette

Joseph was born on 20th November 1860. He was of a happier, more cheerful disposition than his brother. Like his brother, he had been brought up by Victoire to pray and to work.

The upbringing that Victoire gave her children was quite usual at that time. It was the mother who was in charge of bringing up the children.

It was not that the father took no interest in his children, but he was busy with his work in the fields whereas the mother stayed at home. He was only brought in as a last resort in cases which were judged by the mother to be sufficiently serious (“I’m going to tell your father”).

Joseph had slept in the barn with Eugène as they were used to doing.

Their father had woken them up early, they had worked, eaten their morning soup and then gone to church where they said their morning prayer and then walked the Way of the Cross (this was to fulfil a promise which Eugène had made to Auguste to ensure that he would come back safe and sound from the war) before serving Mass.

“Oh ! The beautiful Lady ! How lovely she is”. It was with these words that Joseph greeted the apparition when he came out of the barn just after his brother.

The witnesses – Jeanne-Marie Lebose

Jeanne-Marie was born in Gosné (Ille-et-Vilaine) in the village of Louvel on 12th September 1861. She was the only daughter of François Lebossé and Jeanne-Marie Garancher. The day after her birth she was baptised at the church in Gosné by Father Beaulieu, the parish priest.

This is how Jeanne-Marie arrived at a very young age in Pontmain to live with her aunt Perrine Lebossé, whose religious name was Sister Marie-Timothée of the Cross, and who was born in Laignelet (Ille-et-Vilaine). She was headmistress of the school and also went to people’s homes to give

On the evening of 17th January she followed Sister Vitaline and the two other boarders and saw for herself all that happened that evening above the house of Augustin Guidecoq.

Sanctuary of Our lady of Pontmain

On 17 of each month

In honour of Our Lady of Pontmain, on 17th of each month in commemoration of the Apparition on 17th of January, a Marian Day has been prepared for pilgrims to Pontmain.

Timatable for 17th of each month

09h 30 : Shared gospel time in the Salle Saint Joseph (the gospel reading of the day)
11 h 00 : Mass followed by the Angelus at the column of the Apparition
15 h 00 : Lecture in the Salle Notre Dame on the theme “Prayer through the psalms with Mary”
16 h 00 : Rosary
16 h 30 : Vespers
17 h 00 : Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Weekday Mass times

  • 08:00 Laude
  • 11:00 Mass – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter), followed by the Angelus and the Mid-Day Office
  • 16:00 Rosary – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)
  • 16:30 Vespers – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)
  • 17:00 Exposition – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)

Sunday Mass times

  • 08h00 Laudes
  • 09h00 Mass – parish church
  • 10h30 Mass – Basilica
  • 15h30 Rosary, vespers, benediction (or other celebrations according to circumstances) – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)
  • 17h00 Mass – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)

The Sanctuary Pastoral Centre is available as a venue for pilgrims in groups. Individual pilgrims have the possibility of experiencing their pilgrimage in the following ways :

WEEKDAY TIMETABLE

  • 08:00 Laude
  • 11:00 Mass – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter), followed by the Angelus and the Mid-Day Office
  • 16:00 Rosary – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)
  • 16:30 Vespers – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)
  • 17:00 Exposition – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)

Confessions and spiritual guidance:

  • 10:15 to 11:00 and 15:00 to 17:00

SUNDAY TIMETABLE

  • 08h00 Laudes
  • 09h00 Mass – parish church
  • 10h30 Mass – Basilica
  • 15h30 Rosary, vespers, benediction (or other celebrations according to circumstances) – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)
  • 17h00 Mass – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)

Discover the message – Son et lumière in the Barn

A Son et Lumière (12 mins) can be experienced automatically with a single 2 € coin. Videos about the Apparition can be viewed by inquiring at the reception of the Centre Pastoral du Sanctuaire (C.P.S.) (viewing is free)

1. “Arcane de la nuit” (30 mn)
2. “Quand la Vierge Marie écrit dans le ciel” (45 mn)

A viewing alone or in a limited group is very much recommended.

The pilgrimage should then be followed to the parish church, to the Barn and then to the Basilica. The spiritual journey can be continued by visiting the Domaine de la Croix where the way of the Stations of the Cross lead us to “Life” in the Resurrection of Christ !

Weekdays – Mass times

  • 08:00 Laude
  • 11:00 Mass – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter), followed by the Angelus and the Mid-Day Office
  • 16:00 Rosary – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)
  • 16:30 Vespers – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)
  • 17:00 Exposition – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)

Sunday mass times

  • 08h00 Laudes
  • 09h00 Mass – parish church
  • 10h30 Mass – Basilica
  • 15h30 Rosary, vespers, benediction (or other celebrations according to circumstances) – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)
  • 17h00 Mass – Basilica (in summer) – parish church (winter)

Pray Our Lady of Pontmain – Mother of hope, Our Lady of peace

Our Lady 
Most gracious Virgin Mary,
by your apparition at Pontmain,
you remind us of the importance of prayer,
you fortified in our hearts the hope and trust in God,
and you gave us peace.

Listen now with favour to our fervent prayers,
so that peace may be restored in our hearts,
in our families,
in our country and in all nations:
PEACE, the fruit of justice, truth and charity.

Inflame in our souls the wish to live fully our Christian faith,
without any compromise, in all circumstances of our life.

Help us to understand our brethren
and to love them in God from the depth of our hearts.

Amen.

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