Being apart of the Roman Catholic family is a wonderful thing, and if you ask any Catholic, devout or otherwise, if they have a favorite apparition that resonates deeply with them, for the most part, they will say that they gravitate towards Fatima or Lourdes, which upon reading about them, is quite understandable. But for me, however, I am a La Salette devotee, primarily because the messages that our Blessed Mother gave to Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud are so necessary for today's times: the vital importance of prayer, the acknowledgement of ingratitude and the personal reformation of ourselves according to Church teachings. But what is even more amazing is the attacks against our priests and nuns and religious, a happening that our Holy Mother predicted not only externally but internally as well. And it is a truth that is not limited to France alone nor solely of that time frame. It is in the present and universal.
What makes the appearance of our Holy Mother in the mountains of La Salette so unique is that it was the first time that she appeared to children. And her request wasn't one of building a shrine dedicated to her Son or God or herself. Rather, it was about personal change in accordance with Church teachings, for many had cussed, incorporating the name of her Son, while others only went to Mass in order to mock it. Onward and onward, the criticisms were plenty, and rightfully so. The arm of her Son was so heavy, and her tears were abundant. What makes Mary Alice Dennis's book so absorbing is that it does not focus entirely on the messages but also the messengers, truly less-than-stellar examples of the Christian faith. Yet, they were perfect witnesses because of their ignorant carefree simplicity and honesty (Chapter 9). Because they both were so physically and emotionally beaten down by life and their own loved ones, the afteraffects of their experience left them in a kind of earthly limbo, wandering from place to place, never quite able to find the exact niche to where they belonged.
Melanie: And the Story of Our Lady of La Salette was a good work of religious nonfiction. The latter half of the book was a little better than the first part, as it was not so cutesy, and the beginning was rather questionable in respects to documentation and accuracy. The author does a very good job in profiling the early life of the seers, but she lessens the value of her examination of the apparition by trying to get into the mindset of the witness and somewhat doing the speaking for them. And there is no claim of validity to what she writes, and that harms this work. But again, the second half of the book far surpasses the first, and credibility does seem to be restored.