Father Materne Laffineur was one of the first promoters of the apparitions in Garabandal outside Spain. Witness of several ecstasies, confidant of the seers, zealous priest and of a deep spirituality, he gathered his experiences and reflections on Garabandal in a book entitled The Star on the Mountain.
Sixteen medals received in the two wars he took part in show how much he is worth. We will find his deep spirituality and love for the Virgin of Garabandal in the following passages—taken from his letters and notebooks—included in the remembrance card that were given to his family and friends after his death.
Below, we offer the full translation of Father Laffineur's remembrance card, as a tribute to this priest in love with Most Holy Mary of Garabandal.
“Jesus, Jesus, oh Jesus!” (These were his last words).
Lord, through the intercession of Our Lady of Garabandal, grant eternal joy and happiness to our dear Father Materne Laffineur.
Born in Walcourt Belgium on August 27, 1897
Veteran of two wars (16 medals)
Ordained priest in Namur, Belgium, on November 22, 1924
Dominican Collaborator of the canonical process of the apparitions of Beauraing, Belgium Parish priest of Rousseloy (Oise, France) from 1949 to 1957 and successively of Mars-sur-Allier (Nièvre, France) from 1957 to 1967
Tireless missionary of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Called by God on November 28, 1970 in an outburst of love for Jesus and Mary
Mom and all of you, my beloved, you offered me the good God. I gave myself completely to Him through and in the Blessed Virgin Mary. Rejoice, I am happy. Oh, I thank you so much! Priest and soldier. My God, how beautiful!
(In the trenches. August 26, 1917).
Once I had a dream that I lived in the time of Joan of Arc simply to be one of her men of arms, at her side to fight like her and with her
(October 15, 1967).
Not knowing how to take risks means no longer being a leader. Living is acting fighting being moved, moving others... It is winning! Cardinal Mercier (Maxim that Fr. Laffineur took as his own)
Garabandal! We must fight. We must be generals. We must have an army, and lead it to victory. Living Garabandal, is the perfect dream. It is the most beautiful of adventures.
(October 15, 1967. Fr. Laffineur)
Pray for my conversion. Yes, from a little love to Jesus... to a lot of love to Jesus (1969).
The Lord leads me along an often very painful path that is simply the great intellectual life of reason. There is never anything useless in our life. “Where God directs us everything is providential.” How beautiful life is for brave and invincible soldiers with a child's heart!
(May or June 1969)
Let us remain united, small as our dear Thérèse, but firm in the faith, as St. Peter desires: "Estote fortes in fide." Firmness that gives freedom and keeps the faith of the flock unshakable
(January 13, 1970).
The gifts of the Holy Spirit take care of everything, especially piety. Living it herself in a prodigious way, Thérèse was responsible for explaining it to the world. We are the "infinitely small children of his Love," and our song is the Magnificat of the smallest of all: Our Lady of Garabandal (March 19, 1970).
We know very well that the world must be redeemed through blood, true blood. Also that of our hearts (March 28, 1970).
I thank God for having grown old with his Merciful Love (April 1, 1970).
Nothing is impossible for those who have faith, because you have to live bare faith (August 26, 1970).
There is no other life, no other way than that of penance, sacrifice and humiliation. The climb to Mount Carmel is always that way, and in Garabandal, too.
Because Garabandal is the solitude of Carmel... it is the solitude of John of the Cross, the solitude of Teresa of Ávila and also the solitude of Thérèse (August 26, 1970).
In the spiritual life, it is sometimes necessary to be a little crazy. It is necessary to have that madness of faith, this madness of love... It is necessary to have what goes beyond what one can see and hear. It is necessary to give oneself (August 26, 1970).
My wishes: Jesus! I ask of You just one thing: to love you more and more, and one day die of love. You are free to choose the external expressions of this love, the visible way of my death. Mother, You who from the mountain of Garabandal look upon the horizon where we are tonight, come. Descend. Stay. Take us in your arms and finish what you started (August 27, 1970).
The moment is grave... All right! If necessary, I offer myself in martyrdom (August 30, 1970).
From the mystical depths of our Garabandal, onward in union with Jesus and with Our Lady for the salvation of souls, through and in this union (November 18, 1970).