Today, January 17th, is the feast of Our Lady of Pontmain, also called Our Mother of Hope.
In Pontmain, on January 17, 1871 it was dark and cold, and France was at war. Paris was besieged. The conquering Prussian army was at the gates of Laval. The inhabitants of Pontmain were in anguish for they were without news of their young men who had gone to fight in the war.
When the German army was about to overrun the French village of Pontmain, Our Lady appeared in the sky to six children. Eugène Barbedette saw above the house opposite a beautiful Lady wearing a star-spangled dress. She was looking at him and smiling. She held her arms stretched out in front of her.
Villagers ran towards the barn. Other children saw and heard the words of the beautiful Lady, the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, who gave them a message of hope: “…pray my children. God will hear you in a short time. My Son permits Himself to be moved.” Pontmain was saved and within ten days the armistice was signed and the bloodshed was over without the Prussians ever entering Laval.