By Harry Winter, OMI
May 29, 2022 marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Father Michel Guerin, the pastor of Pontmain, France, during Mary’s apparition of Jan. 17,1871, to four children, one of whom became an Oblate (click here to see previous article from May 3, 2021). When Fr. Guerin became pastor in 1840, he had to practically rebuild the parish, both the church and the parishioners were considered abandoned. He accomplished this shortly before Mary’s apparition. His Wikipedia article is quite extensive.
Although he did not see Mary, as the children did, he led devotions during her apparition. His reputation for holiness has spread, with the diocese opening his cause for canonization on June 1, 2013. He is now a “Servant of God,” the next step before beatification.
The postulator of his cause is Madame Anne Bernet, and on May 29, she will give a presentation at Pontmain of his life. There will be a visit to his tomb and four other places in the village associated with him.
Many English Catholics now make pilgrimage to Pontmain, since the village is very close to the English Channel. The website may be directly accessed, or one may pull it up on the Mission-Unity-Dialogue website, www.harrywinter.org, Mary and Unity page.
Devotional materials to Our Lady of Pontmain (Our Lady of Hope) are also available from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence, Tewksbury, MA, attention Father William O’Donnell, OMI. For many years, this office was led by Brother James Lucas, OMI, who died this past year in the evening of Jan. 16, when the apparition feast day had already begun in France.
The weekly novena prayers were prayed every Monday evening, at Holy Angels Church, Buffalo, NY, until its closure in 2020.
An increasing number of churches across the USA are now named “Our Lady of Hope.” I welcome hearing about novena devotions conducted to her at these churches, at retreat centers, and houses of formation.