is a small mountaintop village near Grenoble
. It is most noted for an apparition
of the Virgin Mary
that was reported
in 1846 by two shepherd
children, Mélanie Calvat
and Maximin Giraud
, followed by numerous accounts of miraculous
The Roman Catholic Church investigated the claims and found them to be basically credible and was approved under the name of Our Lady of La Salette.
Devotion to Our Lady of La Salette was weakened in the late nineteenth century by the controversy surrounding the claims of one of the seers, Mélanie Calvat and the precarious situation of the Gallican church in a France hostile to religion.
Recent release of the secrets from the Vatican Secret Archives have clarified the situation.
Despite these events the cult of La Salette flourished in the twentieth century, and together with Our Lady of Lourdes (1858) and Our Lady of Fatima (1917) La Salette remains one of the most famous Marian apparitions of the modern age.
September 19, 1846
Two shepherd children - Maximin Giraud and Mélanie Calvat - reported a vision of the Virgin Mary on a mountaintop near La Salette, France, on September 19, 1846 around 3.00 p.m. during their cowherding. They were eleven and fourteen years old at the time and had received only a very limited education.
The apparition consisted of three different stages. Firstly, the children beheld in a resplendent light a beautiful lady clad in a strange costume. She was seated on a rock and in tears, with her face resting in her hands. This took place at the ravine called ravin de la Sezia
Secondly, she stood upright and talked to the children, speaking alternately in French and in the regional patois. She charged them with a message which they were to deliver to all her people. This also took place in the ravin de la Sezia. After complaining of the impiety and sinfulness of men, and threatening them with dreadful chastisements in case they should persevere in evil, she promised them the Divine mercy if they would amend. Finally, she communicated to each of the children a special secret, before disappearing into the sky. This happened on the plateau called Mont-sous-les-Baisses.
They told of their experience to their employers, Baptiste Pra and Pierre Selme. These wrote the account down September 20, 1846, the day after the apparition, in a letter.
Maximin Giraud was questioned upon his story by the mayor of the village, Pierre Peytard September 21, 1846.
Pra and Selme informed Louis Perrin, the parish priest of La Salette, who himself informed the archpriest of Corps, Pierre Mélin. Impressed by the account, Perrin preached about it at Holy Mass. The bishop of Grenoble, Philibert de Bruillard, was officially informed by Mélin on October 4, 1846.
The news of the apparition spread like wildfire. Maximin's father, Jean-Maximin Giraud, not being religious at all, converted on November 8, 1846. This was the first of many conversions. Soon several miraculous cures took place on the mountain of La Salette, and pilgrimages to the place were begun. The first pilgrimage took place on November 24, 1846, with both children participating. On May 31 about 5,000 pilgrims participated in another pilgrimage, on the occasion of the planting of a crossway up the mountain.
In October 1846 Mélanie and Maximin were questioned by Mathieu Cat, a diocesan priest. In February 1847 both seers were questioned by François Lagier, a French priest who spoke the local patois fluently. On April 16, 1847 both children were interrogated by a city magistrate of Grenoble, the local juge de paix Fréderic-Joseph Long. They were reinterrogated by Pierre Lambert, another diocesan priest on the apparition May 29, 1847.
The first miraculous cure that was recognised as such was that of Claire Pierron S.S.J., known as Sister Saint-Charles, of Avignon on April 16, 1847. The second was that of Mélanie Gamon, of Corps, on August 15, 1847.
On July 22, 1847 Clément Cardinal Villecourt, bishop of La Rochelle made a personal pilgrimage to La Salette. He met both children and questioned them.
One year after the apparition, September 19, 1847, over 50,000 pilgrims came to La Salette to celebrate the anniversary.
Investigation and approval
On July 7, 1847 the bishop of Grenoble asked canons Pierre-Joseph Rousselot and Servant of God André Berthier, both professors at the major seminary of Grenoble, to conduct a detailed investigation of the apparition, and write a full report on them. This report was finished on October 15, 1847.
In November 1847 the bishop submitted the report to a commission of investigation consisting of sixteen experts, under the chairmanship of the diocesan bishop. The members of the commission were all diocesan priests. They were the titulary vicar-generals canon Clair-Melchior Périer and André Berthier, the canons Pierre Joseph Rousselot, Jacques Bouvier, J.-F. Desmoulins, J. Henry, J.-C. Michon, P. Petit, J. Revol and Pierre Chambon, the parish priests Jean-Baptiste Gerin, archpriest of the cathedral of Grenoble, Jean-Pierre Cartellier, archpriest of Saint Joseph parish, H. Genevey, archpriest of Saint Louis parish, J.-H. de Lemps, parish priest of Saint André parish and Jean-Jules Keisser, parish priest of Saint Laurent parish, and the president of the major seminary Jacques-Philippe Orcel.
There were eight conferences in total, which took place on November 8, 15, 16, 17, 22, 29 and December 6 and 13, 1847. During two sessions, Mélanie and Maximan were present and questioned at length. On the final vote twelve of the sixteen members unequivocally supported the apparition. Three of the twelve members, André Berthier, H. Genevey and J.-H. de Lemps had doubts concerning the truth regarding some elements of the apparition. One member, Jean-Pierre Cartellier, expressed certainty that the apparition was false.
Once the commission had finished its deliberations, the report was approved by the commission. The bishop waited giving official approval, because Maurice Cardinal de Bonald, the archbishop of Lyon on whom the bishopric of Grenoble depended, supported Cartellier.
The report was then published by Pierre Joseph Rousselot on June 26, 1848. The report was sent to Pope Pius IX in August 1848. The findings of the report were accepted by the Holy See.
A meeting between Maximin Giraud and Saint Jean Baptist Marie Vianney, better known as "Curé de Ars" took place on September 19, 1850. A small incident occurred. After a period of doubt due to this unfortunate misunderstanding, the saint too became a strong defender of the apparition until the end of his life.
However, resistance inside the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in France, who wanted appeasement with the authorities, did not totally disappear. Cardinal de Bonald did not believe the apparition was genuine, and suspected a subterfuge. The cardinal demanded that the children tell him their secret under false pretenses, implying that he had a mandate from the Pope, which he did not have. The children finally acceded to this demand. On July 2 and 6 1851 both children wrote down an account of the apparition and of the secrets the Virgin Mary communicated to them. As a result of this, Mélanie, who wrote her text at the convent of the Sisters of Providence in Corenc, only wrote a shortened version of the secret and insisted that both texts be carried directly to the Pope. It was under these conditions that two representatives, canons Pierre Joseph Roussilot and Jean-Baptiste Gérin, were sent to Rome. The text of the two private secrets were both handed to Pope Pius IX on July 18 1851.
Secretary of State, Luigi Cardinal Lambruschini officially confirmed the communication of the documents the following day. His assistant and advocatus diaboli, Mgr Frattini, did the same. These documents were published only very recently, being discovered by Michel Corteville M.S. in the Vatican Secret Archives. That same day, July 19, 1851, the fifth anniversary of the apparition, the apparition was officially approved in a pastoral letter by the diocesan bishop under the title of Our Lady of La Salette. He wrote in his mandate:
- [The apparition] has within itself all the characteristics of the truth, and that the faithful are justified in believing it beyond doubt and for certain. ... (art. 1) ... Hence, in order to bear our warmest gratitude to God and to the glorious Virgin Mary, we authorise the devotion to Our Lady of La Salette. We allow the clergy to preach on this great event and to draw the practical and moral consequences arising from it. ... (art. 3) ... We expressly forbid the faithful and the clergy of our diocese ever to speak or write against the event which we proclaim this day and which, henceforth, demands the respect of all. ... (art. 5)
This letter was later published, in translation, in the Osservatore Romano on June 4, 1852. On October 7, 1850 Luigi Cardinal Lambruschini officially approved the mandate of the bishop of Grenoble.
On August 11, 1851 Maximin reproduced his written account of July 3 at the request of Benjamin Dausse, a friend and trustee of Maximin. From this period on, Mélanie was stigmatised on her hands.
The construction of a sanctuary at the site of the apparition was announced by the Bishop of Grenoble in another pastoral letter on May 1, 1852, which was swiftly followed by the feastly throwing of the first stone May 25. That same day, he canonically instituted the religious congregation of the Missionaries of La Salette.
In 1853 both Maximin Giraud and Mélanie Calvat wrote their secret down again. A new edition was produced at the request of Jacques-Marie-Achille Ginoulhiac, the new Bishop of Grenoble, who was unacquainted with it. On August 5, 1853 Maximin, and on August 5, 6, 12 and 14 1853 Mélanie honoured the request of the bishop by making a written account. These accounts were made public by André Limousin, Louis Gobert, William Bernard Ullathorne O.S.B. and others.
The publication of the approval subdued but did not suppress the opposition, whose leaders, profiting by the succession in May 1853 of the bishop Jacques-Marie-Achille Ginoulhiac (after Philibert Bruillard resigned), retaliated with violent attacks on the reality of the miracle of La Salette. Ginoulhiac had never shown any enthusiasm at all about the apparition and is described as being in good standing with the new regime.
An good example of resistance to the approved apparition inside the Catholic clergy are the publications of diocesan priests Claude-Joseph Déléon and Pierre-Joseph Cartellier, who denounced the apparition of the Virgin Mary as a hoax. They alleged that the woman in the apparition was not the Virgin Mary but a young and disturbed former religious called Constance de Saint-Ferréol de Lamerlière. This story gave rise to a widely advertised suit for slander. They were however obliged to distance themselves from these allegations by the bishop of Grenoble, who condemned these writings as an infamous brochure, full of false allegations, mendacious assertions and gross injuries. The bishop finally publicly confirmed his adherence to his predecessors doctrinal judgement November 4, 1854.
Further examples of radical opposition were ... Laborde, a heretical French priest under interdiction, and ... Ponsot, Protestant pastor of Charleroi.
The messages were later instrumentalised. The controversy that grew in France after the approval of the message, fueled by easy access to both seers by the public at large, made Jacques-Marie-Achille Ginoulhiac declare publicly September 19, 1855:
- The mission of the shepherds is ended, that of the Church begins. They can move away, become dispersed in the world, even unfaithful to the great grace received, but the apparition of Mary will not thereby be shaken, for it is certain and nothing coming after can act against it.
But it was very difficult to stamp out speculation, fueled by the wishes of the French episcopate of appeasement with the Republican regime.
From 1858 onwards, Mélanie was told by the Virgin Mary, she could make her private secret public. She wrote this secret down in an extended version of the 1851 edition, in Darlington, England, where she lived with the Carmelites.
This text further developed the themes of the first, short edition. It also included the first appearance of the religious rule, meant for the ecclesiastical orders that were to be founded. From then on, this element is retained in all further editions of the secret. The text of the edition was then send by courier and intermediary to Pope Pius IX on September 30, 1858. This edition of the secret became lost in the Vatican Secret Archives and is not yet retrieved.
Mélanie got permission to leave the Carmel at Darlington, and return to mainland Europe from William Hogarth, bishop of Hexham and Newcastle on September 19, 1860.
The extended edition of 1858 was reproduced in Marseille in October 1860 on request of the newly appointed spiritual director of Mélanie, Francesco Petagna, who lived in France because of being exiled from his bishopric of Castellammare di Stabia, and some other ecclesiatical superiors. Mélanie shortly went to live in Greece, but then returned to France and Italy.
Maximin Giraud also attributed to the public discussion of the secret. On February 2, 1866 he published a written rebuttal of the allegations made against the apparition. March 1, 1875 Maximin Giraud died peacefully at Corps.
In 1870 both Francesco Petagna and Jacques-Marie-Achille Ginoulhiac attended the First Vatican Council. Petagna supported the proclamation dogma of the papal infallibility, Ginoulhiac did not, and left Rome early. September 6, 1870 the bishop of Grenoble was succeeded by Pierre-Antoine-Justin Paulinier. He is himself succeeded November 18, 1875 by Armand-Joseph Fava.
A copy of the Marseille reproduction of 1860 was made in Castellammare in 1870 and was published on a small scale on April 30, 1873 by Félician Bliard, a French priest. This publication contained the approval of the archbishop of Naples, Sisto Cardinal Sforza.
March 3, 1878 Leo XIII is elected pope after the death of Pius IX. He received Mélanie in private audience December 3, 1878 to discuss the clerical rule given to Mélanie by the Virgin Mary during the apparition and meant for the foundation of a new religious order called Order of the Apostles of the Last Days, and their female equivalent the Order of the Mother of God. She is asked by the pope to return to Grenoble, in order to introduce the rule. This first attempt fails eventually.
Mélanie herself publicised the 1873 edition of the apparition with the imprimatur of Salvatore Count Zola C.R.L., bishop of Lecce, Italy in a work published on November 15, 1879.
A lively controversy followed as to whether the secret published in 1879 was identical with that communicated to Pius IX in 1851, or in its present form it was merely a work of the imagination of the children. This was due to the fact that Mélanie and Maximin only gradually made their secret known over the years, and that these new editions were portrayed by oppononts as fictional accounts after the facts, in order to repudiate the contence of the secret.
After the First Council of the Vatican, Mélanie's publication that the Virgin Mary had confided in her that Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist fueled the controversy further.
In the later and longer editions of the secret, it is clear that this exact formulation was not present in the original text of the secret sent to Pius IX in 1851. But the expanded editions from 1858 onwards do logically elaborate on the more abstract, shortened statements, initially made by the seers. They build upon it by gradually further elaborating and detailing the 1858 edition.
In 1880 Pierre-Louis-Marie Cortet, bishop of Troyes, denounced the Lecce-imprimatured book to the Holy Office, and in turn Prospero Cardinal Caterini, secretary of the Congregation of the Holy Office, wrote back to him, to Vincenzo Maria Sarnelli, bishop of Castellammare di Stabia and to Pierre Archier M.S., superior general of the Missionaries of La Salette. In the very short and personal letter he wrote:
- Admodum Rev. Pater, Litterae tuae diei 23° elapsi julii relatè ad evulgalionem opusculi cujus titulus : «L'apparition de la Très Sainte Vierge sur la montagne de La Salette» relatae sunt Eminentissimi Patribus, und mecum Inquisitoribus qui Paternitati tuae respondendum esse duxerunt Sanctae Sedi non placuisse praefetum opusculum factum esse publici juris : ideoque Ejus esse voluntatem, ut ejusdem exemplaria, ubi vulgata sunt, quoad fieri potest, e fidelium manibus retrahantur. Romae, 8a Augusti 1880. P. Card. Caterini
- Very Reverend Father. Your letter of July 23 last, concerning the vulgarisation of the work entitled « L'Apparition de la Très Sainte Vierge sur la Montagne de La Salette » has been forwarded to their eminences, who together with me are inquisitors, and who have found it good to answer your fatherness that it has not pleased the Holy See that the above mentioned work has been released to the public, and as a consequence of this expresses its will that every copy, there where it has been put into circulation, be withdrawn, as far as is possible, from the hands of the faithful. Rome, August 8, 1880. P. Cardinal Caterini
As a result of this, it was alleged that the Vatican put this work in 1880 on the Index of Prohibited Books. But a controversy was started. The letter, written by Prospero Cardinal Caterini in a private capacity, on nonofficial paper without letterhead of office, is alleged to be falsely exaggerated by members of the French episcopate, in reference to its scope. The letter did not have any administrative reference for later Vatican archive retrieval. The controversy continues until this day.
Mélanie befriended Gilbert Combe, a French priest who was very much drawn towards the La Salette apparition. Until nearly the end of her life, they would remain in close contact. Mélanie confided in him, and he made an important contribution in the further study of the secrets on the basis of his extensive collection of private letters and notes.
It is in him that over many years she orally confided a number of confidences morales relating to the last times of the world. These moral confidences are a third source of relevant information concerning the secret, next to the message given to Mélanie, and the ecclesiastical rule of the religious orders. They are also a source of controversy and speculation.
In 1901 Gilbert Combe republished Mélanie's latter edition of 1873, now prohibited secret together with these moral confidences. His book was labeled anti-Bonapartist and pro-Bourbon by opponents. It favoured traditional monarchism over laic republicanism. It was put on the Index. Again in 1906 another of Combe's publications was placed on the index.
These actions of the church caused a great deal of confusion in Catholic minds, so that it was compelled to clarify that the original shortened edition of the message of 1851 remained approved, and it was only the latter contributions, that were precautious.
Mélanie Calvat died saintly December 15, 1904 in Altamura, Italy. The process of her canonization was started up. Currently the postulator of her cause is Ciro Quaranta R.C.J., an Italian religious.
In October 1912, Albert Lepidi O.P., Master of the Sacred Palace, in a public statement in reply to a query by Louis Cardinal Luçon, affirmed that the original apparition of 1846 remained approved.
Once again, during the pontificate of pope Benedict XV, the church was compelled to address the issue. Benedict XV issued an admonitum or formal papal warning recognizing the many different versions of the secret from 1858 onwards, in all its diverse forms, and forbidding the faithful or the clergy to investigate or discuss them without permission from their bishops. The admonitum further affirmed that the church's prohibition of discussion issued under Pope Leo XIII issued in 1879 remained binding.
There have been a number of attempts overtime to establish the religious orders Mélanie failed to establish herself. A first attempt was made by Blessed Giacomo Cusmano in Italy with the foundation of the congregations of the Missionary Servants of the Poor and of the Sister Servants of the Poor, its female equivalent. It was assisted by Mélanie herself and exists until today.
A second attempt was made by Blessed Annibale Maria di Francia R.C.J. in Italy also, with the foundation of the congregations of the Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus and with its female counterpart the Daughters of Divine Zeal. This attempt was also assisted by Mélanie during her life, and exists until today.
A further attempt was made in the first half of the twentieth century in small ecclesiastical communities in Western Europe; in Maranville, France, started by Germaine Blanchard; in Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay, France, started by the religious named Mother Saint Jean and supported by father Paul Gouin; and in Leuven, Belgium, started by canon Armand Thiéry and Bertha Isabelle Carton de Wiart with the support of Désiré Cardinal Mercier.
Recent attempts in the 1970s and 1980s were made in Merida, Mexico ; and Canada, France and Haïti by religious Brother Hubertise ; and very recently the lay community of the Frères de Saint Jean in France.
Very little was known with certainty about the content of the first edition of the Blessed Virgin's message to the two children until the recent release of the secrets from Vatican archives by René Laurentin and Michel Corteville M.S., both French priests. The recent release of the secret means that now the secret can be further analyzed.
Physical appearance of the Virgin Mary
The following visual description of the Virgin Mary was given by Mélanie Calvat in 1851:
- The clothing of the Most Holy Virgin was silver white and quite brillliant. It was quite intangible. It was made up of light and glory, sparkling and dazzling. There is no expression nor comparison to be found on earth. The most Holy Virgin had a yellow pinafore.
- What am I saying, yellow? She had a pinafore more brilliant than several suns put together. It was not a tangible material; it was composed of glory, and the glory was scintillating, and ravishingly beautiful.
- The crown of roses which she placed on her head was so beautiful, so brilliant, that it defies imagination. The different colored roses were not of this earth; it was a joining together of flowers which crowned the Most Holy Virgin.
- The Most Holy Virgin was tall and well proportioned. She seemed so light that a mere breath could have stirred her, yet she was motionless and perfectly balanced. Her face was majestic, imposing. The voice of the Beautiful Lady was soft. It was enchanting, ravishing, warming to the ears.
- The eyes of the majestic Mary appeared thousands of times more beautiful than the rarest brilliants, diamonds, aand precious stones. They shone like two suns; but they were soft, softness itself, as clear as a mirror.
- The Holy Virgin had a most pretty cross hanging around her neck.
- The Holy Virgin was crying nearly the whole time she was speaking to us. Her tears flowed gently, one by one, down to her knees, then, like sparks of light they disappeared. They were glittering and full of love. I would have liked to comfort her and stop her tears.
Miracles, signs and predictions
The central theme of the Virgin's messages to humanity was that they had to turn away from deadly sin
and do penance
, or undergo terrible suffering.
The Virgin Mary predicted future events in society and church. The fulfillment of these predictions was also seen as one of the indications of the apparition's veracity in the investigation that followed the apparition.
Concerning society, the Virgin Mary predicted that the harvest would completely fail. In December 1846, most of the popular crops were disease stricken, and in 1847 a famine hit Europe which resulted in the loss of approximately one million lives, including one hundred thousand in France alone. Cholera became prevalent in various parts of France and claimed the lives of many children. The demise of the Second French Republic with the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) and the communist uprising of the Paris Commune of 1871 were also predicted.
Concerning the Church, she predicted that Catholic faith in France and the world, within the civilian population as in the Catholic hierarchy of priests and bishops would diminish greatly because of many sinful acts from laity and clergy. Wars and tribulations would occur if mankind did not repent, and the total destruction of the cities of Paris and Marseille near the end.
Humanity was warned, through the secret message delivered to Mélanie, for the coming of the antichrist and the end of times. To Maximin, she predicted the conversion of England in the final phase of the apocalypse. It is because of these last predictions, controversy within the church between orthodox forces and liberal forces started and lasted until today.
During interrogations from the local authorities, the children were taken to the site of the apparition. A man broke off a piece of rock at the spot of the Virgin's appearance and uncovered a spring. The spring was found to have healing powers which inspired the bishop to begin an official inquiry. Twenty-three cures were attributed to the mountain spring in the first year after the apparition. Additionally, hundreds of miraculous cures have also been reported.
Numerous miracles have been attributed to Our Lady of La Salette. La Salette parish priest Louis Perrin attested to more than 250 miracles, and ... Bossan, first archivist of the La Salette pilgrimages, attested to many thousands of miracles
A detailed study of these miracles was made by titular archbishop Joseph-Lucien Giray, then bishop of Cahors, in a 1921 book.
The following miracles are examples that were accepted as such:
- Mélanie Carnal from Corps (Isère) was healed miraculously from a persisting eye affliction by Holy water from the La Salette spring September 26, 1846,
- ... Anglot from Gueymard (Isère) was healed miraculously by Holy water from the La Salette spring October 6, 1846,
- Claire Pierron S.S.J., known as Sister Saint-Charles, from Avignon was healed miraculously by Holy water from the La Salette spring on April 16, 1847,
- Mélanie Gamon, from (Saint-Félicien) (Ardèche) was healed miraculously by Holy water from the La Salette spring on August 15, 1847,
- Jeanne Lament from Clichy (Seine) was healed miraculously by Holy water from the La Salette spring November 8, 1847,
- Louise Boblin from ... was healed miraculously by Holy water from the La Salette spring December 8, 1847,
- Marie-Pierrette Gaillard from Avalon (Yonne) was healed miraculously from paralysis by Holy water from the La Salette spring December 8, 1847,
- Angelique Carbasse R.S.C.J., known as Sister Prouvèze, from Angers (Maine-et-Loire) was healed miraculously by Holy water from the La Salette spring March 21, 1847,
- ..., known as Sister Saint-Antoine Granet, from Bédarrides (Vaucluse), was healed miraculously by Holy water from the La Salette spring May 14, 1847,
- Henriette Luya from Saint-Paul-lès-Monastier (Isère), was healed miraculously by Holy water from the La Salette spring May 14, 1847,
- Josephine Leblais from ... was healed miraculously by Holy water from the La Salette spring September 19/20 1847,
- Antoinette Bollenat from Avallon (Yonne) was healed miraculously from an abdomen affliction by Holy water from the La Salette spring November 21, 1847,
- Marguerite Guillot from Lyon was healed miraculously from aggravated muqus fever by Holy water from the La Salette spring September 8, 1848,
- Father ... Martin from Verdun was healed miraculously from articulary rhumatism, sciatism and atrophy of the leg by Holy water from the La Salette spring April 1, 1849,
- ..., known as Sister Marie-Françoise de Sales, from Rennes was healed miraculously from hypertrophia of the heart by Holy water from the La Salette spring March 27, 1849,
- Adèle Chevalier from ... was healed miraculously by Holy water from the La Salette spring in 1852,
- ... Bodet from La Tessoualle (Maine-et-Loire) was healed miraculously from paralysis and brain lesion by Holy water from the La Salette spring August 8, 1854,
- ... Garoud from ... was miraculously converted at La Salette in the summer of 1854,
- ... Bonnet born Bibard from Saint-Martin-de-Ré (Charente-Maritime) was healed miraculously from myelysis and organic paraplegia by Holy water from the La Salette spring September 19, 1854,
- Thérèse Nicolas from Châteaurenard (Bouches-du-Rhône) was healed miraculously from paralysis by Holy water from the La Salette spring September 8, 1873.
These cures were a particular point of importance in the approval of the apparition as being genuine in the investigation afterwards.
Unveiling of the secret
The secret was given during the second stage of the apparition, when the Virgin Mary was standing upright and talked to the children.
There are, at least, ten written editions, nine preserved and one lost, of the secret of La Salette, of which four editions were made by Maximin Giraud, five editions were made by Mélanie Calvat, and one edition was made by third parties.
These editions were written down at different moments in time. Over time, more information was gradually divulged by the seers and explanatory commentary was added.
Edition by Baptiste Pra, Pierre Selme and Jean Moussier on September 20 1846
The day of the apparition, the two children told their story to their employers, who wrote the account down the day after the apparition in a letter.
First edition by Maximin Giraud on July 3 1851
This happened on the request of Maurice Cardinal de Bonald. He suspected a subterfuge and did not trust the visionaries. The cardinal demanded that the children tell him their secret, falsely implying that he had a mandate from the Pope. The children finally acceded to this demand. They wrote the text down, to be sent to the pope. Maximin wrote a first text, with ink smudges on it, in the episcopal palace at Grenoble. This text was destroyed, and a second smudge free text was then produced by him. Maximin gave his text to Benjamin Dausse, who gave it to Philibert de Bruillard, who read it, and gave the text his episcopal seal. He sealed the text inside a letter, which was countersigned by canons Pierre Joseph Rousselot and ... Gérin. Mélanie, however, insisted that both text be carried directly to the Pope. It was under these conditions that two representatives were sent to Rome. The text of the two private secrets were both handed to Pope Pius IX on July 18, 1851. This text was rediscovered by Marcel Corteville M.S. in 1999 in the Vatican Archives.
First edition by Mélanie Calvat on July 3 and 6 1851
This happened on the request of Maurice Cardinal de Bonald. He suspected a subterfuge and did not trust the visionaries. The cardinal demanded that the children tell him their secret, falsely implying that he had a mandate from the Pope. The children finally acceded to this demand. They wrote the text down. A first text was produced by Mélanie in her convent at Corenc July 3, 1851 and destroyed July 6, 1851, because of a possible minor problem of interpretation. A new text was written by her on July 6, 1851. The text of Mélanie was given to Philibert de Bruillard, who read and gave the text his episcopal seal. He sealed the text inside a letter, which was countersigned by canons Pierre Joseph Rousselot and ... Gérin. Mélanie, however, insisted that both text be carried directly to the Pope. It was under these conditions that two representatives were sent to Rome. The text of the two private secrets were both handed to Pope Pius IX on July 18, 1851. This text was rediscovered by Marcel Corteville M.S. in 1999 in the Vatican Archives.
Second edition by Maximin Giraud on August 11 1851
The edition of July 3, 1851 was reproduced on request of Benjamin Dausse, a friend and trustee of Maximin.
Third edition by Maximin Giraud on August 5 1853
A new edition was produced on request of Jacques-Marie-Achille Ginoulhiac, the new bishop of Grenoble, who was unacquainted with the secret.
Second edition by Mélanie Calvat on August 5, 6, 12 and 14 1853
A new edition was produced on request of Jacques-Marie-Achille Ginoulhiac, the new bishop of Grenoble, who was unacquainted with the secret.
Third edition by Mélanie Calvat of 1858
An extended edition was produced in Darlington, England and made public in 1858 by Mélanie who insisted this was explicitly requested by the Virgin Mary during the apparition. The text was sent by courier to Pope Pius IX. This edition is lost.
Fourth edition by Mélanie Calvat of 1860-1870-1873
The extended text of 1858 was reproduced in Marseille in 1860 on request of the superiors of Mélanie Calvat. A copy of the reproduction of 1860 was made in Castellammare in 1870 and was published on April 30, 1873 by Félician Bliard, a French priest. This publication contained the approval of the archbishop of Naples, Sisto Cardinal Sforza. The existence of this text was not well known. Gilbert Combe rediscovered the distributed text of 1870 in 1902. Paul Gouin makes a photographic copy of the rediscovered text of 1902 in 19... .
Fourth edition by Maximin Giraud on February 2 1866
A written rebuttal of allegations against the apparition was made by Maximin and published.
Fifth edition by Mélanie Calvat on November 21 1879
An extended and final edition was produced and published with the approbation of Salvatore Count Zola C.R.L., bishop of Lecce in a book. This book was reprinted in 1885 and republished in 1904 by Mélanie shortly before her death.
The two writings of July 1851 agree on the essential, but differ in their developments and even their tonality. The secret of Maximin is shorter, simpler, and less serious. The secret of Mélanie is longer, and more terrifying. Mélanie is concerned to be understood by the recipient, and not to cause him too much sorrow, as she said, but this did not prevent the tears of the bishop of Grenoble. Because of the apprehension towards the demand of Cardinal de Bonald, Mélanie only writes a shortened version of her secret.
The later editions of the message are more extensive and explanatory, although the original statements of both children remain fully incorporated in them. The text of Mélanie, written in 1858 and afterwards contains a lot of additional information. Still their testimonies are more coherent and in accordance with one another than is often alleged by critics.
Structurally, the secret consists of three parts. The first part, occurring to both Mélanie and Maximin together is the general part of the message, the facts of which could be made public in 1846. The two children also received a private message each. These were not to be made public before 1858.
First part - public message to both children
- Come near, my children, be not afraid; I am here to tell you great news.
- If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my Son. It is so strong, so heavy, that I can no longer withhold it.
- For how long a time do I suffer for you! If I would not have my Son abandon you, I am compelled to pray to him without ceasing; and as to you, you take not heed of it.
- However much you pray, however much you do, you will never recompense the pains I have taken for you.
- Six days I have given you to labor, the seventh I had kept for myself; and they will not give it to me. It is this which makes the arm of my Son so heavy.
- Those who drive the carts cannot swear without introducing the name of my Son. These are the two things which makes the arm of my Son so heavy.
- If the harvest is spoilt, it is all on your account. I gave you warning last year with the potatoes but you did not heed it. On the contrary, when you found the potatoes spoilt, you swore, you took the name of my Son in vain. They will continue to decay, so that by Christmas there will be none left. Ah, my children, do you not understand? Well, wait, I shall say it otherwise.
- If you have wheat, it is no good to sow it; all you sow the insects will eat, and what comes up will fall into dust when you thresh it.
- There will come a great famine.
- Before the famine comes, the children under seven years of age will be seized with trembling and will die in the hands of those who hold them; the others will do penance by the famine. The walnuts will become bad, and the grapes will rot.
- [Here the two private messages were given to Mélanie and Maximin.]
- If they are converted, the stones and rocks will change into mounds of wheat, and the potatoes will be self-sown in the land.
- Do you say your prayers well, my children?
- [Both answered: "Not very well, Madam."]
- Ah, my children, you must be sure to say them well morning and evening. When you cannot do better, say at least an Our Father and a Hail Mary. When you have time, say more.
- There are none who go to Mass except a few aged women. The rest work on Sunday all summer; then in the winter, when they know not what to do, they go to Mass only to mock at religion.
- During Lent, they go to the meat-market like dogs.
- Have you never seen wheat that is spoilt, my children?
- ["No, Madam", they replied.]
- But you, my child [to Maximin], you must surely have seen some once when you were at the farm of Coin with your father.
- The owner of the field told your father to go and see his ruined wheat. You went together. You took two or three ears of wheat into your hands and rubbed them, and they fell to dust.
- Then you continued home. When you were still half and hour's distance from Corps, your father gave you a piece of bread and said to you: "Here, my child, eat some bread this year at least; I don't know who will eat any next year, if the wheat goes on like that."
- [Confronted with such precise details, Maximin replied: "Oh yes, Madam, I remember now; just at this moment I did not remember."]
- Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people.
Second part - private message to Mélanie Calvat
- See: Secret given to Mélanie Calvat
The secret given to Mélanie is gradually divulged to the public. In its totality, it consists of three elements.
The first element is the written down account of the private message given to Mélanie. This account was written down for the first time in a shortened version in 1851, on July 3, in Corenc, at the convent of the Sisters of Providence. She sealed it at 10.00 am, and it was carried at the bishop's house who read it at 5.00 pm. She chose to rewrite the text on July 6 because she believed she misrepresented the chronology of a particular event. After Melanie hand delivered the document, Bishop de Bruillard read the document before sealing it. This edition was developed further over the years by Mélanie.
The second element of the secret is the rule of the religious order, that was dictated by the Virgin Mary to Mélanie. This rule was only mentioned in later editions of the secret.
A third element of the secret are the moral confidences related by Mélanie to Gilbert Combe concerning the end of the world, thus further developing and explaining the secret.
Third part - private message to Maximin Giraud
- See: Secret given to Maximin Giraud
Maximins's secret consists of two elements. A first element is the text of the message he received. A second element of the secret are the moral confidences related by Maximin to various persons, concerning elements of his secret, thus further develloping and explaining the secret.
Maximin initially wrote his secret down at the palace of Bishop de Bruillard in Grenoble on the evening of July 3, 1851. He was asked to rewrite it again because of spots of ink.
The soiled autograph was burnt. The bishop affixed his own seal to it and to send it to the pope. The sealed envelope was countersigned by two witnesses at 7:00 pm that night. He made three supplementary editions of his secret over the years.
Like the third secret of Fatima, the secret of La Salette has generated much controversy and wild speculation with both antagonists and protagonists alike, with many believing that the true secret is too frightening to be revealed.
Similar to the 1858 apparition at Lourdes and the 1917 Fatima apparitions, the Virgin Mary appeared short-statured and dressed in strange clothes to peasant children who had hardly any education. As at Fatima, the Virgin Mary reportedly warned that humanity would be severely chastised if they did not repent their sins.
Some sceptics allege that the knowledge of the visions of La Salette influenced later child-seers at Lourdes and Fatima. However, all the children concerned were illiterate and apparently chosen as such to make their assertions all the more credible, as they would not have the ability to create and maintain the truth of such elaborate fantasies.
Catholics are not dogmatically required to believe in a miraculous origin for the events at La Salette, as is the case with all other other Church-approved private revelations. It is officially designated worthy of belief.
Of Catholic origin
A large number of writers, philosophers, saints, religious, bishops and popes privately held a particular veneration towards Our Lady of La Salette. Among others, they are:
- Louis Veuillot (1813-1883), French editor
- Paul Verlaine (1844-1896), French symbolist
- Joris-Karl Huysmans (1815-1907), French writer and philosopher
- Léon Bloy (1846-1917), French writer and philosopher
- Jacques Maritain (1882-1973), French writer and philosopher
- Louis Massignon (1883-1962), French islamologist and mystic
- Paul Claudel (1868-1955), French symbolist
- Sylvain Marie Giraud M.S. (1830-1885), French religious, poet and musician
- Pierre Joseph Rousselot (...), French canon
- Joseph de Brandt (...), French canon
- Gustave Thibon (1903-2000), French religious
- Armand Thiéry (1868-1954), Belgian canon and founder of religious congregations
- Servant of God Piotr Semenenko C.R. (1814-1886), Polish president of the Polish seminary in Rome
- Gilbert Combe (...-1927), French priest
- Paul Gouin (1885-1968), French priest
- René Laurentin (1917-present), French priest
- Michel Corteville M.S. (...-present), French religious
- Saint Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney (1786-1859), French priest
- Saint Pierre Julien Eymard S.M. (1811-1865), French religious and founder of religious congregations
- Blessed Giacomo Cusmano (1834-1888), Italian religious and founder of religious congregations
- Blessed Annibale Maria di Francia R.C.J. (1851-1927), Italian religious and founder of religious congregations
- Saint Leonard Muraildo (...-1890), Italian religious
- Blessed Antoine Chevrier (1825-1879), French religious
- Saint Daniel Comboni (1831-1881), Italian titulary bishop and missionary
- Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat R.S.C.J. (1779-1865), French religious and founder of religious congregations
- Saint Émilie de Rodat (1787-1852), French religious
- Saint Euphrasie Pelletier (...-1868), French religious
- Blessed Francisco Spinelli (1853-1913), Italian religious
- Saint Luigi Orione P.D.P. (1872-1940), Italian religious and founder of religious congregations
- Saint Mieczysław Halka Count Ledóchowski S.J. (1822-1902), Polish cardinal and primate of Poland
- Philibert de Bruillard (1765-1860), French bishop of Grenoble
- Clément Villecourt (1787-1867), French cardinal and bishop of La Rochelle
- William Bernard Ullathorne O.S.B. (1806-1889), British archbishop of Birmingham
- Salvatore Count Zola C.L.R. (1822-1898), French bishop of Lecce
- Antoine Louis Adolphe Dupuch (1800-1856), French archbishop of Alger
- Carlo Maria Martini S.J. (1927-present), Italian, cardinal and archbishop of Milan
- Blessed Pius IX (1792-1878), Italian pope
- Leo XIII (1810-1903), Italian pope
- Saint Pius X (1835-1914), Italian pope
- Benedict XV (1854-1922), Italian pope
- Venerable Pius XII (1876-1958), Italian pope
- Blessed John XXIII (1881-1963), Italian pope
A number of members of the Catholic hierarchy, religious and bishops, were publicly and later privately opposed to the apparition. They were, among others:
- Jacques-Marie-Achille Ginoulhiac (1806-1875), French bishop of Grenoble
- Amand-Joseph Fava (1826-1899), French bishop of Grenoble
- Pierre-Louis-Marie Cortet (1817-1898), French, bishop of Troyes
- Louis Jacques Maurice de Bonald (1787-1870), French, cardinal and archbishop of Lyon
- Claude-Joseph Déléon (1797-1895), French priest
- Pierre-Joseph Cartellier (...-1865), French priest
- Adolphe-Louis-Albert Perraud (1828-1906), French cardinal and bishop of Autun
- Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire O.P. (1802-1861), French religious
Of anti-clerical and Masonic origin
The message of La Salette contained elements, which were hostile to the lay principles of the French state. It condemned the principles of the French revolution, and was responsible for strong reactions towards it. Some examples are:
- From the beginning, the 1873 message was exploited by French anti-clericals and freemasons to attack opposing Catholics. In 1916, Dr. ... Gremillion of Montpelier, France, published a commentary on the 1873 edition of the text of Mélanie under the pseudonym of Dr. Henry Mariavé , which was put on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.
- Again, in 1923, a group taking the name Société Saint-Augustin re-published Gremillion's 1916 commentary. Gremillion distributed a thousand copies of this edition with an anticlerical tract pasted into it. This work too was put on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.
The intense confusion deliberately spread by anti-Catholics caused a reaction that caused La Salette to lose its glory and fall back into the slumber of a minor site of Catholic pilgrimage.
Of schismatic origin
There are a number of schismatic movements that link themselves to the secret of La Salette:
- The Mariavite Church, a schismatic sect focussing on the La Salette apparition, sent a delegation to Pope Pius X after their excommunication from the church, demanding that he submit to them, ending their excommunication and doctrinal schism.
- In 1950, Frenchman Jean Colin claimed to receive revelations and to continue and to fulfil the 1873 message of Mélanie Calvet. Subsequently, Pope Pius XII publicly declared him by name a vitandus excommunicate, or one who should be avoided. Colin claimed to have been made pope, even while Pope Pius XII was alive, and is known as antipope Clement XV. In 1963 he founded the ultra-liberal, ultra-modernist The Renewed Church of Christ or Church of the Magnificat, based first in Lyons, then at St. Jovite, Quebec, Canada. The Colinites have since disintegrated into several factions, with one successor antipope in France.
- Another, larger, faction is led by Jean-Gaston Tremblay, one of Colin's former disciples, who declared himself constituted pope by apparition even before Colin had died and who calls himself the antipope John-Gregory XVII. He is now based in St. Jovite, as head of the Order of the Magnificat and The Apostles of the Latter Days. The 1873 edition of the secret of Mélanie Calvet, which called for the constitution of these Apostles of the Latter Days, is central to his claims and mission.
The shrine of La Salette is located in a high alpine pasture at an altitude of about 6,000 feet, about 9 miles from the nearest town. Now easily accessible by car, bus, and taxi, the shrine operates a hospitality service with a range of accommodations. The mountain scenery around the shrine is spectacular and it is surrounded by a network of walking trails.
The Basilica of Our Lady of La Salette was begun in 1852, completed in 1865, and designated a basilica in 1879. It is a large, rather austere church, with a facade flanked by two strong towers.
Inside, the basilica's nave is bordered by two rows of Byzantine columns supporting the Romanesque vaulted ceilings. A mosaic of Christ crowns the apse. The transept has three medallions representing the stages of the apparition, the weeping, the message, and the departure. The basilica also includes a small museum documenting the history of La Salette.
Outside the basilica, pilgrims can take a walking path leading to the apparition site, the so called Valley of the Apparition. Bronze statues erected in 1864 depict the three stages of the apparition.
The La Salette crucifix, worn by the Virgin Mary, was unusual because it has added features, a hammer, a pincer and a skull and crossbones.
The hammer symbolizes the sinner nailing Jesus on the cross by his sins and the pincer represents all of us trying to remove the nails from the cross by our virtuous life and fidelity to Jesus. The skull and crossbones represent in general death, which is inevitably for human beings, as reminder of the necessity of personal salvation.
This crucifix was seen hanging on a chain around the neck of the Blessed Virgin.
The prayer of Our Lady of La Salette is as follows:
- Remember, dear Lady of La Salette, true Mother of Sorrows, the tears which thou didst shed for me on Calvary; be mindful also of the unceasing care which thou dost exercise to shield me from the justice of God; and consider whether thou canst now abandon thy child, for whom thou hast done so much. Inspired by this consoling thought, I come to cast myself at thy feet, in spite of my infidelity and ingratitude. Reject not my prayer, O Virgin of reconciliation, convert me, obtain for me the grace to love Jesus Christ above all things and to console thee too by living a holy life, in order that one day I may be able to see thee in Heaven. Amen.
This is an extensive bibliography of publications concerning Our Lady of La Salette:
- Villecourt, Clément, Nouveau récit de l'Apparition de la Vierge sur les montagnes des Alpes, Lecoffre, Paris, 1847 (fr)
- Bez, Nicolas, Pélerinage à La Salette, ou Examen critique de l'Apparition, ..., Paris, 1847 (fr)
- Hecht von Willisau O.S.B., Laurentius Balthasar, Geschichte der Erscheinung der seligsten Jungfrau zweien Hirten-Kindern auf dem Berge von Salette in Frankreich, den 19. Herbstmonat 1846, Druck und Verlag von Gebr. Benziger, Einsiedeln, 1847 (de)
- Arbaud, ..., Souvenirs intimes d'un pélerinage à La Salette, ..., Digne, 1848 (fr)
- Rousselot, Pierre Joseph, La verité sur l'événement de La Salette du 19 septembre 1846 ou rapport à Mgr l'évêque de Grenoblesur l'apparition de la Sainte Vierge à deux petits bergers sur la montagne de La Salette, canton de Corps (Isère), Baratier, Grenoble, 1848 (fr)
- Lemeunier, ..., Pélerinage à La Salette, ..., ..., 1849 (fr)
- Rousselot, Pierre Joseph, Nouveaux documents, Baratier, Grenoble, 1850 (fr)
- des brulais, Marie, L'Écho de la Sainte montagne, Charpentier, Nantes, 1852 (fr)
- Rousselot, Pierre Joseph, Un nouveau Sanctuaire à Marie, ou Conclusion de l'affaire de La Salette, Baratier, Grenoble, 1853 (fr)
- Ullathorne O.S.B., William Bernard, The Holy Mountain of La Salette, ..., London, 1854 (en)
- Ullathorne O.S.B., William Bernard, La Sainte Montagne de La Salette, Baratier, Grenoble, 1854 (fr)
- des brulais, Marie, L'Écho de la Sainte Montagne, reprint, Charpentier, Nantes, 1854 (fr)
- Tardieu SS.CC., Froduald, Histoire de Notre-Dame de La Salette d'après les document authentiques, 2 volumes, 2nd edition, Typographie et Librairie de C.-J. Fonteyn, Louvain, 1854 (fr)
- Dupuch, Antoine Louis Adolphe, Venez avec moi à La Salette, Ducot, Bordeaux, 1855 (fr)
- Nicolas, Amedée, La Salette devant la raison et le devoir d'un catholique, Casterman et Fils, Tournay, 1856 (fr)
- Doyen, ..., La Salette vengée. Lettres à Mgr. Pinsot, ministre Protestant à Charleroi, ..., Paris, 1857 (fr)
- Sabbatier, ..., Affaire de La Salette. Mlle Lamerlière contre MM. Déléon et Cartellier, ..., Paris, 1857 (fr)
- de Garets, ..., Le curé d'Ars et La Salette, ..., Lyon, 1860 (fr)
- Giraud, Maximin, Ma profession de foi sur l'apparition de Notre-Dame de La Salette, Charpentier, Paris, 1866 (fr)
- Giraud, Maximin, Ma profession de foi sur l'apparition de Notre-Dame de La Salette, reprint, Charpentier, Paris, 1870 (fr)
- Girard, M., Les secrets de la Salette et leur importance. Les dernières révélations de prochains événements, ..., ..., 1871 (fr)
- Déléon, Claude-Joseph, Dernier mot sur La Salette, Grenoble, Librairie dauphinoise Xavier Roux, 1873 (fr)
- Giraud, Maximin, Ma profession de foi sur l'apparition de Notre-Dame de La Salette, reprint, Charpentier, Paris, 1873 (fr)
- Calvat, Mélanie, L'Apparition de la Très-Sainte Vierge sur la montagne de la Salette, le 19 septembre 1846, publiée par la bergère de la Salette avec permission de l'ordinaire, 1st edition, G. Spacciante, Lecce, 1879 (fr) html
- Calvat, Mélanie, L'Apparition de la Très-Sainte Vierge sur la montagne de la Salette, le 19 septembre 1846, publiée par la bergère de la Salette avec permission de l'ordinaire, 2nd edition, G. Spacciante, Lecce, 1885 (fr) html
- Combe, Gilbert Joseph Emile, Le grand coup avec sa date probable, c'est-à-dire le grand châtiment du monde et le triomphe universel de l'Eglise; étude sur le secret de la Salette, augmentée de la brochure de Mélanie et autres pièces justificatives, ..., ..., 1901 (fr)
- Calvat, Mélanie & Bloy, Léon, Vie de Mélanie, Bergère de la Salette, écrite par elle-mêle en 1900, son enfance (1831-1846), 1st edition, Mercure de France, Paris, 1918 (fr) pdf
- des brulais, Marie, L'Écho de la Sainte Montagne, Imprimerie Henri Douchet, Méricourt-L'Abbé, 1904 (fr)
- Calvat, Mélanie, L'Apparition de la Très-Sainte Vierge sur la montagne de la Salette, le 19 septembre 1846, publiée par la bergère de la Salette avec permission de l'ordinaire, 3rd edition, Stéphane Guillard, Lyon, 1904 (fr) html
- Combe, Gilbert Joseph Émile, Le Secret de Mélanie, bergère de la Salette, et la crise actuelle, Jonquières et Dati, Rome, 1907 (fr)
- Bloy, Léon, Celle qui pleure, Notre-Dame de la Salette, Mercure de France, Paris, 1908 (fr) pfd
- Mariavé, Henry, La leçon de l'hôpital Notre-Dame d'Ypres: exégèse du secret de la Salette, I, Éditions Figuière, Paris, 1916 (fr)
- Mariavé, Henry, La leçon de l'hôpital Notre-Dame d'Ypres: exégèse du secret de la Salette, II & Appendices, Firmin et Montane, Montpellier, 1916 (fr)
- Mariavé, Henry, Pour La Salette contre Nos Princes, 3rd edition, Firmin et Montane, Montpellier, 1916 (fr)
- Giray, Joseph-Lucien, Les Miracles de la Salette, étude historique et critique, 2 volumes, Imprimerie Saint-Bruno, Grenoble, 1921
- Société Saint-Augustin, L'Apparition de la Très Sainte Vierge de la Salette, ..., Paris-Rome-Bruges, 1923 (fr) pdf
- Borel, Louis, Notre-Dame de La Salette, Librairie Letouzey & Ané, Paris, 1923 (fr)
- Bloy, Léon, Le symbolisme de l'apparition, Lemercier, Paris, 1925 (fr)
- Giraud M.S., S.-M., La pratique de la dévotion à N.-D. de La Salette, 3rd edition, Baratier et Dardelet, Grenoble, 1933 (fr)
- Gouin, Paul, L'Ordre de la Mère de Dieu, pro manuscripto, Imprimerie Coconier, Sablé, 1941 (fr)
- Roetheli, Ernst Walter, La Salette. Das Buch der Erscheinung, Otto Walter AG, Olten, 1945 (de)
- Jaouen, M.S., La grace de La Salette, Editions du Cerf, Paris, 1946 (fr) pdf
- Brillant, Maurice, La Salette. Témoingnages, Éditions Bloud & Gay, Mayenne, 1946 (fr)
- Duvillard René, La grande nouvelle de La Salette, Collection Mariale XI, Éditions de la Revue les Alpes, Grenoble, 1946 (fr)
- Némoz M.S., A., La belle dame de La Salette, Éditions Charles Paillart, Abbeville (Somme), 1946
- * Roetheli, Ernst Walter, La Salette. Geschichte der Erscheinung, ..., ..., 1952 (de)
- Kennedy, J.S., Light on the Mountain: the Story of La Salette, McMillan, New York City-NY, 1953 (en)
- Calvat, Mélanie & Bloy, Léon, Vie de Mélanie, Bergère de la Salette, écrite par elle-mêle en 1900, son enfance (1831-1846), repring, Mercure de France, Paris, 1954 (fr) pdf
- O'Reilly, James P., The Story of La Salette, J. S. Paluch & Co, Chicago, 1953 (en)
- Cox, M.J., Rain for These Shoots, Gruce, Milwaukee-WI, 1956 (en)
- Bloy, Léon, She who weeps: Our Lady of Salette, Academy Library Guild, Fresno-CA, 1956 (en)
- Bassette, Louis, Notre-Dame de La Salette et le bienheureux Pierre-Julian Eymard: La Salette et quelques historiens, Eymond, Grenoble, 1960 (fr)
- Delaney, John J., A Woman Clothed with the Sun: Eight Great Appearances of Our Lady in Modern Times, Hanover House, Garden City-NY, 1960 (en)
- Association des Enfants de N.-D. de La Salette et de St-grignion de Montfort, Pour servir à l'histoire réelle de La Salette: Documents I, Nouvelles Éditions Latines, Paris, 1963 (fr)
- Jaouen, M.S., La grace de La Salette au regard de l'Eglise, new edition, La Salette, 1964 (fr)
- Calvat, Mélanie, L'Apparition de la Très-Sainte Vierge sur la montagne de la Salette, le 19 septembre 1846, publiée par la bergère de la Salette avec permission de l'ordinaire, reprint, Librairie Téqui, Saint-Céneré, S.D. (fr) html
- Bassette, Louis, Le fait de La Salette, New edition, Editions du Cerf, Paris, 1965 (fr)
- Huysmans, Joris Karel, Là-haut ou Notre-Dame de la Salette, Casterman, Tournai, 1965 (fr)
- Calvat, Mélanie, L'Enfance de Mélanie Calvat, bergère de La Salette, reprint, Éditions Saint-Michel, Saint-Céneré, 1966 (fr)
- Ritz M.S., Emil, Das Vater unser betend erklärt, La Salette-Verlag, Mörschwil-Ulm, 1967 (de)
- Gouin, Paul, Sœur Marie de la Croix. Bergère de la Salette. Née Mélanie Calvat. Tertiaire de St Dominique. Victime de Jésus, Éditions Saint-Michel, Saint-Céneré, 1969 (fr)
- Association des Enfants de N.-D. de La Salette et de St-grignion de Montfort, Pour servir à l'histoire réelle de La Salette: Documents II, Nouvelles Éditions Latines, Paris, 1965 (fr)
- Association des Enfants de N.-D. de La Salette et de St-grignion de Montfort, Pour servir à l'histoire réelle de La Salette: Documents III, Nouvelles Éditions Latines, Paris, 1966 (fr)
- Gouin, Paul, Sister Mary of the Cross. Shepherdess of La Salette. Melanie Calvat, The 101 Foundation, Asbury-NJ, 1968 (en)
- Stern M.S., Jean, La Salette: Bibliography, Marian Studies Library, A, New Series, VII, University of Dayton, Dayton-OH, 1975 (en)
- Association des Enfants de N.-D. de La Salette et de St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, Pour servir à l'histoire réelle de La Salette: Documents IV, Résiac, Montsûrs, 1978 (fr)
- Corteville, Fernand, La bergère de La Salette et le serviteur de Dieu Mgr. Zola, Résiac, Montsûrs, 1978 (fr)
- Ritz M.S., Emil, La Salette. Die Botschaft einer Marienerscheinung, 2nd edition, La Salette-Verlag, Morschwil-Ulm, 1979 (de)
- Stern M.S., Jean, La Salette: Documents authentiques I, 1846-1847, Éditions Desclée De Brouwer, Paris, 1980 ISBN 2220022811 (fr)
- Gouin, Paul, die Hirtin von La Salette, Christiana-Verlag, Stein am Rhein, 1982, ISBN 3717108107 (de)
- Masson, René, La Salette ou les Larmes de Marie, Éditions S.O.S., Paris, 1982 ISBN 2718509074 (fr)
- Bettega, Victor, La grande aventure du pelerinage de La Salette de 1846 a nos jours, S.N., Grenoble, 1984 (fr)
- Dion, Henri, Mélanie Calvat, bergère de La Salette: Étapes humaines et mystiques, Téqui, Paris, 1984 (fr)
- Stern M.S., Jean, La Salette: Documents authentiques II, 1847-1849, Éditions du Cerf, Paris, 1984 ISBN 2204022578 (fr)
- Barsotti, Divo, Una madre tra noi: il messaggio della Madonna, Edizioni Messaggero, Padova, 1985 (it)
- Corteville, Fernand, Pie IX, le pere Pierre Semenenko, et les defenseurs du message de Notre-Dame de La Salette, Téqui, Paris, 1987 (fr)
- Dion, Henri, Maximin Giraud, berger de La Salette, ou la fidelite dans l'épreuve, Éditions Résiac, Montsûrs, 1988 (fr)
- Huysmans, Joris Karel, Là-haut ou Notre-Dame de la Salette, reprint, Presses Universitaires de Nancy, Nancy, 1988 (fr)
- Roetheli, Ernst Walter, La Salette. Geschichte der Erscheinung, reprint, Kanisius Verlag, Freiburg im Üchtland, 1990 ISBN 3857643145 (de)
- Association des Enfants de N.-D. de La Salette et de St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, Témoinages historiques sur Mélanie Calvat, bèrgere de La Salette, Beaupreau, 1991 ISBN 2868392873 (fr)
- Stern M.S., Jean, La Salette: Documents authentiques III, 1849-1854, Éditions du Cerf, Paris, 1991 ISBN 2204044458 (fr)
- Smeyers, Maurits, Armand Thiéry (Gentbrugge 1868 - Leuven 1955): apologie voor een geniaal zonderling, Arca Lovaniensis artes atque historiae reserans documenta: jaarboek 19-20, Vrienden van de Leuvense stedelijke musea, Leuven, 1992 (nl)
- Roethelli, Ernst Walter, La Salette. Die Botschaft verstehen, Kanisius Verlag, Freiburg im Üchtland, 1993 (de)
- Bettega, Victor, Iconographie De Notre-Dame De La Salette (Isère). Toutes Les Gravures, Images De Missel, Ex-Votos, Statues, Bannières, Tableaux, Pierre-Chatel, Paris, 1995 (fr)
- Höcht, Johannes Maria, Die Grosse Botschaft von La Salette, 7th edition, Christiana-Verlag, Stein am Rhein, 1996, ISBN 3717106953 (de)
- Galli, Antonio, La bergère de Notre-Dame de La Salette, Téqui, Saint-Céneré, 1996 (fr)
- Corteville M.S., Michel, La "grande nouvelle" des Bergers de La Salette, I. l'Appartion et les secrets, Téqui, Paris, 2001 (fr)
- Belmont, Hervé, Gloires et larmes de Notre-Dame de La Salette, ..., ..., 2001 (fr)
- Galli, Antonio, Apologia di Melania, Segno, ..., 2002 ISBN 8872826101 (it)
- Laurentin, René & Corteville M.S., Michel, Découverte du secret de la Salette, Fayard, Paris, 2002, ISBN 2213612838 (fr)
- Foucault, Michel, The Vision of the Virgin at La Salette, in Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France 1974-1975, Picador, New York City-NY, 2003, 225-227 (en)
- Schmitt, Oskar, La Salette: die Große Botschaft für die Endzeit, Verlag Schmid, Anton A., ..., 2003 ISBN 3932352904 (de)
- Ullathorne O.S.B., William Bernard, The Holy Mountain of La Salette, reprint, Loreto Publications, Fitzwilliam-NH, 2004 ISBN 6032396671 (en)
- Bourgeois, René, Le fait de La Salette 1846, Presses universitaires de Grenoble, Grenoble, 2006 ISBN 2706113413 (fr)
- Galli, Antonio, Scoperti in Vaticano i segreti de La Salette. L'apparizione, le polemiche, le profezie apocalittiche, SugarCo, ..., 2007 ISBN 8871985257 (it)
- Connor, Edward, Recent Apparitions of Our Lady, Academy Guild Press, Fresno-CA, S.D. (en)
Congregation and parishes