The Mother of God appeared repeatedly to four children from 7 July 1872 to 1877. She wore a cloak woven of gold threads, a golden crown on her head and a black cross on her chest. Twice she showed herself with a sword, often as “Mother of Mercy”, or surrounded by angels and saints and once in the company of Pius IX. Some of these apparitions appeared in the presence of a hundred people. A shrine was built in this miraculous place.
The place where the apparitions took place is located two kilometers from the village of Neubois, in Krüth, halfway up the mountain, and equidistant from the ruins of Frankenbourg Castle.
It is a large clearing in the middle of the forest, where one can enjoy a beautiful panorama. Today in the clearing stands a statue of Our Lady, a statue of St. Michael, the Archangel who crushes the dragon, a small statue of St. Joseph, a chapel with a large cross and a Via Crucis with twelve stations. This is the place where, according to the legend, Our Lady of Neubois appeared.
On Sunday 7 July 1872, after vespers, four girls aged between 7 and 11 were walking at the foot of the Schlossberg in search of blueberries.
Suddenly, a white woman who wore a golden crown on her head, advances towards them. Frightened, they fled at full speed. This is the first appearance of a series that will involve all the inhabitants of the peaceful village of Neubois. In fact, in the following days and months, children and adults testified that they had seen the Virgin Mary as a “white lady”, alone, surrounded by angels or soldiers …
The news of these extraordinary phenomena spread like wildfire throughout central and southern Europe, but especially in Germany and France, giving rise to numerous crowds of devotees and curious people.
Later a miraculous source was also discovered. Many pilgrims claimed to have been cured from the water from this source.
Obviously someone tried to talk about mass hallucinations and political propaganda: “Our Lady came to free Alsace from the Prussian yoke”. It was the content of a booklet published in Paris in 1874, with an evocative name: “La Sainte Vierge viendrait pour libérer l’Alsace du joug prussien!” (The Resurrection of France and the punishment of Prussia, predicted by Mary in Alsace.)
The army forbade access to the apparition site, while religious authorities remained cautious and skeptical. Father Michael Ulrich collected, with a certain naivety, the testimony of the “seers” of his parish and when Alphonse Adam, the priest who succeeded him in November 1876 and Abbot Boersch, from 1879, ended up paying less and less attention to the seers , trying to show that they were only children’s fantasies, making them then retract.
Little by little everything in the village returned to normal, but a small chapel remained in the middle of the forest, near the source “Mudergottes Brennela” in memory of these hikers and pilgrims who came for the “supernatural” events of which it was said. In 1883 the “Confraternity of the Living Rosary” was founded, and the bond with the Virgin Mary remained very strong in this village and pilgrims continue to come from near and far.
(The history of the valley and the apparitions of Our Lady of Neubois)