Beginning in 1664, a young shepherdess reported seeing multiple visions of Mary, who said, “I have asked my Son for this place for the conversion of sinners and He has granted it to me.” Mary charged Benoîte to prepare sinners for the Sacrament of Penance, a vocation for which she received the gift of reading souls. Mary asked for a sanctuary to be built, and foretold that it would last until the end of the world, emerging from obscurity and becoming well-known shortly before the onset of the endtimes. Benoîte continued to receive apparitions until her death in 1718. The local archbishop at the time approved the public veneration of the initial apparitions in 1665, but the apparitions themselves were not approved until almost four centuries later in 2008.
Vision of St. Maurice – Laus France 1664
In May of 1664, Benoîte Rencurel seventeen, praying the Rosary, her favorite devotion, watching her flock, when suddenly an old and venerable man, clothed in the vestments of a bishop of the early Church, came up to her.
St. Maurice: “My daughter, what are you doing here?”
Benoîte: “I’m watching my sheep, praying to God, and looking for water to drink.”
“I’ll get some for you.”
“You’re so beautiful! Are you an Angel, or Jesus?”
“I am Maurice, to whom the nearby chapel (then it ruins) is dedicated… My daughter, do not come back to this place. It is part of a different territory, and the guards would take your flock if they found it here. Go to the valley above Saint-Étienne. That is where you will see the Mother of God.”
“But Sir, She is in Heaven. How can I see Her there?”
“Yes, She is in Heaven, and on earth too when She wants.”
Apparitions of Our Lady of Laus
Very early the next morning, Benoîte hastily led her flock to the indicated spot, the Vallon des Fours (Valley of Kilns), so called because the hill above this valley contained gypsum, which the village inhabitants extracted and fired to make plaster for their buildings. Benoîte had just arrived in front of a little grotto that was on the site when she saw a Lady of incomparable beauty holding a no less beautiful Child by the hand. She was ravished by the sight. Despite Saint Maurice’s prediction, however, the naive shepherd girl could not imagine that she was in the presence of the Mother of God.