My public apology to the memory of Claire Ferchaud.
By Virginia Frohlick
Back in 1997 I was asked a question about Claire Ferchaud, although her name was never mentioned. At the time I did not even know who she was when I replied to it incorrectly. It was not until around 1999 that I saw Mr. John Bird's three-part a documentary about the Catholic Church in France called "The Eldest Daughter of The Church." The third -part of this film is called "Where the World Begins." Part of this film spoke about Miss Ferchaud's 'victim soul' life.
After I learned the truth about Miss Ferchaud, I still did not do anything to correct my erroneous comments in the Frequently Asked Questions section of my web site. I would occasionally think about doing so but I never 'got around to it.'
It was not until the beginning of this year when I started going to weekly Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that God began gently to remind me of my calumny against Claire and that I had to correct it.
It is strange how God works. When I went to Adoration, I would thank God for giving me His good servant Saint Joan as a friend. I asked God to increase Saint Joan's renown and glory, and it was always during this prayer that Miss Ferchaud would come to mind. God steadily increased His pressure on me to do something about my error until I HAD TO respond.
Dear Claire Ferchaud please forgive me.
This is the original question asked of me.
"I have heard the story of another girl who claimed to have heard voices of saints during W.W.I. The author of the book where I read this said she thought maybe war makes people believe in religion more. That is the reason the girl heard the voices. Do you agree?"
Because I relied on a book that was written by a secularist and without knowing the full facts, I crudely replied:
NO, I do not.
I too read the story about this W.W.I girl, who said that God had informed her, through her voices, that she was to lead the French army to victory.
I now know that Claire Ferchaud never said that she was to lead the French army. What God told her was to tell the President to ask the Bishops to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And to ask the parliament to place the 'Sacred Heart' image on the white portion of the French flag. It was this sign that would have brought a speedy end to the war, with Catholic justice instead of the horrendously vindictive treaty of Versailles. Here is a link for those who would like to know more about this treaty and what it did to the German people. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1919versailles.html This treaty was one of the major causes for the rise of Hitler.
My reply continued:
The French authorities examined this girl as Joan was examined by Church authorities; and even though Joan was found to be 'sensible' (my words), 'good, pious and chaste,' the W.W.I authorities found the girl to be mentally unstable.
The truth of this matter was this. Miss Ferchaud had the guidance of a personal spiritual director. In addition she was directed and encouraged by her local Bishop to go and speak with the President of France. So as with Joan, Claire was also found by the Church authorities to be "good, pious and chaste."
Claire finally was given the opportunity to speak personally with the President of France. Because she knew very personal things about him what she had to say to him had a profound but, unfortunately, a short-lived effect.
It is too bad for France that the president did not immediately recommended the change to his country's flag as Claire had directed. Instead he allowed a day or so to pass and by this time his secular and irreligious advisors had convinced him NOT to listen to this 'backward country girl.'
My reply continued:
I disagree with your statement that "war makes people believe in religion more." I believe that war and the distress that it causes draws people closer to God, so that they will feel HIS love and support during terrible times. But that alone does not cause people to hear voices.
I am sure that the girl in W.W.I read about Saint Joan of Arc and thought she could do the same as Joan. Perhaps her motive was to gain notoriety and fame rather than for selfless love which was Joan's reason.
How wrong I was! Miss Ferchaud was NOT moved by the desire to gain notoriety or fame but was in fact driven, like Saint Joan, to obey the will of God in her life.
It was unfortunate that Claire was ridiculed in the press and she returned to Burgundy. She did not become bitter nor did she turn her back on God but she entered a small convent where she lived out the rest of her life in prayer and penance.
The following are the Promises of Our Merciful Savior to Sister Claire Ferchaud, of Loublande, France.
"I come not to bring terror among you; I am the God of love, the God who forgives and wants to save you all."
"My grace will work with great power on sinners who, without contrition, kneel before the picture of My broken Heart, so that they will arise converted."
"I will forgive their sins, even before the absolution, to those who with a true love kiss the picture of My broken Heart."
"My glance will touch the hearts of the indifferent and will inflame them with favor so that they will practice goodness."
" Only an act of love with the plea for forgiveness towards this picture will be enough for Me to open heaven to the soul which in the last hour must appear before Me."
"When some refuse to believe in the truths of religion, one can put the picture of My broken Heart in their room (dwelling) without their knowledge. It will bring, through the wonder of graces, sudden and supernatural conversions."