Our Lady of Pontmain, also known as Our Lady of Hope, is the title given to the Virgin Mary on her apparition at Pontmain, France on 17 January 1871.
Authorization of Our Lady of Hope
After that the devotion to the Blessed Virgin under the title of that of Notre Dame d'Esperance de Pontmain, Our Lady of Hope of Pontmain, was authorized by the ecclesiastical authorities, and the confraternity of that name has been extended all over the world.
After the apparition of Our Lady of Hope on 17 January 1871, pilgrims made up of both the clergy and the laity came to Pontmain. At the same time, inquiries and investigations were made about the apparition; the visionary children were submitted to various intense interrogations. Finally, on the Feast of the Purification, 2 February 1872, Msgr. Wicart, Bishop of Laval, issued a pastoral letter giving a canonical judgment on the apparition. Thus, the veneration of Our Lady of Hope of Pontmain was given official Church recognition and approval.
Joseph Barbadette became a priest of the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate; his brother Eùgene became a secular priest. He was assisted by one of the girls who had seen Mary as his housekeeper, and the other, Jeanne-Marie Lebossé, became a nun.
In May 1872, Bishop Wicart authorized the construction of a sanctuary, which was consecrated in October 1900. In 1905 Pope Pius X elevated the Sanctuary to the status of a basilica.
Pope Pius XI gave a final decision regarding the mass and office in honor of Our Lady of Hope of Pontmain. A final papal honor was given to Our Lady of Hope on 16 July 1932 by Cardinal Pacelli, who later became Pope Pius XII, by passing a decree from the Chapter of St. Peter's Basilica that the statue of the Blessed Lady, Mother of Hope, be solemnly honored with the crown of gold. The Lady then was crowned in the presence of archbishop, bishops, priests and the laity by Cardinal Verdier, Archbishop of Paris. The coronation took place on 24 July 1934.
At Pontmain, it was a matter of a message of prayer, very simple in the dramatic circumstances of war and invasion. At Pontmain, Mary is a sign of hope in the midst of war. A place of pilgrimage, it attracts annually around 200,000 drawn from among the people of the region, with some international pilgrimages, especially from Germany.
Notre-Dame-de-Pontmain, Quebec is a municipality in Canada that was named after the apparition. Our Lady of Hope is a Roman Catholic Parish of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie located in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. There is a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Hope of Pontmain at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Funds for this chapel were donated by Bob Hope and his wife Dolores.