Twelve-year-old Eugene Barbadette stepped outside the barn for a moment during chores on a bitterly cold January night in Pontmain, France, and looked up at the sky. It was 1871, wartime, and the terrible news had just arrived that the enemy soldiers were almost to the important city of Laval, only 30 miles away.Suddenly, as Eugene gazed at the sky, he saw a beautiful lady up over the house, her dress all covered with stars. Then his 10-year-old brother Joseph took one look and burst out, “What a beautiful lady!” No one else could see anything. However, word spread, and soon some 60 people were gathered outside the Barbadette barn, but only 7 of them—all children—could see the lady. A red cross appeared over her heart, and words appeared beneath her feet, indicating that she was the Blessed Virgin Mary and that the people’s prayers would soon be answered. Suddenly, everyone felt sure that the war was over. Then the vision began to change; Our Lady even moved her fingers in time to the music when the hymn “Mother of Hope” was sung.The next day, news arrived that the enemy had withdrawn and Laval was safe! A few days later, the war was over. The villagers were overjoyed. Soon work was begun on a basilica at Pontmain. There pilgrims would learn the message of Our Lady at Pontmain: that the Cross makes her all-powerful with the Heavenly Father, and that “Mother of Hope” is one of her most cherished titles.