On the evening of 17 January 1871, In the village of Pontmain, Eugene and Joseph Barbadette, aged 12 and 10 was helping their father's to crush gorse in the barn when , Eugene, walked over towards the door to look out. As he gazed up in the sky he noticed a beautiful Lady on one area practically free of stars above a neighboring house. Their father sees nothing, except three large bright stars forming a triangle in the sky. But Joseph also sees the Lady. “She has a blue dress with golden stars, gold-ribboned slippers, a golden crown widening towards the top with a red band around it, and a black veil.” The beautiful Lady smiled at him as she did at Joseph who joined him a few moments later. “Maybe it’s the Virgin Mary” said Victoire, their mother. After a quick meal, the boys still see the beautiful Lady, so their Mother, Victoire fetch Sister Vitaline, who in turn went to fetch Françoise Richer and Jeanne-Marie, two young boarders and Sister Marie-Edouard who went to fetch the parish priest. The Blessed Virgin Mary smiled constantly and remained motionless in the same position until 9 p.m. The children, parish priest and a lot of parishioners have gathered together, Father Guerin commences to pray with the parishioners. of course the first prayer is the rosary. A blue oval with four unlit candles appeared around the beautiful Lady. Also, a small red cross was to be seen on her dress at the place where the heart was. The beautiful Lady became sad. A few minutes later, she smiled again and as the prayers became more fervent, she grew slowly in size. The oval also grew and the stars multiplied. The parish priest of Pontmain starts to pray the Magnificent and golden letters appear on the banner, one by one and as if they were being written by an invisible hand. The village children say the letters one by one and when complete they read: BUT PLEASE PRAY MY CHILDREN. The parish priest says:”we must pray to the Lady, making Her will known”. The people now pray The litany of The Blessed Virgin Mother. More words appear as they did earlier: GOD WILL SOON HEAR YOUR PRAYERS. The fourth pray is the “Invoilota” When they get to the words “O Mater Alma, Christi Carissima”. The following words appear: "MY SON"All present are now very sure that it is The Virgin Mary and they pray the fifth prayer: "Slave Regina”. Whilst singing this the sentence is finished off: "MY SON IS WAITING FOR YOU", These words are underlined. The sixth prayer is then sung. It is a traditional favourite of Pontmain: “Mother of Hope” and the people love to sing it loud and clear. This well loved title is part, of the prayer: "Mother of Hope protect our Frances; Pray, Pray for us!" Then Mary’s smile just glows with love and She lifts Her hands to Her shoulders whilst pointing to the little Red Cross which She wears by Her heart. An expression of suffering and pain appears on The Blessed Virgins Face and a crucifix is formed which She holds with both of Her hands. A red cross with ‘Jesus Christ’ written in white appeared in front of Her. It bore a Christ of the same color. A small star came to light the four candles inside the oval, just as the priest did at church on the Holy Virgin’s altar. The star then took up a position above the Virgin’s head. Sister Marie-Edouard started the hymn “Ave Maris Stella”. “Do you still see anything ?” asked Father Guérin. “No Father, it’s all over”. They replied. It was almost nine o’clock in the evening. Everyone went home. Minds were at rest and all fear was gone. The red crucifix disappeared. A small white cross appeared on each shoulder and the Holy Virgin smiled again at the children. A large white veil appeared at the feet of the Virgin. It rose slowly in front of Her, making her disappear from view little by little. It reached the face, then the crown.
No more was to be seen. After the Apparition in Pontmain, Joseph Barbadette become a priest, a member of the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, while his brother Eùgene became a secular priest. This apparition in Pontmain is fully approved by the Holy See on February 1875. A large basilica was built at Pontmain and consecrated in 1900.