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Vierge des Pauvres (Banneux, Liège, Wallonia, Belgium)
Banneux, Belgium (1933)

Commemorated on January 15, May 31
Vierge des Pauvres (Banneux, Liège, Wallonia, Belgium)
In 1933, 12 days after the last apparition of Our Lady with the Golden Heart to a group of children at Beauraing, Belgium, a new series of apparitions began 56 miles away in the town of Banneux.
At age 11, Mariette Beco was the oldest of seven children in a nonpracticing Catholic family. On January 15, 1933, at 7 pm, she was sitting at the window, looking out on the snow-covered yard, watching for her brother Julien to come home, when she saw a radiant young woman nearby, in a white robe, transparent veil, and blue sash, with a rosary over her right arm and roses on her feet. Exclaiming, "Look, Mama, it's the Holy Virgin, and she's smiling at me!" the girl began praying on a rosary she'd found in the street. She thought the Virgin wanted her to go to her outside, but her mother locked the door. Mariette now began attending church and catechism class and praying the rosary in the yard every night at 7:00. On January 18, the Virgin reappeared above the pine woods across the street from the house. Mariette followed her into the street, where the Lady asked her to put her hands in the ditch water, which she claimed as "especially hers." The following night, the vision identified herself - "I am the Virgin of the Poor" - and explained that her stream would heal the sick "of all nations." Mariette saw her five more times. At the last apparition, March 2, 1933, the girl had been praying in the rain for nearly an hour when the rain suddenly stopped and the Virgin appeared to say farewell: "I am the Mother of the Savior, the Mother of God. Pray much. Adieu." As word of the apparitions spread, pilgrims began coming, and there were several miraculous cures at the stream. As the Virgin had requested, a chapel was built on the Becos' property that same year. The bishop authenticated the apparitions Aug. 22, 1949.
 In 2008, the shrine celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Virgin's appearance.



March 25, 1921
Mariette Beco was born the eldest of a family of seven children in a Catholic working family, who, however, did not practice their religion. She dwelt in a house isolated on the plateau of the Ardennes, along the route of Pepinster. Her household was not a pious one. Her father Julian Beco was an unemployed wiremaker who hadn't been to Mass in many years and her mother Louise was not very devout either. Because of her family circumstances, for two months Mariette had not gone to church, she was doing very poorly in catechism class, and she had stopped going to her instructions for Holy Communion.
Jan 3, 1933
The apparitions of the "The Virgin with the Golden Heart" to the five children of Beauraing, Belgium which is 50 miles to the northeast away from the poor farm village of Banneux-Notre Dame.
Jan 15, 1933
Mariette saw something out her window but thought it was a perhaps reflection of her oil lamp. She moved the lamp to another room and looked harder. Mariette sees through the window of her house a beautiful and luminous lady with a Rosary in her hands . She wore a long white gown with a blue sash and was barefoot in the snow but did not appear cold. She called her mother who caught a faint glimpse of something, but told her she was crazy, locked the door and forbade the girl to look at the vision.
Jan 16, 1933
At school the next day, Mariette and a friend go to see the parish priest Fr Louis Jamin who dismisses her as trying to copy the Beauraing apparitions. For the next two days the Virgin did not appear again but Mariette became pious and restarted her catechism. She learned her lessons perfectly and this surprised Fr Jamin who encouraged her to pray to Our Lady for guidance.
Jan 18, 1933
At 7:00 pm, Mariette ran around to her back yard and fell to her knees in silent prayer. Her father thought this was a strange sight and came out to see what was going on. Mariette saw a birght ball of light increasing in size and passing through the pine trees and finally changed into a "woman's silhouette". The Virgin appeared a yard away from her on a "luminous cloud". Her father and 2 neighbors had gathered to see if they could see anything. Mariette said loudly and with a clear voice: "She is calling me!" The girl rose and ran in the direction of the main road, very fast, as if carried by the wind. Suddenly, Mariette stopped in her tracks and fell to her knees twice, near a spring. Our Lady said: "Put your hands in the water! This fountain is reserved for Me. Goodnight. Good bye." The Virgin disappeared a few seconds later - her silhouette became a ball of light and faded away in the horizon. Around 10:00 pm, Father Jamin went to the Beco's house. He was surprised by Julian's account of the story and his declaration to convert, make a general confession and go to Mass.
Jan 19, 1933
At the same time the next day as Mariette prays the Rosary with 17 people around her, The Virgin appears for the third time. When Mariette asks her identity she says "I am the Virgin of the Poor." They then went to the spring together. Mary declared: "This spring is reserved for all the nations, to bring comfort to the sick." Just before leaving in a ball of light, she said: "I will pray for you; good bye." 
Jan 20, 1933
The next day around 6:45 pm, the fourth apparition took place with thirteen witnesses, including Father Jamin and the first two journalists. During this apparition, the Virgin made a request: “I would like a small chapel.” Our Lady imposed her hands on Mariette and traced the sign of the cross over her head. At the end, Mariette lost consciousness.
However, during the following days until February 11, the apparitions stopped. Some made fun of Mariette, calling her "Saint Bernadette." Despite the intense cold, Mariette continued praying and believed that she would see the Virgin of the Poor again.
Feb 11, 1933
On the anniversary of the Apparitions in Lourdes at 7 pm, The Virgin appears for the fifth time. Mariette ran with incredible speed to the spring after the Lady, dropped to her knees and dipped the tip of her rosary in the water. "I come to alleviate sufferings," Mary said to her interiorly. 
The following day, Mariette received First Communion from Fr. Jamin.
Feb 15, 1933
The Virgin appears for the sixth time while Mariette prays the Rosary with her mother and friends. Mariette asks for a sign but is only encouraged to "Believe in me and I will believe in you. Pray very much. Goodbye."
Feb 20, 1933
The Virgin appears for the seventh time and encourages her saying: "My dear child, pray, pray very much."
March 2, 1933
The Virgin appears for the eighth and final time. "I am the Mother of the Saviour, the Mother of God. Pray very much. " Then she imposed her hands on Mariette's head and blessed her with the sign of the cross. She said, “Adieu – till we meet in God.” And Mariette cried as she understood this would be her final appearance to her.
The Little Chapel was built and inaugurated.
Mar 19, 1935
Investigations by an Episcopal commission begin headed by Msgr Leroux, director of the diocesan major seminary. Seventy three people testified under oath.
Feb 18, 1937
The commission's work was finished. The whole file (428 pages and 21 documents annex) was transmitted by the diocese of Liege to the archbishop of Brussels-Mechlin, then to Rome.
Jan 2, 1942
The Holy Office had in effect given to these bishops the liberty to "judge these extraordinary events." Msgr. Kerkhofs, bishop of Liege, immediately lifted the restrictions, and promulgated full and entire authorization for practicing the "cult" which to that point had been simply tolerated.
March 19, 1942
Bishop Msgr. Louis-Joseph Kerkhofs of Liege approves the cult of the Virgin of the Poor.
March 25, 1942
Cardinal Van Roy, primate of Belgium, intervened to exclude all the apparitions which had abounded in Belgium, except Beauraing and Banneux, which were being examined by their respective bishops (Namur and Liege).
June 19, 1942
20 meeting sessions were convened for the members of the new committee to make a pronouncement on the character of Mariette Beco and on the supernatural origin of the apparitions. Some evoked the "hysterical disposition" of the seer. Other talked about a deception or illusion. According to them Mariette imagined that she saw the Virgin Mary after having read a flier about Lourdes (conserved in the library of the patronage in Banneux).
Feb 15, 1944
Last meeting of the commitee. The apparitions were viewed with doubt: "The events of Banneux appear to be neither certain nor even probable"
Msgr Kerkhofs, with the help of Father Rene Rutten (1878-1948) ordered a third and last investigation committee. This time, the conclusions were positive and the supernatural origin officially recognized by the bishop of Liege, on August 22, 1949, sixteen years after the events.
The apparitions receive preliminary approval.
Aug 22, 1949
The apparitions receive final approval.
The apparitions are approved by the Vatican.
Aug 14, 1956
Msgr E. Forni, the Apostolic Nuncio to Brussels, solemnly crowned the statue of the Virgin of the Poor.
Pope John Paul II went to Banneux and had an audience with Mariette at the sacristy.
July 31, 1999
The Vatican issues a letter to the Bishop of Liege to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the apparitions.
Dec 2, 2011
Mariette Beco passed away in the "Home de la Vierge des Pauvres" at Banneux, Belgium


The Virgin was enveloped in a "great oval light" and wore a long white gown with a sash of "unforgettable blue" and a white, tranparent veil covering her head and shoulders. Her right foot was visible and "crowned with a golden rose" between the toes. She had a rosary on her right arm with diamond-like beads and a golden chain and cross. She stood on a cloud with her head and shoulders bent sllightly to the left.


Banneux was investigated from 1935 until 1937 by an Episcopal commission, after which the evidence collected was submitted to Rome. Meanwhile growing numbers of pilgrims came to the shrine, and on March 19th, 1942 Bishop Mgr. Louis-Joseph Kerkhofs of Liege approved the cult of the Virgin of the Poor. In 1947 the apparitions themselves received preliminary approval, with this becoming definite on August 22, 1949.
"Two times, first in 1942 and then in 1947, we have officially recognized the reality of the apparitions of Banneux. Today after two new years of prayer and observation, we believe in conscience to be able and to be required to recognize without reserve this reality, namely, the reality of the eight apparitions of the Holy Virgin to Mariette Beco" (Dessain. Notre Dame de Banneux, Paris, 1967, p. 207)
In 1985, Pope John Paul II went to Banneux and had an audience with Mariette at the sacristy. On July 31, 1999, the Vatican issued a letter to the Bishop of Liege to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the apparitions. 
The Feast of Our Lady of Banneux is observed on May 31st.


Invocations to Our Lady of Banneux
Blessed Virgin of the Poor,
lead us to Jesus, the Source of Grace.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor,
save all nations.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor,
Fountain of Grace, sanctify us.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor,
relieve the suffering.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor,
relieve the sick.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor,
pray for each one of us.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor,
we believe in thee.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor,
believe in us.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor,
we shall pray very much.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor,
bless us.
Blessed Virgin of the Poor,
Mother of the Savior,
Mother of God,
we thank thee.
O Virgin of the Poor, 
May you ever be blessed ! And blessed be He who deigned to send you to us. What you have been and are to us now, you will always be to those who, like us, and better then us, offer their faith and their prayer. You will be all for us, as you revealed yourself at Banneux : Mediatrix of all graces, the Mother of theSaviour, Mother of God. A compassionate and powerfull Mother who loves the poor and all Peaople, who alleviates suffering, who saves individuals and all humanity, Queen and Mother of all Nations, who came to lead all those who allow themselves to be guided by you, to Jesus the true and only Source of eternal life.
Our Lady of Banneux, Mother of Our Saviour, Mother of God, Virgin of the Poor, since thou hast promised to believe in us if we believe in thee, I put all my trust in thee. Deign to listen to the prayers that thou hast asked be addressed to thee; have pity on all our spiritual and temporal miseries. Restore to sinners the treasure of Faith, and give to the poor their daily bread. Deign to relieve suffering, to heal the sick and to pray for us, so that thus through thy intercession, the reign of Christ the King may extend over all nations. 


Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Poor

Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Poor (Banneux, Belgium)

The shrine of Our Lady of Banneux also had its beginning in the 20th century with the 8 appearances of Our Lady to 11-year old Mariette Becco between January 15 and March...

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