The driver is going very cautiously along the highway to Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer Bernard. His speed is only 70 kms per hour, though we have to be at Courset before 4PM. We leave the highway. On the morainic hills The Blessed Mother of God travels up and down. The Sun is shining. We arrive at the monumental gate of the Foyer a few minutes past 4 PM.
The Foyer is housed in a beautiful property. An old palace, a beautiful park, at the side newly-built school buildings. There is a primary school here and St. Otylia secondary school, 200 children learn here and the classes are not coeducational. Over half of the students come from Paris (260 kms), the remaining ones are from Lille (114 kms) and Arras (100 kms). This is a boarding school, The teaching is closely connected with their social and religious growth. The teachers are members of the Foyer community. The students attend the Holy Mass every Wednesday, and say the Rosary together every day at 4 PM in the chapel or before the Icon of the Blessed Mother of God of Courset.
We stop in front of the palace. The headmaster asks Bernard to drive into the school playground so that the children could see the Mother of God immediately. So, « Life Mobile » goes round the asphalt school yard. The classrooms are on the ground floor, and through the door in glass walls you can go directly outside.
When the Mother of God was going along the playground and the classrooms the children first looked with interest. Then they ran to the windows and started clapping their hands. Finally, as if some invisible sign had been given, all the doors opened and a joyfull crowd of shouting children was running towards the Blessed Virgin Mary. In a few seconds a hundred of children surrounded the « Life Mobil » and welcomed the Guest with applause. It seemed as if the children were running into the arms of their mother who was coming home after a longer absence. Having shouted together a loud « Ave » the children went back to their lessons.
Bernard could not help crying. The teachers observed the scene with amasement and with big emotions. They had never expected this. They remembered the words of the founder of the place, fr. Michel Tierny: « The children learning here will be chosen by Mary ».
At 4.30 PM the whole school gathered in the chapel before the Icon of the Black Madonna, which had been placed just in front of the altar. With concentration, though with childlike cheerfulness, the children talked to the Blessed Virgin Mary, saying the Rosary and singing Marian songs for Her.
When they went to do their homework and to sleep (some of them had got up at 4 AM that day to catch their every-week bus to school) the Blessed Mother of God waited for the evening meeting with the adults.
Agata – the correspondent from France