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Our Lady of La Salette

Pilgrimage of Father de Géramb to Our Lady of the Guard.

Dom Géramb, abbot of the Trappist monastery, on his return from the Holy Land, and close to reaching the port, was beset by a severe storm. Here is how the Blessed Virgin came to the rescue of the crew:

“I had,” he said, “expected to be able to get from Malta to Genoa. After having waited much longer than I would have liked, and always in vain, for a ship to appear, I changed my mind and decided to entrust myself to the Eagle, an English brig which was leaving for Marseille. The weather was terrible; we were obliged to sail in the middle of continuous storms. Never in my life have I suffered so much at sea. For twenty-four hours at least, everything seemed hopeless. Sailors and passengers, we thought we were lost; I read on all the faces the apprehension of an imminent, inevitable catastrophe, and I shared the common anxiety. In this painful situation, the crew, which was mistreated, presented the most touching religious spectacle. In spite of the continual whistling of the winds, in spite of the rapid succession of lightnings, in spite of the repeated flashes of lightning, which, rumbling ceaselessly over our heads, threatened to fall upon us, the evening prayer was not once interrupted. Never, in the silence and seclusion of the cloister, did I hear the antiphons and litanies of the Blessed Virgin sung with more devotion and fervor. The captain was the first to give the example. His strong and sonorous voice, to which all the sailors responded unanimously, resounded in the distance, and these songs, animated by the vivacity of faith and confidence, dominated at intervals the noise of the sky and the angry waves. Our prayers were answered: the ship escaped all perils and happily reached port. Such an unhoped-for benefit was not, as it happens all too often, forgotten and disregarded. The day after disembarking, the crew and most of the passengers rushed to the chapel of Our Lady of the Guard to thank their divine Protectress and to testify to their sincere gratitude for the help she had obtained for them by interceding with her divine Son.

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