Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 17 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Hildegard of Bingen
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

A quick intro to the Church’s 1st approved Marian apparition

Our Lady of Le Puy

luiz_gustavo_photo | Shutterstock

Marinella Bandini - published on 08/20/21

It was in France, in Le Puy-en-Velay, and a shrine was built by the 3rd century.

What’s the first apparition of Our Lady recognized by the Church?

It took place in France, in Le Puy-en-Velay, a small town in Haute-Loire in southern France.

According to tradition, Our Lady appeared to a woman sick with a high fever, and asked her to go up Mount Anis.

The woman lay down on what is now called “fever rock” and fell asleep.

The Blessed Virgin appeared to her, healed her, and asked her to build a church in her honor on that spot.

There rose the largest Marian shrine of medieval Christendom.

It was 430, one year before the Council of Ephesus, which would proclaim Mary the “Mother of God.”

According to a legend, the local bishop received a message from Our Lady with instructions for building the church.

When he went up the hill, the land was covered with snow, even though it was July. A deer walked through the snow, marking the floor plan of the cathedral.

Many miracles have taken place at Puy. Popes and kings have come here in pilgrimage, including St. Louis IX.

By the year 1000 Le Puy became one of the main starting points of the Camino pilgrimage to Santiago of Compostela.

Find out more:

Virgin Mary

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.