Thursday, 13 July 2017

Shrines of France

I left London with my travelling companion, Laura, firstly to visit the chapel and castle of St Mesmin. The traffic was congested so we continued on to the city of Orleans. This was an ancient town in 1424 when an illiterate girl, only 12 years old, saw visions and heard voices of the saints, Michael, the archangel, Catherine of Antioch and Margaret. She also communed with the archangel Gabriel. Their voices inspired her to lead French armies in victory against the English during the Hundred Years War, restoring the crown to Charles VII. Shockingly, she was betrayed by the British, tried in court and burnt at the stake as a witch in 1431. We wondered why Michael and Margaret, both dragon slaying saints and therefore both related to leylines, were involved in Joan’s mission and we discovered strong leys in the area of Orleans. The house in Donremy where Joan was born and the thirteenth century church where she prayed can be visited to see the original statue of St Margaret before which Joan prayed. It is a particularly powerful statue and myself and my colleague received an outpouring of love and strength and we also received a message about the pointlessness and poisonous ness of war, it's swings and roundabouts, loss that lasts generations. The energies in the forest where Joan received her first messages from the saints - and around the spring which in ancient times provided healing for those with fever and which the judge questioned her about during her trial - register extraordinary energies. In the local town of Greux is a special shrine to St Margaret whose energies are very powerful.

Then we travelled to Lourdes where in 1858, Bernadette Soubirous, an illiterate and desperately poor 14 year old girl, and in seriously bad health from the effects of a cholera epidemic, was illegally collecting firewood at 5am one bitterly cold February morning. As she crossed the Gave river, she saw an apparition of a beautiful woman in a small cleft in a rock. Over the course of 18 meetings, the lady, who called herself ‘The Immaculate Conception’ told Bernadette to drink and wash in a pool of muddy water, and instructed that a church should be built, and that processions should come to the area. Today, this spring provides 27,000 gallons of high quality water and millions of people come to drink and bathe. The cramped damp house where Bernadette was born and lived at the time of the visions had once been a prison but declared unfit to house even criminals. We found the walls echoed with disturbed and dissonant voices that were uncomfortable for us to hear and we did some spirit release there. Bernadette worked in the hospice at Lourdes before she was sent to Nevers, a distant closed order with the Sisters of Charity. She never saw her family again. She died at the age of 35 of TB (which she probably contracted whilst nursing the patients in the hospice). Lourdes is a very moving shrine with immense energies of healing and incredible voices with exceptional messages appealing for kindness, generosity and caring. Though cures are not sought at the shrine, strength and love are there in huge, moving amounts.

As we left Lourdes and drove through the French countryside, the fields were full of Spring flowers and the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees were beautiful against the pale blue sky. 

The spectacular medieval shrine of Rocamadour was once one of the greatest sites of pilgrimage in the world and visited by kings, popes and nobles. At the top of the mount, is a castle and bell tower, and whenever the bell is tolled, prayers are said for sailors in danger on the high seas. There are several chapels, and the complete site is perched on a high outcrop of rock overlooking a steep ravine. It is full of fascinating and romantic legends, such as the site being founded by Zacheus (now named St Amadour) the husband of Veronica who wiped the face of Jesus with her handkerchief when He was on his route to Golgotha. St Amadour was guided by an angel to leave the Holy Land to become a hermit in this high place. The shrine holds two magnificent black Madonna statues, and Roland’s sword hangs from a sheer precipice. We detected the greatest energies in the chapels that were carved into the rock-face and date back at least 1000 years. The Black Madonnas gave us messages that affected us both deeply and there are definite powers in this place. 

We wanted to visit many of the shrines in the country places which we were convinced held strong healing energies and the power to transmit channelling but we needed to leave in order to see one last shrine on our return to London. 

In 1830, a Parisian novice nun with the Sister of Charity, Catherine Laboure, was awoken by an angel who directed her to the convent chapel where she received several messages including prophecies. She saw the Virgin who instructed her that medals should be made to bestow grace upon those who wore them. The medals were struck and many healings and miracles followed. We bought a medal and worked with it but did not find much in this last place. We had hoped to follow the Heraklion line which Graham Robb described in his book 'The Ancient Paths - The Lost Map of Celtic Europe' but we ran out of time and hope to return for further research at a later date.

Wendy Stokes is the author of 'The Lightworkers Circle Guide - A Workbook for Spiritual Groups' which explains how to facilitate a group for channelling, healing and divination. Available from bookshops worldwide and from Amazon (Kindle available)

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