Each year at the weekend of the Assumption, nearly 5000 pilgrims attend the basilica at Pontmain in Mayenne. This year heavy security is deployed at the site.
This Monday, 15th August, the Mass of the Assumption will begin at 10.30am on the steps of the basilica of Pontmain.
Pilgrims have started to flock already on Sunday, 14th August to the sanctuary of North Mayenne where the Catholic Church has recognised a Marian apparition in 1872.
5000 Catholics Expected
A year earlier, in January 1871, four young children from Pontmain aged around 12 years old had reported seeing “a beautiful lady” appear in the sky, in front of one of the village barns.
Before authentication of that vision by the Bishop of Laval, Marian pilgrimages began to take shape. Today, there are nearly 5,000 Catholics are expected to Pontmain to worship the Virgin Mary.
Religious festivities reach their climax in mid-afternoon with a procession in honour of the mother of Christ, in the aisles of the park.
A concert of organ and horn in the basilica will follow at 5pm.
An important safety feature is already deployed around the sanctuary and village entrances are not accessible to vehicles.