A Cryptic Traditional Catholic Travelogue 12: O Claire Ferchaud!

 

The side altar in the church where Claire Ferchaud beheld His Sacred Heart.

Introduction 2013:

This is the penultimate part of a very personal, fragmentary series of posts I did whilst travelling through the ruins of Catholic France during the summer of 2010- from Lourdes in the South to Pontmain in the north, the subject of the final installment.

Here I tell of my unforgettable visit to Loublande, just outside the Vendée. Whilst Loublande may not technically be part of the Vendée, it is certainly part of what might be called the greater Vendee region, where the Counter-Revolution was fought.

But most importantly, Loublande is where Sister Claire Ferchaud beheld his Sacred Heart in the Great War …

I have more about Claire Ferchaud and Loublande in a post here.

For now, I will simply say that this rather cryptic series of entries is probably best appreciated by starting with the first one about Lourdes here.

And now what I wrote back in that indelible summer of 2010.

From 2010:

A tribute now, to a very special place.

Loublande …

Just at the very edge of the Vendée.

But still belonging to the territory of the Counter-Revolution … with the same tradition and the same piety anchored here, as well.

But there is still more to Loublande …

Loublande. Unforgettable Loublande.

Loublande a small village, where Claire Ferchaud reported visions of His Sacred Heart during the Great War …

Where thousands of pilgrims began to descend …

Yet almost completely forgotten today.

I came to Loublande sympathetic to Sister Claire, but also somewhat sceptical as well.

The story of Claire Ferchaud is so very strange. The young barely literate peasant, barely yet a woman, who won an audience with Raymond Poincaré, the President of the Republic.

The Third Republic – so hostile to and repressive of the Church.

A President who could not have been less sympathetic to her cause: that France had been called to place the Sacred Heart on its flag.

Called by Jesus.

There in the centre of the French tricolour.

It was not easy to get an audience with the President of France in 1917, for anyone – let alone Claire who had left school, age 11 …

A very, very, very strange story indeed.

Yes I arrived with doubts.

Now I do not know what to think.

Loublande was – again – completely unforgettable. Unforgettable the quality of depth, of prayer I found in that Loublande church, where Claire reported seeing Our Lord …

I shall remember that altar to the Sacred Heart for the rest of my days.

In so many ways, Loublande in the West of France reminds me of Paray-le-Monial in the East.

In Paray, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque also had what appear to us moderns as the strangest of messages concerning His Sacred Heart.

She heard that that Heart should be placed on the standards of the King of France.

She heard that in Paray.

Paray, which changed my life forever.

But as I write these words, the power of Loublande has not yet stopped shaking me …

It is perhaps too early to say.

But I feel changed by Loublande, too.

And Sister Claire, as she became known, would live out her days in Loublande, believing that President Poincaré had made the most terrible mistake.

Sister Claire lived a life hidden away from the world and dedicated to expiation for the sin of France …

With sisters dedicated to the same.

Sister Claire, I had the privilege of visiting your little convent, as well. The chapel there also so very deeply moving.

And the sisters there, who remembered you.

I must say that this little group of sisters felt to me, far more living and inspired than the half-dead convents I reported earlier in these travels. The sheer sweetness of one of these sisters touches me in particular.

She gives me a book about Claire Ferchaud, which relates not only the visions, but a miracle …

Claire’s visions were never approved by the Vatican. But they were never condemned either. And throughout the decades after the Great War, it is clear that she had a particular solicitude from Popes.

Pius XI personally approved one of her prayers.

Indeed it seems that Benedict XV called her to a meeting in Rome in 1922, but died suddenly, before that appointment could take place.

And Sister Claire continued for the next fifty years to pray in Loublande.

Sister Claire, pray for us …

Next Installment: A Cryptic Traditional Catholic Travelogue 13

The flag envisioned by Claire Ferchaud, which can still be found in old French churches, like this one in St. Pierre de Soulan in the Ariege.

From Amazon USA:

We have found all the books (and film) below deeply helpful to us in understanding the breathtaking and beautiful Mysteries and Miracles of Catholic France. The Jonas books on Claire Ferchaud and the Sacred Heart however are academic, not traditional and require caution. These two and most others have reviews here at our site. You can also find these items in different sections of our Amazon UK store here.

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  1. […] Cor Jesu Sacratissimum HomeDedicationAbout UsKim's WeblogRoger's WeblogWebburstsReviewsArticles « French Fragments: A Cryptic Travelogue for Any Who Care to Listen (Part XII: Loublande and C… […]

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  3. […] south at Lourdes and ended in the northwest, having come up through the Vendée and having visited Loublande, home of Claire Ferchaud (as I wrote in the immediately previous […]

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