Apparition of Beauraing, Belgium 1932 - 1933

by Amyobala Key

Our Lady of Beauraing   

During the evening of November 29, 1932, 15 year-old Fernande Voisin, her friend, Andree Degeimbre, 14, and Andree's sister Gilberte, 9, accompanied Albert Voisin, 11, on their way to the local convent school to meet Albert's sister, Gilberte Voisin, who had stayed behind to study. It was the village of Beauraing in southern Belgium. As they waited before the convent door, Albert looked over a small Lourdes grotto in front of a railway embankment beside the convent garden. There he spied an Apparition, dressed in white, walking above the bridge. The girls confirmed the luminous figure of a lady dressed in white who walked through the air, her feet obscured by a small cloud.

Over the next few evenings, the same children observed what appeared to be the Blessed Virgin by a hawthorn tree near the grotto. They knelt in the street and looked through the railings from outside the convent gate. When they spied her, they would simultaneously drop heavily to their knees onto the cobblestoned street. It was reported that the bystanders who saw this were afraid for their safety, but never once did they suffer an injury. As they knelt, they prayed. Curiously, it was observed that their voices appeared to rise in pitch, uniting into a single voice.

The children later spoke of a beautiful Lady who wore a white gown and held her hands as if in prayer. Around her head shone rays of light. On the 2nd of December, Albert worked up the courage to ask the Lady if she was the Immaculate Virgin. She smiled and nodded and replied, "Always be good."

Six days later on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, thousands of people had assembled to witness the children kneeling and praying in their customary state. Doctors tested them, holding lighted matches under their hands, until the matches had extinguished, pricking them with pins, sometimes pushing them deeply into their hands, and shining lights into their eyes. The children never showed signs of wounds. Unaware of these events, they were surprised when later informed about the tests. The Doctors concluded that the children were indeed in a state of total ecstasy.

Despite, these demonstrations of absolute sincerity, the local religious authorities played it safe and would not get involved. Even the Bishop ordered his priests to avoid the spectacle.

The five witnesses Apparition at Beauraing
Back Row:Andree Degeimbre,Fernande Voisin,Gilberte Voisin
Front Row:Gilberte Degeimbre,Albert Voisin

On December 17, 1932, The Blessed Virgin asked for a chapel to be built.

She did not appear every night, despite the presence of the children. When She did appear, they fell to their knees in unison. Questioned separately, the children revealed on December 28th, that the Lady had stated that her last appearance would take place soon. The following day, the girl, Fernande, described the Lady has having a heart of gold surrounded by bright rays of light. The Apparition repeated the phrase: "Pray, pray very much." Only Fernande could hear this. On January 1st, 1933, Gilberte Voisin received the instruction: "Pray always." Two days later, on January 3rd, Her final appearance, she spoke to each child separately.

To Gilberte Voisin, she revealed: "I will convert sinners." Then she said Goodbye. Afterward, she spoke to Andree. "I am the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven. Pray always." The girl, Fernande, who had been disappointed at not seeing anything up to that point, remained outside while the first two were taken in for questioning. It was then that she and others in the crowd heard a thunderous noise and saw a ball of fire on the hawthorn tree. The Lady appeared to Fernande, asking her if she loved Her Son and Herself. Fernande replied that she did. To this the Lady said, "Then sacrifice yourself for Me." The Lady then glowed brilliantly and extended her arms, revealing to Fernande, a golden heart. After this, she said, "Goodbye" and vanished.

In total, there were 33 Apparitions reported in Beauraing, after which many pilgrims visited the site, and ultimately reported numerous cures.

It was 2 years before the Bishop appointed a commission of inquiry (1935). Eight years later, Bishop Charue, his successor, authorized public devotions to the Blessed Virgin at Beauraing. Six years later, on July 2, 1949, the appearances by the Blessed Virgin were declared official. A document was issued that discussed many cures that had occurred at Beauraing in which they were declared miraculous. A second document affirmed that the Virgin Mary had truly appeared to the children of Beauraing with "an anxious appeal for prayer and the promise of a powerful mediation for the conversion of sinners."

On August 21, 1954, a Chapel was consecrated to Our Lady of Beauraing.

Lady of the Golden
Heart Our Lady of Beauraing

Fernande Voisin, was born on June 21, 1917. In 1941, she married Albert Despas, who worked at the local tax office. Fernande was a nurse who made home visits. In 1954 they moved to Namur where she died on May 9, 1979 from kidney cancer. She had five children: Rose-Marie, Michel, Emmanuel, Noel and Marie-Francoise.

Andree Degeimbre was born on April 19, 1918. She married Georges van den Steen from Flanders in 1941. Andree had 3 children: Christian, Yvan and Marie-Ange. She died on June 11, 1978, the first of the five to die.

Gilberte Voisin was born June 20, 1919. She was a kindergarten teacher. She married Amedee Pierret in 1945, a police officer from Sainte-Marie. He was killed while on active duty in 1953, leaving two children: Michel and Bernadette. Gilberte returned to Beauraing where she died in an accident on January 3, 2003, the 70th anniversary of the last apparition at the exact hour that the Blessed Virgin said: "I will convert sinners".

Albert Voisin, was born September 3, 1921. He spent his military duty in Ireland and Germany and was a teacher in Ottignies for 2 years. In 1948, he married Yvonne Embrechts from Liege. That same year, they left for the Belgian Congo, first to Lubumbashi followed by Kowezi where their 3 children were born: Claude, Francine and Bridget. The family returned to Beauraing in 1961 where Albert taught at the "Institut Notre Dame." He died on December 23rd, 2003.

Gilberte Degeimbre was born August 13, 1923. In 1947, she married Andre Philippe. For a long time she lived in Italy with her husband and their two children. She has since returned to live in Beauraing with her husband.


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