ESTELLE FAGUETTE, a thirty-two-year-old servant, was at point of death.

She had suffered with a tumour for ten years and now tuberculosis was dealing the final blow. As she was no longer able to retain food, the doctor had said that morning: “It is useless to torture her for the short time she has to live”.

But Estelle was not dying in peace. She was tortured by the thought that her mother and father and her orphaned niece were dependent upon her small income and would be reduced to begging after her death.

She had pleaded with heaven, and even sent a piti­ful “letter” to Our Lady (placed at a local shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes by a friend), that she might be cured for the sake of her parents and the orphan. But the weeks of ill­ness continued. The doctor had given up. She was about to die.

Suddenly, Satan appeared at the foot of her bed. His as­pect was horrible, threatening. Estelle drew up the bedclothes in terror.

Almost immediately the Blessed Virgin appeared at the side of the bed. The demon drew back, dragging the curtain and the iron rod of the bed, increasing the dying woman’s terror. The Blessed Virgin spoke to Satan sharply:

“What brings you here? Do you not see that she is wearing my livery and that of my Son?”

At Our Lady’s words, Sa­tan disappeared. Fifteen appa­ritions of Our Lady followed and on a Saturday, in Febru­ary, 1976, the day designated by Our Lady, Estelle Faguette was instantly and completely cured.

Immediately after it hap­pened, Estelle wrote her account of what happened.

This miracle was offi­cially recognised by the Church in 1983.

The room in which Estelle saw Satan and Our Lady is now a chapel next to a Do­minican convent. It is visited annually by thousands of pil­grims who marvel not only at the miracle but at the very personal lessons about hope and death which the miracle confirms.

First there is the question about the moment of death ... a moment when Satan makes a last desperate effort to draw souls to despair.

Second our thoughts rise to the First Saturday promise of Our Lady to “assist” at the hour of death “with all the graces necessary for their sal­vation”, all those who on the first Saturday of five consecu­tive months, shall go to con­fession and receive Holy Communion, recite the Ro­sary and keep Our Lady com­pany for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mys­teries of the Rosary, all with the intention of making repa­ration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

But perhaps we are most struck with Our Lady’s sharp words to Satan: “What are you doing here? Do you not see that she wears my livery and that of my Son?”

Estelle was wearing the Brown Scapular ... and Our Lady indicated that Satan had no right to be at the deathbed of one wearing the scapular which is her livery... and also that of her Son.

Our Lady did not cure Estelle at once. First she drove Satan away and then did two rather extraordinary things. She gave Estelle an awareness of the evil of her sins, even the smallest, leaving the dying woman with a wonderful and profound sentiment of contri­tion. Then Our Lady told her that on the following Saturday either she would be cured or taken to heaven.

That night Estelle felt completely resigned to the will of God. She remembered that Jesus promised that his Father in heaven would look after the poor and the or­phaned.

At that moment Our Lady appeared again and said that because of her act of resigna­tion she would be cured.

If only all of us could make a daily act of resigna­tion to God’s will, as Our Lady asked at Fatima, what blessings this would bring into each and every day. 

Satan tries at every mo­ment to discourage us, to make us question, to make us doubt, and fear. But Our Lady is ever at our side as we are clothed in her livery and she is constantly saying to Satan: “What are you doing here?”

This is one of the greatest wonders of the message of Fatima ... the message of a loving, anxious Mother who asks us to try to see the will of God in everything, at ev­ery moment of the day. She also holds us next to her Immaculate Heart, beneath her Scapular, protecting us and leading us along the heavenly path.

The apparitions and miracle took place in Pellevoisin, a town southwest of Paris not far from Tours. A shrine was built and pilgrim­ages were permitted only a short time after the miracle. But the 1983 recognition of the miracle by the Church in­dicates the importance of the Scapular devotion for our own generation.

Never before have we heard the Scapular referred to as the livery (service uniform) of Jesus.

In the course of the fifteen apparitions to Estelle, Our Lady appeared wearing a small scapular with a white face and invited Estelle to kiss it. As Estelle approached to do so, the Sacred Heart of Jesus appeared on the white back­ground ... a real, glorious liv­ing Heart. And as Estelle kissed it, she was aware of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart beating beneath the scapular ... as our own hearts beat beneath the scapular we wear.

At that moment Estelle had an understanding of the scapular as a devotion of union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus through consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

It is no wonder Our Lady told Estelle: “I love this de­votion. It is here I shall be honoured”.

Now we can begin to understand why Our Lady ap­peared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel in her final appear­ance at Fatima, indicating her desire for us to wear the Brown Scapular, the wordless devotion of belonging to the Heart of Jesus by belonging to her Immaculate Heart.

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