Revelations: OUR LADY of BONNE GARDE

(Image: Monastery of La Guiche)

Devotion to Our Lady of Bonne Guard at La Fraudais: The Story

In 1268, The Count and Countess of Blois, Jean de Châtillon, and his wife Alix de Bretagne, made a vow to build a Poor Claire monastery in Coulanges, near Blois. The next year in 1269 a strange apparition manifested on a pile of stones and thorns – a flame of fire appeared to a group shepherds that kept the flocks at the place called La Guiche, or 'Small Scrap'. At first, the shepherds tried to approach the flame for warmth, but the flame put out no heat, and dimmed in brightness when they approached. This happened for several days, and at last the Count and Countess were informed of the occurrence. They took this to be a sign marking the place where they should build the promised monastery.

After the pile of stones and thorny brambles were removed from the site, a stone arch was discovered, then, the ancient statue of Our Lady was also discovered. The Count took the statue into his keeping until the monastery was built. It was finished and consecrated on August 5, 1273 on the feast of Our Lady of the Snows. The statue was placed on the main altar of the monastery chapel, which was situated right over the site where the statue was found. 

(Image: the chapel at the monastery of La Guiche)

The statue remained there for the next 500 years until the ravages of the French Revolution. The monastery was closed, then partly destroyed. (You can visit the official historical site here.) By a providential intervention the statue was taken from the monastery of La Guiche and kept safe from the anti-religious mobs by many pious families in the region of Tours who guarded it in their homes, that is, until it came into the possession of a lady named Madame Rose Le Camus.

Madame Le Camus was a pious widow who did not have any children of her own and became the 'adoptive mother' of Marie-Julie Jahenny, and who was also a generous patron. 

One day she heard an interior voice asking that she send the statue to Marie-Julie Jahenny and the future Sanctuary of the Cross that would be established. She obediently gave up the treasure.

On Friday November 8, 1878 the miraculous statue was delivered to Marie-Julie's cottage as she suffered the Passion. (See post #95, click here.) The statue was delivered by a Mr. Hermary from Tours according to the “Friends of Marie -Julie / Sanctuary Website”. Our Lady declared later to Madame Le Camus through Marie-Julie on November 28, 1878: "Oh, if you knew how my Divine Son and I, we are happy with this gift! I reward this generous soul, your adopted mother.'

Our Lady then revealed the rest of the history of the statue (November 28, 1878):

My child, this is my history. I was sculpted by a poor cripple who, after bodily pains, became lame and deformed. He was poor, but heroically religious. Not being able to live without work, he offered himself with ease to guard the flocks of a rich family. While he was in the pastures he would often say to himself: 'I have never done anything to extol, to honour the Holy Virgin who spared my life, in spite of so much suffering.'

One day he asked his master for the heart of a tree and the master fulfilled his wish. He carved the piece of wood, each day he advanced in his work. I helped him and he finished the statue. He lodged me in his poor habitation where he slept. After his death, the statue stayed for a long time with the family of his masters.

In the early days, I had my little oratory, poor, but rich in visits, Christian mothers came to consecrate their little children to me, many priests kissed my statue. Very often I averted the dangers and perils that were coming upon my children.

Afterwards I was given to an old priest who kept me until his death … but shortly beforehand I told him three times: 'My son, your heirs are not Christian, they will not render me the veneration that I merit; before dying you will carry me to a marsh a few miles from here – you will turn my head toward Nazareth – you will make me a little sanctum in the form of a sepulchre. Without revealing your secret you will carry me in the silence of the night while reciting a prayer to me. You will conceal me and you will die with your secret. You will sow some thorny plants, they will grow rapidly, and I shall remain entombed in this site.'

Our Lady then added that after many years, the time in which she would emerge would arrive. It is then that her Divine Son would throw from Heaven, on the site where the statue was buried, a luminous torch that would attract attention. The sealed up stone was opened with respect and we maintained a great veneration for the site.

Our Lady declared: “I was (found) intact. On this land prayers were recited immediately and I manifested my glory in giving health to a little child. My name is OUR LADY OF BONNE GARDE”

Note: the closest translation we have of the title in English is Good Council”, although there are more literal translations from the French: “Good Watch”, “Good Protection”, “Good Guard”, or “Good Care”.


(*) Later, on August 16, 1880, Our Lady said she wished that a special medal to be struck with her title as Our Lady of Bonne Garde, which would carry a special grace and protection of Faith and purity, especially for children. Click here to learn more about the medal.

Then, on August 26, 1880 Our Lady explained to Marie-Julie the meaning of the title:

Before having come the first time to speak here, I was invoked under the name of Notre-Dame of the Garde (Care/Watch), but I wanted to assert 'Bonne' garde, because I had in mind to (certain) protections so bright that the word 'Good' belongs to me and is more honourable.

Of interest, there is also a famous pilgrimage site devoted to Our Lady as Notre-Dame de la Garde in Marseilles shown in the image, but at La Fraudais it appears Our Lady also wishes this ancient title of 'Note-Dame de La Gard' to be amended to "Notre-Dame de La Bonne Garde". Does she also wish it to be amended at Marseilles as well? Click here to find out more about the shrine and devotion in Marseilles.

Our Lady of Bonne Garde also revealed on October 23, 1880 to Marie-Julie regarding the future procession of the statue to the Sacntuary of the Cross that will be built in La Fraudais:

 "I have not yet done all my wonders My beloved child, when the sanctuary will be built in La Fraudais, (i.e the great Sacntuary of the Cross) I will be carried in procession, to burst forth my marvelous power. In regard to two stubborn criminals, possessed of the devil, (i.e. two sinners who are possessd will be present at the procession.) I will deliver them, I will stir the hand that carries the scepter, and I will touch those two criminals who will return to grace and a Mass of thanksgiving will be said, I will sing aloud, and my voice will be heard in the sanctuary, and the angels will sing with me. My beloved children, I am all powerful and a Mother Protectress ."

In 1883, as a reward for her generosity in donating the ancient statue to the Sanctuary at La Fraudais, Our Lady further revealed to Madame Le Camus through Marie-Julie the extent this devotion would spread:

Our Lady: "My dear child, you shall bring to my Rose, (I.e. Madame Rose Le Camus) your dear mother, my words. My cult, (I.e Our Lady of Bonne Garde) my daughter is going to be flourishing, my name will spread everywhere, my heart will open as an inexhaustible source for all the pilgrims of the Cross. My daughter, I will be greatly honoured by all visitors of the work, starting my devotion (by the people) ... The people will venerate* me, beg me, giving me votive offerings of gratitude.”

(* CORRECTION/ CLARIFICATION: A bad literal translation of the French text appeared in the book "We Are Warned", ie. "worship me" instead of "venerate me". The French word in the text is "vénérer" = to venerate.  I apologise for the previously bad translation via Google Translate!)

Marie-Julie: “With these words, my Good Mother rose radiantly on a beneficial cloud, so wonderful that Our Lady of Bonne Garde was as lost in the songs of thanksgiving and gratitude (sung by) the poor humans ... She said: "I see at my feet, the whole of France with its sovereigns. My daughter, this devotion will start with the favour of the last days of your life on Earth." (I.e. the devotion would begin to spread just before Marie-Julie's death).

The October Devotion to Our Lady of Bonne Garde

Ecstasy of October 1, 1935

Our Lady of Bonne Garde to Marie-Julie Jahenny:

During this beautiful month, (I.e. October) recite to me three 'Hail Marys' in the morning, midday and evening. To obtain my assistance during your life and death, you will say:

I salute you, beloved Daughter of the Father, Lily of Purity, pray for us.
I salute you, Mary...(Hail Mary, full of grace, etc.)

I salute you, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Violet of Humility, pray for us.
I salute you, Mary, (Hail Mary, etc.)

I salute you, O Mother of the Word Incarnate, Rose of Charity, pray for us,
I salute you, Mary, (Hail Mary, etc.)”

(Apparently, this must be said, morning, mid-day, and evening for the whole month.)

Divine Providence Intervenes in the Coronation of the Statue of Bonne Garde at La Fraudais:

In 1990 the “Friends of Marie-Julie” desired to honour Our Lady of Bonne Garde by commissioning a special crown for the statue in gold and gems and wished to present it in 1991 in hour of Marie-Julie's 50th Anniversary of her death (she died 1941), and also in honour of the 90th birthday of the 'Marquis' de Franquerie, the man Our Lady instructed to guard Marie-Julie's texts, and who later founded the “Friends of Marie-Julie Society”.

They finally were able to secure a Catholic goldsmith capable of this commission and had already chosen the stones for the crown when unexpectedly on November 11, 1990 a certain section of the texts in thier archives fell to the floor: lo and behold, it was dated May 10, 1904 and featured Marie-Julie's prophetic description of a 'crown'.

Marie-Julie: "I see rising to the top of the Heart of Mary, Our Good Immaculate Mother, a crown from which detaches a dazzling burst of glory, formed by rays of white diamonds interspersed with emeralds."

The Blessed Virgin: "My children, this crown is interlaced with the most abundant riches of my maternal heart."

The “Friends of Marie-Julie” were stunned to see this text drop at their feet: they observe if it had fallen a mere twenty-four hours later it would have been too late to change the commission to fit the description they found as the stones would have passed into the hands of the smelter and no change to the crown could have been made in time, and, they also note if this text had fallen a year earlier they would not have seen the signs regarding the work of the crown that they were currently undertaking, for the project would not have been envisioned then let alone undertaken. The “Friends” immediately saw the work of God in this, especially as the Feast of the Immaculate Heart had not yet been established when the ecstasy took place.  Following the directions they believed were now given to them on how the crown should look, the statue was solemnly presented with the emerald and diamond crown on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary August 22, 1991.

The story does not end there, for the prophetic text of the first crown dated 1904 contains other predictions—the 'first crown' was a sign more crowns were to come, and that “paths” from Heaven to earth were about to open. The “Friends of Marie-Julie” at the time believed this was not only a prediction of Marie-Julie's crown after her death, but also that once the statue itself was crowned, the prophecies of La Fraudais would commence in earnest, vis, the spread of devotion to Our Lady of Bonne Garde, the path of the Great Monarch and Angelic Pope would be opened, and that the Sanctuary of the Cross would soon be more the just a prophecy, La Fraudis would become a place of great pilgrimage, and that plans for the construction of the Sanctuary and the Age of Peace would not be long in coming:

(Continuation / excerpts from the May 10, 1904 text):

Marie-Julie: "There is in the suns where is imprinted the Face of the Divine Redeemer, where shines the face of the Holy Immaculate Virgin, where there are lights intertwined with pearls and beads so beautiful and white we read in the burst that go out: love, generous rewards, suffering crowned, battles ended."

"Oh Heaven do not delay any more!"

"This first crown, oh, what a burst of beauty! It is the announcement, it is like a predecessor burst that prepares the way, sanctifies it, fills it with lights and dazzling jubilations. It is the sun a future dawn that comes, radiant, radiant with glory, preparing the way from Heaven to Earth. "

"This rich crown, it is a blessing that is spreading (the) ways to be followed by others. It is (this one) that comes first to prepare the thrones where must repose all those that follow it. The way is resplendent, it is a light similar to the lights of Heaven; we understand in this very large way harmonious songs that make the soul tremble with joy, a joy that is intoxicating, a joy which fills one in a transport that it can not describe,” and she said: "To suggest my sublime exclamations, I wait for the hour that is even closer; this close (approaching) hour will make me exclaim with jubilation and joy. In an ecstasy of delight and happiness, I will leave my exile of sadness and tears. In the most pure breast my Beloved Spouse, I will plunge and become inebriated."

"The hour is coming and Heaven is already decking with flags the radiant path that comes from Heaven to Earth."

The “Friends of Marie-Julie” also note the insistence of this prophecy, that in this text of the 'first crown', “...we read 11 times it prepares the way, the path, track, and it also comes, to advance the paths (mentioned 7 times).”

Then, as if to confirm their thoughts, only three days after the Coronation of the statue, on the feast of King Louis IX (August 25), 1991, the following texts regarding Our Lady of Bonne Garde, which had been lost among their great number of files, fell under their eyes, again by what seemed to be chance, but which the “Friends of Marie-Julie” also believe to be Providential considering the timing! (It appears from the context they had no idea about this part of the history of the statue regarding Marie-Julie and therefore were learning about it for the first time.) The texts refer to Madame Le Camus and how the Devotion to Our Lady under the title of Bonne Garde would spread and that miracles were destined to follow:

(September 15, 1883) Marie-Julie: "My good adoptive mother, (Madame Camus) be ready to come see Our Lady of Bonne Garde, she leaves Heaven, she comes to comfort us. I never saw her so beautiful and stunning, my Good Mother and of Good Garde (Care/Watch).”

Our Lady: "My beloved child, Rose, (Madame Le Camus) if you knew how I love you, how more pleasing you are to me, because my Rose, you do everything to please me and console me. My dear child, I tasted so many charms under your blessed roof, in leaving, to come establish me as Mistress, Governess, Director of the work of the Cross". (i.e. Our Lady recognised Made Le Camus special devotion to her statue under her roof, and although the statue was a treasure for her, was generous in giving the statue to Marie-Julie when requested. The generosity was a pleasing consolation.)

Marie-Julie says: "My dear adoptive mother, June 26 this year, I was so unwell that I could not move. Our Lady of Bonne Garde in the morning of that day, without disturbing the top of her stall (shelf?), shook my hand, her soft hand seemed so (gossamer?) and burning with love. She spoke to me and I could sit a little on my couch, and she said:

"My daughter, great graces will soon be brought about by my name."

On August 15 she told me to tell you these beautiful things that will delight you and also the father, good mother. (I.e Fr. David, her confessor). For some time a considerable number of friends of the Cross (will) call upon the Cross, pray and salute Our Lady of Bonne Garde, up to the letters that are addressed to it, many. Our Lady of Bonne Garde gave me many revelations, she said:

Our Lady: "My dear child, you shall bring to my Rose, your dear mother, my words. My cult, my daughter is going to be flourishing, my name will spread everywhere, my heart will open as an inexhaustible source for all the pilgrims of the Cross. My daughter, I will be greatly honoured by all visitors of the work, starting my devotion (by the people) ... The people will venerate me, beg me, giving me votive offerings of gratitude.”

With these words, my Good Mother rose radiantly on a beneficial cloud, so wonderful that Our Lady of Bonne Garde was as lost in the songs of thanksgiving and gratitude (sung by) the poor humans ... She said: "I see at my feet, the whole of France with its sovereigns. My daughter, this devotion will start with the favour of the last days of your life on Earth."

"My daughter, I work great wonders for my First Victim (I.e .Fr. David, her confessor) and its father preach the glory of the Cross, Rose will be there with my other friends."

"My daughter, I will be gloriously crowned more than I am today, crowned, my daughter, by the Holy Church immortal and infallible in its lights. (Note:A prediction of the establishment of the Feast of the Immaculate Heart, which happened in 1944? It could also be a prediction the title of Bonne Garde will also be formally recognised by the Church). My First Victim and my Rose will be at my feet on this solemn day when the Church will make me a crown of prayers and hymns.”

Marie-Julie: Here, my good adoptive mother, a speech that put all Heaven in harmony of praise and glory to Our Lady of Bonne Garde. The Holy Virgin, our dear Mother told me again:

"I have to go triumphantly to get my beloved First Victim. (A prediction of Fr. David's death? He died two years later in 1885.) In my power, with (her), I will joyously bring many more imprisoned victims, and my Rose with other friends, to sing the Te Deum. It is there, my daughter, that I will descend from the podium to fly into their arms and I will rise on a throne much broader and more worthy of my name."

Marie-Julie: “When I am no longer with you, my dear mother, (Madame Camus) on Earth, she will give you a comforting sign of her sweet love by the lifting her right hand, as if to bless you with the workers of the work. She asked me to tell you seven different times. She said to me again, the Holy Virgin; "she had all three of our hearts” and that she wanted, my good mother, they are never removed, not even for the solemn coronation of the Church. She said, the Holy Virgin, that our father was a saint … that no soul knew the holiness of this Father, First Victim (I.e Fr. David) … in how little time there will be (accomplished through) him great things and great miracles. She told me he was a bright light planted in the designs of the three Divine Persons.”

Our Lady: "My daughter, my heart rejoices in ineffable joy because of the great things that will be accomplished! My Son will break forth His wonders and I, I will break forth mine."

Julie Marie: "How beautiful, Jesus and Mary accomplishing miracles in the same time, how beautiful!"