Eugène was born in Pontmain on 4th November 1858. Like his brother, he was taught to pray from a very young age. It has to be remembered that at Pontmain the rosary was said each day in every household since the arrival of Father Michel Guérin. Manual work was also part of everyday life.
On the morning of 17th January 1871, after working with his father, because he had to replace his elder brother Auguste who had gone off to join the war, Eugène went to church to pray and serve Mass before going to school. In the evening he went back to the barn to work when, going outside to “see what the weather was like”, he was the first to see the Beautiful Lady.
The usual punishment was a ‘tok’, (a word used in the Mayenne to mean a smack). Slapping was reserved for the small rebels in the towns. In the country, a ‘tok’ was usually given. The word expresses very well what it meant. It was the noise that the gesture made on the cheek of the guilty party. Victoire was known to give ‘toks’ hard and often.
Joseph had slept in the barn with Eugène as they were used to doing. Their father had woken them up early, they had worked, eaten their morning soup and then gone to church where they said their morning prayer and then walked the Way of the Cross (this was to fulfil a promise which Eugène had made to Auguste to ensure that he would come back safe and sound from the war) before serving Mass.
“Oh ! The beautiful Lady ! How lovely she is”. It was with these words that Joseph greeted the apparition when he came out of the barn just after his brother.
Permanent Exhibition about the Witnesses to the Pontmain Apparition
n° 2 Place de la Basilique
( 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 19:00)
Cause de béatification de l’Abbé Michel Guérin
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