The Catholic Defender: Our Lady of Eternal Aid or Our Lady of All Good, Querrien, France. On August
1652: Our Lady of Eternal Aid or Our Lady of All Good, Querrien, France. On August 15, 1652, the deaf and mute shepherdess, Jeanne Courtel, then aged 12, was tending her father's flock when Our Lady appeared to her. Jeanne was healed of her afflictions immediately.
On 15 August 1652, Jeanne Courtel a 12-year-old girl, deaf and dumb from birth. while guarding the family’s sheep saw a “beautiful lady” who spoke to her. Thereupon, Jeanne was immediately able to hear and to speak to the great astonishment of all the inhabitants of the village. A few days later, Jeanne saw the beautiful lady again who asked to have the ground dug up near the source of the spring, where the Statue of the Virgin was buried. The wooden Statuette was found at the place indicated,, confirming for the people, the authenticity of the Apparition. There were a total of fifteen appearances of Our Lady with which Jeanne was favoured, until September of the same year. From that time on, pilgrims arrived and numerous miracles were recorded.
Shortly after this miracle became known, there was a second one just as remarkable. There was a community benefactor whose son was at death’s door with a high fever. Invoking Our Lady before this same Statue the man saw his son instantly cured. After this second wondrous miracle, the Statue was moved into the Chapel and there were many miracles that followed. One miracle was worked in favour of a religious Sister who had been terribly burned and was she was instantly cured. A Priest, falsely accused of a crime, was acquitted after special prayers to the “miracle lady.” The statue had had no name before this but the Parishioners decided now to call her Our Lady of All Help, Quick Help, or Our Lady of Good Remedy.
The local Bishop, Denis de La Barde, launched an investigation and went there to verify the child’s declarations. Satisfied with his hearings, he had a chapel erected in 1652 to organise the devotion of the faithful. After having carried out a canonical investigation, the Bishop of Saint-Brieuc issued a positive opinion on the Apparition and decided to have a Chapel built and to organise worship there. The following 29 September, the Bishop returned to bless the first stone of the Chapel during a celebration which brought together 1,500 pilgrims.
On 14 August 1950, a great celebration was held in the Sanctuary. This celebration was attended by 20,000 pilgrims, several Bishops, the Abbots of Brittany and 200 Priests from Saint-Brieuc, Rennes and Vannes , for the crowning of the Statue of Notre-Dame de Tout-Aide . It was Archbishop Clément Roque of Rennes who placed the crown designed by Émile Daubé and made by goldsmith René Desury on the head of the Statue. This coronation was carried out with the authorisation and blessing of Pope Pius XII.
The Statue itself is only about 60 centimetres tall. The Blessed Virgin Mary is crowned, and holds her Infant Son in one arm, and a sceptre in the other. At the time of the French Revolution and during the accompanying Reign of Terror, the Abbey was destroyed. A pious lady took the Statue of Our Lady of All Help and safeguarded it until the trouble was over. After her death the Statue was restored to the community. The Statue of Our Lady of All Help has survived several wars since.
In 1998, a series of renovations began which would continue for several years. Today pilgrimages continue all year with often as many as 10 000 attending the major celebrations. The current Church incorporates the small Chapel (the remains of which, can still be seen on the north side of the building).
There is a short and very lovely prayer which, for centuries, has been associated with this Statue. It is, “Oh, Mother of All Help, say but one word in our behalf to Thy Divine Son, for He cannot refuse thee any favour. Amen.”