top of page



OTHER TITLES:"Our Lady of the Golden Heart", ”The Immaculate Virgin”; “Mother of God, Queen of Heaven”

VISIONARY(S): Fernande, Gilberte and Albert Voison; and Andree and Gilberte Degeimbre.


FIRST APPARITION: November 29, 1932

LAST APPARITION:  January 3, 1933

​APPROVED: July 2, 1949


“I am the Immaculate Virgin”, ...

“the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven.”




  Sixty miles southeast of Brussels, Belgium, and just three miles from the French border, lies the village of Beauraing. Today, Beauraing is noted for the apparitions of Our Lady that took place there in 1932-33, and for its beautiful shrine commemorating the apparitions.


  There were five children involved in these apparitions from two different families; the Voison family and the Degeimbre family. For the most part, the Voisons’ were a non-practicing Catholic family. The children’s ages ranged from nine to fifteen years old. Interestingly, one child from each family was named Gilberte.


  The children from the Voison family were Fernande (15), “Big Gilberte” (13), and Albert (11). The children from the Degeimbre family were Andre (14) and “Little Gilberte” (9).


  Albert and Fernande Voison, and Little Gilberte Degeimbre, attended the state school. Big Gilberte Voison and Andre Degeimbre attendeed the local parochial Academy run by the Sisters of Chrisitan Doctrine.


  These children could be called “pranksters” as they enjoyed playing pranks on neighboring tenants. It was not long after they had played some of their “pranks”, that their lives suddenly changed as a result of Our Lady’s apparitions to them over a thirty-five day period from November 29, 1932 to January 3, 1933.


  At one of these thirty-three appearances, Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, declared: “I am the Immaculate Virgin”. At another, Our Lady proclaimed “I am the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven.” And at the end of several of the apparations, Our Lady would open her arms to reveal her golden Heart in the center of her chest before disappearing. Our Lady urged that people pray much, that a chapel be built, that people come here in pilgrimage; and she promised the conversion of sinners. All these points are common with Lourdes.


  The Beauraing apparitions caused a sensation in Europe, and two million pilgrims journeyed there by the end of 1933. Many cures and spiritual conversions were effected, and most notably, the parents of the seers returned to the devout practice of the Catholic Faith.



  At the time of these apparitions, Beauraing was hardly an ideal model of the Catholic Faith. In the Waloon, or French-speaking gion of Belgium where it was nestled, the malaise of indifference toward Catholicism had taken root among many people – including the parents of the seers – while in others an open hostility toward the Church developed as a result of the rise of Communism, Fascism, and Nazism. The Marxist and anti-Catholic Labor Party, spurred to growth in this fertile ground, carried the Walloons in many elections.

  The errors prophesied by Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal in 1917 were well on their way to being fulfilled, but tragically, this urgent warning from Heaven did not even reach Belgian ears until after the Beauraing events.


  On the evening of November 29, 1932, Albert and Fernande Voisin left their house as usual to pick up their sister Gilberte at the parochial school run by the Sisters of Christian Doctrine (whose convent was adjacent to the Academy). On the way, they stopped at the Dedeimbre household so Andree and Gillberte could join them in the nightly ritual. Because of there being two Gilbertes, the others always distinguished them by calling the elder, “Big Gilberte” and the younger, “Little Gilberte”. While Andree attended a state school like Albert and Fernande, Little Gilberte attended the same parochial Academy as the elder Gilberte, although her day finished earlier.


  On the way to the Academy, Albert went about ringing doorbells and then running and hiding with the others to watch the unsuspecting tenants answer their doors to discovr nobody was there. The children would then have a good laugh, and continue on to their next target. There were five victims of this prank on this particular night before the mischievous group reached the Sisters’ convent and Academy.



  As the children approached the convent and Academy, they could see a railroad viaduct crossing the street in front of them passing behind the school grounds which were to their right. They entered the property by an iron gate, from which a spiked iron fence extended around the grounds. To their left, against the railroad embankment, was a small grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, which they had to pass before reaching the convent.


  At the door of the convent, Albert turned and looked toward the viaduct and saw a luminous figure of a Woman walking in the air above the railroad tracks. He cried out, “Look!. “The Blessed Virgin, dressed in white, is walking above the bridge!”


  At first, the other children thought that this was just another of Albert’s pranks, but when they glanced over to where he indicated, they also saw the Lady, and so clearly, that the movement of her knees beneath her gown could be discerned. A small, bright cloud swirled around her feet, hiding them from view. Sister Valeria answered the door and noticed the excitement and agitation of the children and was told about the apparition, but she could see nothing. And, the children’s parents, when told of the apparition by their children, were also disbelieving, thinking somehow this may just be another prank by their young pranksters.


Note: Each of the thirty-three apparitions took place in the evening which resulted later in large numbers of people participating in them even though none could see Our Lady other than the seers.


  The next night the children once again went to the convent to get big Gilberte and as they passed the Lourdes grotto, the Lady suddently appeared above the viaduct once again.


  The next night, Mrs. Degiembre and a group of friends accompanied the children. As they approached the Academy, they children cried out that the Lady was standing on the central walk in the convent garden; then she disappeared. The adults saw nothing!

  As Gilberte came our of the Academy, the children then saw the Lady appear halfway between the school and the Lourdes grotto. Her hands were joined and her eyes were raised heavenward. Then the Lady lowered her gaze to look at the five children, gave them a beautiful smile, and disappeared. Once again the adults saw nothing.


  As they reached the gate opening onto the street to leave the Academy grounds, the Lady appeared to the children again, emerging from the shrubbery and then rising skyward before disappearing.


  A little later that night, the children once again returned to the Academy grounds along with Mrs. Degeimbre who continued to believe that someone was playing pranks on the children. The Lady then appeared for the sixth time appearing this time beneath an arched branch of the Hawthorne tree inside the garden. This apparition set the pattern for the rest of Our Lady’s appearances at Beauraing as henceforth she would always appear in this spot under the Hawthorne tree.


  The parents of the children went to see Father Leon Lambert, the parish priest of Beauraing who gave no opinion about the matter, but advised them to keep quite about the children’s claims and to see what happened next. But, word was already spreading.


  On December 2nd, Our Lady appeared to the children and all five visionaries were thrown to their knees on the cobblestone street with great force, and simultaneously began praying the Hail Mary in unusual high-pitched voices. At one point, Albert asked the Lady: “Are you the Immaculate Virgin?” “What do you want”, he pressed? The Lady answered: “Always be good.” Then she disappeared.


  Moments later the children were thrown to their knees again facing the Hawthorne and praying the Hail Mary. The Lady had returned. Without speaking, she disappeared.


  Before the children could leave, she suddenly appeared for the third time that evening, bringing the children once again to their knees. “Is it true you will always be good?” She asked them. “Yes!” Andree cried out, “We will always be good!” When this apparition ended, and after waiting to see if the Lady would come once again but did not, all went home.


  These remarks must have hit home with the Mother Superior as the next evening, December 4th, she allowed the children to return. Our Lady appeared under the Hawthorne as was now her custom, and the collective fall to the knees and the change in the children’s voices at the moment of her arrival was the signal to the crowd that the apparition had begun. Our Lady did not speak on this occasion, and merely broadened her smile when Albert asked her to cure a ten year-old girl named Paulette Dereppe, who suffered from an irreversible bone disease that had ruined the family financially.


  After the vision, Albert assured Paulette and her parents that Paulette would be cured, “Because the Virgin smiled so sweetly when I asked her to.” Paulette’s parents then discontinued the expensive medical treatments, began giving Paulette a tea to drink made from the leaves of the Hawthorne tree, and Paulette indeed was cured shortly afterward.


  On December 5th, the children were separated so that they could not see each other when they arrived at the convent. At the same moment, however, each child plunged to their knees and began praying the high-pitched Hail Marys. The thud of their knees frightened the onlookers but none of their knees was marked. Fernande said she would try to resist the force and kneel down slowly, but was powerless against it.


  On December 6th, Our Lady appeared as before but with a rosary hanging from her right arm. The crucifix was not visible, being hidden in the fold of her dress. When the apparition was over, Albert asked the Virgin if there was a special day she would like them to come. She answered: “The Feast of the Immaculate Conception.”


  After the apparition on December 7th, the children were taken to the convent and separately questioned before they could have a chance to speak to one another about what had transpired. At the end of the interrogation, all five stories were found to match completely. This would be the scenario from now on after each apparition.


  Early the next day, December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a crowd of about 15,000 people packed the street in front of the convent. A large number of the people attend confession, many of whom are clearly converts. There are coaches from Charleroi, Merziere, Ginet, Dinant, Namur, St. Hubert, and Brussels. Extra trains were put on and arrived from Cinant and the Ardennen. After Holy Mass, there was a procession to the hawthorn bush.


  At 6pm, the children arrive and a shout is heard: “She is here!” The apparition began as usual, and the children prodded the Virgin with questions, but she did not answer anything. As they prayed the rosary, Little Gilberte began to cry. When one of the doctors asked her why she was crying, she answered: “Because she is so beautiful.”


  There were six doctors watching the children and ready to do tests. It became apparent to the doctors that none of the children were aware of any outside stimuli anymore. Various experiments were performed with no response. A match was even held against big Gilberte’s hand, allowing the flame to flicker across her skin until the match had almost completely burned down. She had no reaction whatsoever, and her hand was smooth and flawless where there should have been a first-degree burn. The Virgin disappeared when the children returned to normal and Father Lambert and the doctors had the proof they needed. All five children had been rapt in a genuine ecstasy, and this was the only time such a thing ever happened at Beauraing.


  Four days later, Our Lady returned, but spoke no words either this day or the next. Two days passed before the next apparition. When the children asked what she wanted of them, there was no answer. When she was then asked on behalf of the clergy what she wanted of them, the children were rewarded with the answer: “A chapel.”


  On December 21st, Our Lady appeared and in answer to the request: “Tell us who you are,”, the Lady answered, “I am the Immaculate Virgin.” There were many more apparitions that took place the latter part of December. On December 28th, the only words spoken by Our Lady were: “My last appearance will take place soon.”


The Golden Heart


  On December 29th, Our Lady appeared to all five children and as usual her hands were joined together in prayer in front of her until the end of the apparition when she opened her arms and disappeared. This time, however, Fernande - and only Fernande - saw a Heart of gold shining brilliantly in the center of her chest when the Virgin opened her arms.


  The next day, December 30th, Fernande, Big Gilberte, and Andree saw the Heart. Albert saw something shiny, but could not tell what it was. Little Gilberte did not see the feature at all. During the apparition, Our Lady said to Fernande: “Pray. Pray very much.”


  On December 31st, New Years’ Eve, two silent apparitions took place, but this time all five children saw the Golden Heart when Our Lady opened her arms at the end of each one.


  On January 1, 1933, Our Lady said: “Pray always” and the Golden Heart was seen again.


  12,000 people were on hand for the apparition on January 2nd. On this day, the Virgin said: “Tomorrow I will say something to each of you.”




  The Blessed Virgin was more resplendent than usual for what was to be her final appearance on January 3, 1933. Our Lady said to Little Gilberte: “This is between you and me and I ask you to speak it to no one.” Then she gave the youngest seer a secret. When she was finished, Our Lady said “Adieu” instead of the usual “Au revoir”, which told Little Gilberte the farewell was final. Turning to Big Gilberte, Our Lady said: “I will convert sinners.” A personal secret followed, concluding with the dreaded word: “Adieu.” Albert’s secret and farewell was next. To Andree, the Virgin proclaimed: “I am the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven. Pray always. Aideu.”


  The Virgin then opened her arms to reveal her golden Heart for the final time to the four of them, and disappeared. Although the crowd began dispersing, and the four children were taken to the convent for questioning, Fernande remained behind sobbing with grief at not having seen Our Lady, especially because Our Lady had promised to say something to each of them today, and she had not had her turn.


  Suddenly there was a loud clap of thunder and a fireball burst before the Hawthorne tree, an event witnessed not only by Fernande, but also by those pilgrims who were still there. The girl was struck to her knees as the fireball dissolved and Our Lady stood in its place. The pilgrims however could not see the apparition. “Do you love my Son?” the Virgin asked Fernande. “Yes!” the girl cried out. “Then sacrifice yourself for me. Adieu.”


Description of the Virgin

  The children described Our Lady as being a young girl of about eighteen to twenty years of age, and extraordinarily beautiful. Her eyes were a deep blue, and she had a ravishing smile.


  She wore a heavily pleated white dress without a belt that fell into the cloud at her feet. The dress had long open sleeves that came to her wrists. The dress reflected a bluish light in a diagonal pattern from the Lady’s upper left side down past her right knee, as well as in the pleats at the bottom.


  She wore a white veil on her head that fell in folds just past her waist. Pencil-thin rays of light were arrayed around the top of her head like a crown.


  Throughout the apparitions her hands were joined in prayer until the very end, when she would open them and disappear.


  The Beauraing apparitions caused a sensation in Europe, and two million pilgrims journeyed there by the end of 1933. Many cures and spiritual conversions were effected, and most notably, the parents of the visionaries returned to the devout practice of the Catholic Faith. All five visionaries shunned the spotlight, married, and started families of their own.


  Only days after her last apparition in Beauraing, Belgium, on January 3, 1933, the Blessed Virgin again appears in Belgium, on January 15, 1933, this time at Banneux, and declared what are perhaps the most comforting words ever uttered in a Marian apparition: “I have come to relieve suffering”. These words could have been in anticipation of what was coming. The winds of the most terrible war in human history began to bluster and Our Lady was providing in advance another oasis where people could seek solace in their hardship.


  The last visionary of the Beauring apparitions died, Gilgerte Degeimbre, passed away on February 10, 2015, at the age of 91 years old. The five Beauraing children are united once again.




  In 1935 the Bishop of Namur officially opened an investigation into the events, and on July 2, 1949, his successor published a decree declaring the apparitions to be worthy of belief.   




  On August 21, 1954, the chapel requested by Our Lady was consecrated.




Prayer to Our Lady of the Golden Heart (Beauring, Belgium): Our Lady of Beauraing, Immaculate Virgin, carry to Jesus, your Son, all the intentions which we confide to you this day. (Here mention your intentions) Mother with the Golden Heart, mirror of the tenderness of the Father, look with love upon the men and women of our time and fill them with the joy of your presenc. You who promised to convert sinners, help us to discover the infinite mercy of our God. Awaken in us the grace of conversion so that all our life becomes the reflection of this mercy. Holy Mother of God, look down upon our miseries, console us in our sorrows, give strength to all those who are suffering. Queen of Heaven, crowned with light, help us grow in faith, hope, and love, and we shall be able to give thanks without end. You brought Jesus into the world. Pray for us, that is word and deed we might share the love and joy of the One who is born in our hearts. May every instant of our lives be a positive affirmation of the two questions you are asking of us, even now: Do you love my Son? Do you love me? When at last we can yes with all our hearts, then the reign of Jesus will come into the world. Amen. 



Garabandal Journal, January-February 2011, Our Lady of the Golden Heart by St. Peter Claver

bottom of page