March 29 - Our Lady of Hope (Italy, 1755)

The Great Return of Our Lady of Boulogne (II)

Four copies of the statue were made to replace the miraculous original. The new statues have been lovingly called "Our Lady of the Great Return." In the 20th century, after a Marian congress in August 1938, one of the four copies of the Virgin of the Sea travelled across France on a great pilgrimage, arriving in Lourdes on September 8, 1942. After the act of Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, made by Pope Pius XII on October 31, 1942, the bishops of France consecrated all French parishes to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 28, 1943, and inaugurated the return of Our Lady of Boulogne. This also marked the beginning of the prodigious pilgrimage of Our Lady of the Great Return, which would last 5 years. The statue of Our Lady was so much in demand that the three other existing statues of Our Lady of Boulogne were called to the rescue. This quadruple pilgrimage covered the entire area of France, and the statues visited 16,000 parishes in 88 dioceses. Everywhere, there were unprecedented vibrant crowds, praying fervently. Conversions and miracles happened, and the people were in jubilation. The fruits of this huge, fervent, moving and very popular mission, which lasted until 1947, were innumerable. The Virgin gave hope to the people at the end of World War II and witnesses of her astonishing pilgrimage remain deeply moved to this day.

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