|Françoise Mélanie Calvat|
Mélanie Calvat, 1903, Moulins, France.
|Born||7 November 1831|
|Died||15 December 1904 (aged 73)|
|Other names||Sister Mary of the Cross|
|Known for||Visionary of |
Françoise Mélanie Calvat, (French:
Calvat was born on 7 November 1831 in
At a very young age, Calvat was hired out to tend the neighbors' cows, where she met
On 19 September 1846, it is related that Calvat and Maximin Giraud saw an apparition of the
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The bishop of Grenoble, Philibert de Bruillard, named several commissions to examine the facts. In December 1846, the first commissions were established. One was formed of professors from the major seminary of Grenoble and the other from titulary canons. The latter commission concluded that a more extensive examination was necessary before formulating a judgment. A new inquiry was held from July to September 1847, by two members of the commission, Canon Orcel, the superior of the major seminary, and Canon Rousselot.
A conference on the matter at the bishop's residence took place in November–December 1847. Sixteen members - the vicars general of the diocese, the parish priests of Grenoble and the titulary canons - assembled in the presence of the bishop. The majority concluded to the authenticity of the apparition, after the examination of the report from Rousselot and Urcel. Also, the
Mgr. de Bruillard was convinced of the reality of the apparition and authorized the publication of the Rousselot report, which affirmed the reality of the apparition. In his letter of approbation, printed as a type of preface, the bishop of Grenoble declared that he shared the opinion of the majority of the commission which adopted the conclusions of the report.
The procedure was favourable, because the mandate of Mgr. de Bruillard, adjusted according to observations of
We judge that the apparition of the Holy Virgin to the two shepherds, 19 September 1846 ... in the parish of La Salette ... carries within it all the characteristics of truth, and that the faithful have reason to believe it indubitable and certain.
The motives of the decision, which rested on the work of Rousselot and that of the commission of 1847, were the impossibility of explaining the events in human manner, the miracles and cures, the spiritual fruits of the apparition, notably
Later, 16 November 1851, the Bishop of Grenoble published a statement that the mission of the shepherd children had ended and that the matter was now in the hands of the Church. The bishop made it clear that the approval of the church was only for the original revelation of 1846 and not for any subsequent claims.
La Salette immediately stirred up a great fervour in French society, it also provoked enormous discussions. The little visionaries were somewhat disturbed by the perpetual interrogations, the threats, sometimes violent from political and ecclesiastical opponents, and also the assaults of fervour. Calvat especially was venerated in the manner of a saint, not unlike what happened to Saint
After the apparition in 1846, Calvat was placed as a boarder in the Sisters of Providence Convent in
In May 1853, Bishop de Bruillard died. In early 1854 his replacement refused to grant permission for her to be professed, because he found that she was not spiritually mature enough. Calvat claimed that the real reason for the refusal was that the bishop was aiming to gain the favour of the emperor
Following the bishop’s refusal to permit her to be professed, Calvat was officially allowed to move to a convent of the
Napoleon III was ruling republican France but royalists were working for the restoration of a king of a catholic country. This political controversy dominated conversation throughout France, with the French church trying to maintain neutrality. Calvat made this difficult for the hierarchy, by continuing to repeat the reputed words of the Virgin Mary and opposing freemasonry. The bishop, aware of Melanie’s fervid and outspoken royalist sympathies, was worried that she would become involved and thereby implicate the following of Our Lady of La Salette in politics. In 1854, Bishop Ginoulhiac wrote that the predictions attributed to Melanie had no basis in fact and had no importance with regard to La Salette as they came after La Salette and had nothing to do with it.
Calvat agreed to the suggestion of an English visiting priest, and was allowed to move to the Carmel at
She entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Compassion in Marseille. A sister, Marie, was appointed as her companion. After a stay in their convent of
On 14 December 1904 Calvat was found dead in her home in