Speaking at Mass in Laus in remarks broadcast nationally on France-2 television, Monsignor Jean-Michel di Falco Leandri said he recognized the "supernatural origin" of the apparitions to 17-year-old shepherd girl Benoite Rencurel starting in 1664 and running through 1718.
What is the message given to the young shepherd girl way back then? Michael Matt from The Remnant shares the story:
Most of us, however, had never before even heard of the message or apparitions of Notre Dame Du Laus. Even most Catholics in France have not heard of Notre Dame Du Laus. Why? Because our Lady's message to Benoite, aside from being filled with great hope, also had another aspect to it—an aspect that is anything but popular to the Church in the modern world. The message placed a tremendous amount of emphasis on the dangers of sin, the importance of repentance, the absolute "essential to salvation" nature of the Sacrament of Penance, and the necessity of receiving that Sacrament frequently. During the lifetime of Benoite, and for centuries after her death, Laus was a place of great spiritual healing through the Sacrament of Penance. An incredible number of Catholics from every class (peasantry, gentry, and nobility) over the centuries since 1647 found their way back onto the road that leads to salvation, as a direct consequence of the message of Notre Dame Du Laus and the sanctity of the seer Benoite, who proclaimed that message to the world.
The sanctuary at Laus is called the "Refuge of Sinners" and it is, perhaps, due to its emphasis on the evil of sin that the message of Our Lady to Benoite has been all but "swept under the carpet" of Modernism in this our new age of "enlightened," "grown-up" Catholicism.
So, what follows is the story of the apparitions of Notre Dame Du Laus and the life of the seer, Benoite. As you read it, remember the place as we have described it above and try to imagine the strange, unearthly atmosphere that surrounds the hamlet, the message and the story. And then remember this: along with the account of the apparitions of Notre Dame Du Laus, there is also a prediction which states that the extraordinary events and message of Laus would be forgotten and ignored by the world for a very long time.
However, word of Laus would re-surface, the prediction states, at a point in time when the End Times were close at hand...
...Our Lady now had complete confidence in Benoite and began to reveal the mission which she was to entrust to the shepherdess.
"I have asked my Son to give me Laus, and He has agreed," explained the Virgin. She told Benoite that it was her dearest wish that men should be brought to understand the love which God offered them. Benoite came to the chapel frequently during that winter (1644-1645). Our Lady continued to educate her and asked her to pray for those who lived badly, so that they would turn in repentance to her Son.
One thinks of Pope Benedict's Enclyclical Deus Caritas Est (God is Love) when one reads the last paragraph.