"La Salette is an invitation to the joy of a world reconciled to God. Virgin Mary weeps for by the conversion of sinners and the mercy of God, the smile back on the faces and the mountains are covered with wheat. "
Bishop Guy de Kerimel, Bishop of Grenoble-Vienne
On our return trip from Maine, we decided to stop off at the La Salette Shrine in Enfield, NH.We make it a family priority of visiting as many shrines as we can which I write about here. The shrine is set to close in 2015 due to a lack of personnel and a restructuring of the order attached to the Shrine.
The drive was lush to say the least; Lake Mascoma sits right across from the Shrine giving the pilgrim every chance to revel in God's creative ability. La Salette is build on an old Shaker stead which was then sold to the order. On the grounds, there is a cafeteria, a gift shop that has variety with books, statues, crucifixes, rosaries, etc., and this little side building that has nativity sets from around the world. We didn't get to visit that particular building since the amount of tiny wandering fingers was a disaster waiting to happen.
We did get to walk the entire shrine with the chickadees. There is a Rosary garden with a pond encircled with a large rosary made from stone roses to mark the beads. The next segment is a peace garden that was created in the 1980's centering around the conflict in Japan.
My favorite part was the Apparition Garden; it showcased some beautiful hand carved marble statues telling the tale of the apparition of the Weeping Mother to Melanie and Maximin. The overall peace the shrine offers is surprising in way. I didn't intend to fall in love with the Weeping Mother of La Salette. Yet her message is so close to my heart as a mother and as a person who struggles with sin. Her message speaks of keeping the Sabbath, daily prayer, and other societal ills; She weeps because of the pain it causes our Lord her son. The children, Melanie and Maximin, described the crucifix upon the Weeping Mother's breast as radiant with a hammer and pincers; the hammer representing our sins that hammered the nails into Christ on the cross while the pincers represent penance and prayer reconciling us to Christ.
The chickadees loved walking the Stations of the Cross that were marked by life size marble statues and a tomb at the end. In the middle is a set of pilgrim stairs which my husband completed with the two girls leading up to the crucifixion of our Lord with Our Blessed Mother, Mary Magdalene, and St. John at the feet of a dying Christ.
For more information about La Salette, I suggest this prayer book from Amazon which is available for e-readers.
Other Resources include:
- Information about the apparition, the order's work, and much more here in North America.
- This website offers images and information about the original shrine in France where she appeared.
- A blog about applying our Weeping Mother's message to our every day life.