La Salette Shrine.
When I moved to RI, the first Christmas we where together, my husband took me right off to see the amazing light display just down the road in Mass. I was amazed, and a feeling of warmth on that chilly night filled me. Included in this post is a history of Our Lady of La Salette Shrine, videos, and photos. The Shrine is located in Attleboro, Mass. I hope you enjoy this
What are the Lights all about?
The Christmas Festival of Lights is La Salette's gift to God's people who wish to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Just as Christ is the Light of the World and Mary was surrounded by dazzling light when she appeared at La Salette in 1846, light is a very strong symbol in Christian tradition.
Nov. 28, - Jan.
Illuminations 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. Daily
With over 300,000 lights illuminating over 10 acres, this spectacular, inspiring event is free to everyone.
Please visit the web site for more about Our Lady of La Salette shrine lights and events all year round
La Salette Shrine at Christmas With over 300,000 lights illuminating over 10 acres, this spectacular, inspiring event is free to everyone.
Donations are always welcome and greatly appreciated.
This year's returning guest is CLOPPER THE DONKEY! He can be visited by the outdoor manger. You can read about him on his story boards exhibited as part of our Christmas Display. You can take him home with you by visiting the gift shop and purchasing a copy of one of his books as well as a very soft and cute plush version of our favorite donkey.
Stay warm and use the trolley, or for some fun take a Christmas hayride.
You will have to see it with your own eyes to experience it!
The thousands of lights are distributed to produce a lasting impression!
The exact number of glittering lights are impossible to calculate!
The life size Crèche of Bethlehem along with "Clopper the Donkey" are some of the main attractions.
You will grasp the true Spirit of the Seasons of Advent and Christmas!
You will rediscover the priceless GIFT of faith in the Child of Bethlehem, born to be the Savior of the World even unto this day and for all time... the greatest gift of all!
Come one! Come all!we are Awaiting for your gracious response, we stand ready to help you plan your memorable visit to La Salette and its Festival of Lights.
Official web page http://www.lasalette-shrine.org/Christmas.html
Any La Salette story traces its beginnings to September 19, 1846 when the Blessed Mother appeared to two shepherd children at La Salette, a small hamlet in the French Alps. Through the children she gave her message of "Reconciliation" to the world. She insisted that this message be made known to all her people. Consequently in 1852 the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette were founded to serve as a "perpetual remembrance of Mary's merciful Apparition."
In 1892 two La Salette Missionaries arrived to explore possible settlement in the New World and ultimately settled in Hartford, Connecticut. Since then the U.S.A. presence has grown to include four provinces stretching from the East coast to California, and from Wisconsin to Texas.
Meanwhile, back in Attleboro, James Solomon was gathering herbs and roots in the woods on this property for herbal remedies that he concocted and peddled. Although he was known as Dr. Solomon, he was not a medical doctor, but his dream was to build a great sanatorium on this spot where people would come to be healed of cancer. In 1894 an engineer surveyed the grounds and by March of 1901 the walls stood in place to receive the giant roof, and a local businessman pledged the necessary financial backing to complete the project. The sanatorium cost $400,000 to build!
On April 25, 1903 Solomon's "Sanatorium was dedicated and the statistics in the day" program included this information: Bricks - 475,709; windows -309; panes of glass - 3,254; fireplaces - 21; rooms - 200; electric wire - 27 miles. The order of the day included a band concert on the Attleboro Common followed by a parade from the center of town. A contemporary account describes the event: With the coming of the dark, Dr. Solomon's dream sprang to life in a great blaze of electrical splendor; 1,800 electric lights outlined the exterior of the building, while an immense searchlight mounted on the roof threw its slender, graceful finger of light over four miles.
Unfortunately, in the years to follow lack of funds resulting in changes of ownership was to form a pattern. In 1919, when the Methodist Church purchased it, the name was changed to Attleboro Springs, due to the natural spring on the grounds and it was under that name that it shut down in 1938.
In 1942 the La Salette Missionaries bought the property as a major seminary and in 1952 the construction of the Shrine was announced. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1953, marked the official opening of the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, coinciding with the beginning of the Marian Year promulgated by Pope Pius XII. Highlights of that day included a fireworks display, an outdoor nativity scene, and the presence of 5,000 people.
Since then the outdoor nativity display has grown to the present scope of the annual Christmas Festival of Lights, which features 300,000 dazzling lights and welcomes over 500,000 pilgrims.
A tragic fire on November 5, 1999 destroyed "The Solomon's Sanatorium." The following year, the new Shrine Church of Our Lady of La Salette was dedicated on September 19, 2000.
Constant strands in the history of this Attleboro property do seem to be: dream and struggle, hope and healing, dark night of the search and bright lights pointing the way.
November 15, 2003 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops notified the shrine that it had been granted the new designation of National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette.
See this years 2014 slide show of the first night of the lights being lit. here.