Marie Lataste, the subject of this biography, appears to be comparatively little known in England, although her Life and Writings, published fifteen years ago in France, have excited a lively interest among Catholics in the land of her birth, and have, we are assured on all hands, produced abundant fruits of edification in that country. They have already gone through four editions, a practical proof of the estimation in which they are held. Nor can this be matter of surprise; for that an uneducated peasant girl, engaged in field occupations from her very infancy in an obscure hamlet, situated in a most isolated district, should, while so employed, pen a work on theological subjects which would have reflected credit on the most devout and learned ecclesiastic, is in itself a marvel; and the explanation of that marvel which will be found ill her Life and Letters only introduces a prodigy of another and a higher order. For there we learn that in all she wrote she was simply retailing knowledge which .she had supernaturally received. Mmarie had visions of Jesus and Mary in her life: "The Saviour Jesus," she writes, "had often spoken to me about Himself, but never had He as yet spoken about Mary. 'My daughter,' He said to me one day, do you desire to see My Mother?' 'Lord,' I replied, C I have no de~ir.e of my own; my will shall be Thy will. I desire to have no other will but Thine.' Then Jesus raised His eyes to heaven and cried; 'My Mother, appear to Thy daughter; I desire it, and, to conform her will to Mine, she also desires it. Do you desire it, My daughter' 'Yes, Lord.' Then immediately I saw Mary, with the eyes of my soul, in front of the altar, for I was in the church; it was a Sunday morning before Mass had begun. I observed her attentively. Her countenance was brilliant as the sun; her hands shone like rays of the sun; her robe was wbite, sprinkled with stars; a wide mantle of flame-colour enveloped her shoulders, it was also sown with stars. Her hair flowed loose behind her, and over her head was a veil of lace of most exquisite workmanship, while a crown of diamonds, of a purer and brighter lustre than any of the heavenly luminaries, encircled her brow. This light with which Mary was invested could be compared to no other light save that with which Jesus shone. The light of the sun would have paled before it nevertheless, although my eyes cannot gaze on the sun, I could fix them on Mary, whose splendour did not dazzle me to such a degree as to prevent my contemplating her. I gazed, then, on Mary, and could not help gazing. The sight of her filled my soul with bliss. When I had thus considered her for some time, Mary took my two hands in hers; I rose without knowing whither I was going; but I had no fear, for my hands were in those of Mary, my eyes were fixed on her eyes. I regarded myself as a child in its mother's arms, where no danger can reach it. We arrived at a magnificent temple paved with gold, the columns whereof were very lofty, and the whole interior was illuminated by thousands of lamps, all lighted in honour of the Blessed Virgin.
Catholic Church, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1484175344, ISBN 13: 9781484175347