On the patronal feast of September 8, as in the past, the shrine of Notre Dame de l’Osier witnessed a great affluence of visitors, attracted, according to the codex of September 8 of 1834 and 1835, less by devotion to Mary than by the liveliness of the dancing, the hubbub of the merchants or again the good food at the inns.
The following year, the Founder wrote to Father Guigues:
Remember that Providence has put you at the service of this shrine so as to give better guidance to people’s devotion. I pray that their devotion to the Holy Virgin will bring them to conversion through your ministry.
Letter to Bruno Guigues, 3 September 1835, EO 8 n 541
In 1836, Bishop de Mazenod noted with joy the progress in the pilgrim’s devotion. Every Saturday one of the priests gave an instruction to teach the faithful how to make their pilgrimage holy. The presence of the priests, getting to know them through parish missions, the solemnity with which the month of May and the feasts of the Blessed Virgin were celebrated contributed little by little to attracting pilgrims and creating an atmosphere of prayer around the shrine. From 1837 on, the priests saw to it that the great feast of September 8 was preceded by an eight day retreat.