On August 15, 1652, the deaf and mute shepherdess, Jeanne Courtel, then aged 12, was tending her father’s flock when Our Lady appeared to her. Jeanne was healed of her afflictions immediately. Our Lady asked Jeanne to have a chapel built for her veneration. The conversation continued and she asked Jeanne for one of her lambs, to which Jeanne replied, “These sheep are not mine, they are my father’s.” Our Lady offered to care for the sheep while Jeanne left to obtain permission from her father to give Our Lady one of his sheep.
In the days that followed, Our Lady appeared several more times always asking that a chapel be built. She even also said: “To prove that the message that comes from heaven’s command, I tell you that you will discover a few steps from the fountain of Saint-Gal… the statue that was honored in ancient times.” A thousand years earlier in 610, St. Gall came to the area and built a hermitage. He also sculpted a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On August 20, 1652, the statue was located in the pond and found in excellent condition even though it had been submerged for centuries.
A month later, the local bishop visited the area to make his investigation. He formally recognized the validity of the apparitions and blessed the first stone laid as the foundation for the chapel. It was completed four years later. Jeanne Cortel died at the age of 63 in 1703 and was entombed in the shrine at the apparition site.