This is not the only appearance Joseph and Mary made in a single place in Europe at different times. There were lesser known apparitions nearly 5– years earlier.
But … on different occasions Joseph and Mary visited the little village of Costignac, France. Mary had prophesied the birth of King Louis XIV to his Father and Mother King Louis XIII and Queen Anne, who had been so worried about an heir to the throne. Nine months later King Louis XIV was born. But, this is St. Joseph appearing in the same place!
Here is how it all happened.
Cotignac is in the heart of Provence, yet few have heard of this rural area so close to the beatuiful Mediterranean, Marseille, the soaring snow topped Alps and Saint Tropez.
The summer of 1660 was hot and humid in Cotignac, and, on June 7, a young shepherd named Gaspard Ricard was searching for fresh grass on Mount Besillon. He became so hot and thirsty that he had to lay down. He closed his eyes for a few moments, but, felt there was someone there. So he looked up.
A tall man stood there. “I am Joseph”, he said and pointed to a large boulder nearby.”Lift it and you will drink. The boulder was huge. Gaspard decided to obey the man and make the attempt to lift it. To his surprise, it was light as a feather. Underneath it, a cool spring of crystal clear water bubbled. Gaspard looked up to thank the stranger, but he was gone.
The shepherd dashed to tell the village what had happened full of excitement, … which made the villagers believe him. They all rushed to see the newly revealed spring and the surprisingly abundant water supply in a place where no water had ever been.
By July 25 “the city council mentions that the source pointed out by St. Josepph has abudndant healing qualities and attracts people from all over the region who come to wash, drink and find healing remedies.”
The wonderful documentary ‘Shrine of the Holy Family’ Provence, France includes this event. It is too bad that ‘Amazon’ once had it for sale but now “don’t know if they will ever get it again”
The healings began. And they continued. In 1662 Father Allard of the Oratory that was built on the site wrote: “The waters of St. Joseph bring miracles. Since I reured, a man whom we knew from Avignon, born lame, went to the spring and came back cured, having left his crutches there. Everyone drinks and carries away the water.
The King, Louis XIII had already consecrated himself, his throne and France to the Virgin Mary. He surely was moved to do so because he and the Queen knew of the apparition of Mary at the site of the new Chapel of Our Lady of Graces … in Cotigne … only two miles from where St. Joseph appeared
On January 31 of that year of 1661, the local Bishop of Frejus combined the sites of both apparitions so near to each other … under the title ‘Sanctuary of the Holy Family. He declared:
“God, by the graces he wished to grant in honor of Saint Joseph, wished not to separate the devotion of the faithful, the two holy persons (Mary and Joseph) whom He had joined on earth, for the mystery of our salvation.
” From National Catholic Register March 20, 2017 Joseph Pronechen
“A Splash of Light appearing among the dark woods surrounding it.” Here is the story from the Monastery of St. Joseph:
In 1663 when the chapel of Saint Joseph of Besillon was ready, the same Bishop of Frejus delegated the Oratorian Fathers to be its guardians. The priests were already down the road at the chapel of Our Lady of Grace..
“It is like a splash of light appearing among the dark woods surrounding it. It stands there on the slopes of the Besillon Mountain in a place that is twice blessed.
Firstly it is in Provence that Christianity was first brought to France.
Secondly it is at Cotignzc, a place of prayer, a chosen land visited by the two greatest saints in the history of Christendom … the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus Christ.”