Inside The Vatican Pilgrimages https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com Mon, 17 Feb 2020 22:48:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/cropped-favicon-2-32x32.jpg Inside The Vatican Pilgrimages https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com 32 32 History of Marian Apparition History… Part Eight https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/history-of-marian-apparition-part-eight/ https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/history-of-marian-apparition-part-eight/#respond Thu, 20 Feb 2020 14:00:11 +0000 https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/?p=4905 Statue of the Virgin with an aerial view Quito, Ecuador  1594, Our Lady Appears in Quito, Ecuador From the website, Tradition on Action[2, 3], along with some information from The Miracle Hunter [1], is the story of the apparition of Our Lady in Quito: It is common knowledge that one of the most well known [...]

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Statue of the Virgin with an aerial view Quito, Ecuador

 1594, Our Lady Appears in Quito, Ecuador

From the website, Tradition on Action[2, 3], along with some information from The Miracle Hunter [1], is the story of the apparition of Our Lady in Quito:

It is common knowledge that one of the most well known churches in Madrid is that of Our Lady of Good Success. What is the origin of the invocation?

Our Lady of Good Success statue, Madrid, Spain

The original statue of Our Lady of Good Success discovered in a cave in Spain

After the death of Brother Bernandino de Obregón, founder of the Brothers Minor for the Service of the Sick (the Order of Saint Francis of Paola), Brother Gabriel de Fontaned was elected his successor. Accompanied by Guillermo de Rigosa, he set off for Rome to plead the case for official approval of their Institute before the Roman Pontiff. As they were passing through the town of Traigueras (under the jurisdiction of Tortosa in the Principate of Cataluna), they miraculously discovered in a cave in the mountains a very beautiful statue of Holy Mary carrying her Divine Son in her left arm and a scepter in her right, and a very precious crown on her head.

When they reached Rome, they told the Pope what had happened, and the Pope not only acknowledged the supernatural nature of that discovery, but upon confirming the new Order, he placed it under the protection of the same Virgin, whom he gave the name of the Virgin of Good Success

This is how it came to be that this name was given by the Supreme Pontiff. The Sacred Statue, which was placed in the Royal Hospital of Madrid, became famous for the numerous favors granted by Heaven through her. In 1641 Philip III ordered the construction of the splendid Sanctuary of the Puerta del Sol (Door of the Sun). The magnificence of this edifice that enshrines Our Lady of Good Success is renowned among the Churches of Madrid.

The Spanish nuns who crossed the ocean to found the Convent of the Immaculate Conception in Quito in 1577 brought with them a fervent love for the invocation of Good Success. They did not realize then that Holy Mary would deign to favor them in a very special way by means of this particular invocation. In this group of nuns was a young 13 year old with a vocation, name Mariana.

The miraculous case

It is reported in the timeline on miraclehunter.com[1] that Sr. Mariana  dies for the first time in 1582. Once in Heaven she chose to return to earth to suffer as an expiatory victim for the sins of the 20th century.  She dies a second time in 1588 on Good Friday after an apparition where she was shown the horrible abuses and heresies that would exist in the Church in our times. She was resurrected two days later on Easter Sunday morning.

In the year 1610, Mariana de Jesus Torres,  now Abbess of the Convent and whose virtue was already well known, was distinguished for her devotion to the Virgin of Good Success. One night in the upper choir, as Mariana was praying before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, recommending her community to the Holy Virgin, she noticed a soft light that suddenly appeared in the air. Enveloped in it was the Mother of God accompanied by angels. In her left arm she carried the Divine Child.

D001_Measuring_Mosaic.jpg - 45009 Bytes

Measurements, Our Lady of Good Success

Overcome with emotion, Mariana de Jesus knelt before Mary and, unable to restrain herself, she asked what the purpose of such a heavenly visit was. To this the Mother of God kindly responded: ‘I am Mary of Good Success, the one whom you have invoked with such tender affection. Your prayer has greatly pleased me. Your faith has brought me here. Your love has invited me to visit you.”

The Heavenly Queen also told the humble sister that it was her desire, as well as that of her Divine Child, to be honored by this community as the principal Abbess until the end of time. Toward this end, she ordered her to have a statue made just as she appeared before her eyes with the title of Good Success, and that this statue should be placed for all times above the chair of the Abbesses who would follow her. From there she herself wanted to preside over the Community that she had adopted as her own.

Taken aback by this request, Mother Mariana argued that it would be impossible to reproduce the majesty, beauty, size, and other characteristics of the Heavenly Lady in wood. In response, Our Lady ordered her to take off her cincture (a corded rope around the waist of her habit), and with this to measure her height, a process in which she herself helped by holding one end of it. After this, the Heavenly Lady said, smiling, that she could see to the rest of it by herself.

Finally, she repeated her command, instructing Mariana de Jesus that in her right hand she should hold the crosier and the keys to the Convent since she had taken them for her own, thus assuring that the efforts of Satan to destroy it would be in vain. Therefore, the Virgin of Good Success of Quito appears with the crosier in her right hand, instead of the scepter that is shown in Madrid. [2]

In the year 1611 the statue is officially blessed by the bishop. Our Lady of Good Success was placed above the seat of the Abbess chair at her own specific request as a sign to all that she was the one who governed and watched over the convent. Her official title being that of “Mary of Good Success of the Purification”.

On the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1634, three archangels and their Queen appeared to Mother Mariana. St. Gabriel was carrying a Ciborium filled with Hosts. Our Lady predicts several events in the future Papacy of Blessed Pope Pius IX.

On January 16, 1635, after receiving Holy Communion and the Last Rites, she foretold the exact hour of her death (3 p.m.) and died for the final time.

In 1821, the “truly Catholic” president of Ecuador, Gabriel Garcia Moreno foretold by Our Lady is born. He consecrated the Republic to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1873.  He dies in 1875. Pope Pius IX paid him tribute as a man who had died “the death of a martyr…a victim to his Faith and Christian charity.” In the Cathedral of Quito there is a display of Gabriel Moreno’s incorrupt heart and the famous painting of Our Lady of Quito, which wept at the moment of his martyrdom.

In 1906 during the remodeling of the Convent, Mother Mariana’s three-century old tomb was opened. Her body and habit were found to be whole and incorrupt. In fact, the website Tradition in  Action [3] reports that the bodies of Mariana and the six other Founding Mothers are incorrupt and on display in the convent today.

The cause for beatification of Mother Mariana was launched in 1986.

 

To be continued….

 

Resources:

  1.  The Miracle Hunter, Quito.  LINK to website and original article/timeline.
  2. and 3.  Tradition in Action, LINK to website and original article.

Wikipedia, Our Lady of Good Event (Good Success) LINK

 

 

 

 

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History of Marian Apparition History… Part Seven https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/history-of-marian-apparition-history-part-seven/ https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/history-of-marian-apparition-history-part-seven/#respond Tue, 18 Feb 2020 14:00:18 +0000 https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/?p=4912 Photo above of Church and Monastery built on site of where Our Lady appeared, Lezajsk, Poland   1578, Our Lady Appears in Lezajsk, Poland 1578 Our Lady of Lezajsk, Poland, the story as told on the website Mother-Mary.org: One day Thomas Michaelek, a simple but pious man, had gone, as was his custom, to make up [...]

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Photo above of Church and Monastery built on site of where Our Lady appeared, Lezajsk, Poland 

 1578, Our Lady Appears in Lezajsk, Poland

1578 Our Lady of Lezajsk, Poland, the story as told on the website Mother-Mary.org:

One day Thomas Michaelek, a simple but pious man, had gone, as was his custom, to make up a bundle of sticks to be used as fuel in a wood near the town, when suddenly he witnessed, on a spot where he went to pray, a marvelously bright splendor and within it the Blessed Mother with our Lord Jesus and St. Joseph.  At the same time he heard a voice that seemed to come from the lips of the Blessed Virgin, and it said to him: “Thomas, I have chosen this place; on it my Son shall be honored, and everyone who shall invoke me here shall experience my intercession. Go to the rulers of the city and tell them that it is my will and command, and also that of my Son, that they build here a church dedicated to me.”

Now Thomas was a very humble man and deemed himself unworthy of a heavenly vision. So, fearing some diabolical illusion, he kept the revelation secret. Only sometime after this, when Our Lady had reminded him twice, he asked the rulers of the city to allow him to set up a cross on the spot where the Blessed Mother had stood.

Soon the people of the neighborhood began to gather together at the holy place, and the Queen of Heaven, faithful to her promise, heard the prayers of the pious people.

Afterwards it happened that another dweller in this place, Sebastian Talarczyk, who was tending his cattle near the spot, saw the Blessed Virgin clad in white and surrounded by a great light. He went immediately to the city and informed the ecclesiastical authorities of what he had seen. The parish priest went to the spot, clothed with his priestly garments and with a great procession, and they built there a small wooden church under the invocation of St. Ann.

Not long afterwards, in the year 1606, the bishop of the diocese, M. Potrokonski, seeing that the small wooden church could not contain the worshipers of the Blessed Virgin, who went to that place, set himself, with the help of the pious king, Sigismund III., to build a magnificent church there with a monastery attached to it; and he brought to that place the Fathers of St. Bernard.

Icon of Our Lady of Lezajsk (MiracleHunter.com)[2]

The image of the Blessed Virgin was painted by an artist brought from the city, and as he was very devout to the Immaculate Conception, the work, with the assistance of the Blessed Virgin, was a wonderful achievement. From that time, the people, who were very devout to the Immaculate Virgin, went in crowds to Lazajsk, principally on the day of her feast; and Our Holy Mother rewarded them liberally with her favors, in proof whereof are numerous votive offerings suspended around her image. After a canonical investigation the bishop of the diocese, Henry Firliz, on the 20th of November, confirmed the truth of the miracles formed there.

When, later on, the renown of the miracles and graces obtained on that spot was ever more and more noised abroad, Pope Benedict XIV., a great servant of Mary, gave leave to crown the miraculous image, thus satisfying the requests of the clergy, the nobility and the pious people.

Inside view of the church in Lezajsk, Poland

All the outlay for increasing the splendor of this solemnity was furnished by Joseph Potocki, the Hetman of the Crown, who also at his own expense purchased two golden crowns for the image. The crowns were blessed by Pope Benedict XIV.  But the pious Hetman did not live to see the coronation. His son, Stanislaus, the Senator, accomplished the work which his father had begun, sparing neither money nor trouble to make this solemnity most splendid and memorable.

On the 8th of September, 1752, the bishop, W. Sierakowski, in the midst of a large body of clergy and surrounded by the Polish nobility and an innumerable throng of the faithful, performed the solemn ceremony and crowned the image of the Blessed Virgin. [1]

The series of events of this apparition site indicates that it is important to follow exactly the instructions that the Blessed Virgin gives so that all the graces she intends for that site flow fully and without diminution.  While Our Lady heard the prayers of the faithful who came to the site when only a cross was in place, the graces — healings and miracles — increased once the church was built as Our Lady originally instructed.

 

To be continued….

 

Resources:

  1. Mother-Mary.org, Lezasjk, Poland, 1578.  LINK to website.
  2. The Miracle Hunter, miraclehunter.com/marian apparitions, LINK to website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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History of Marian Apparition History… Part Six https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/history-of-marian-apparition-part-six/ https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/history-of-marian-apparition-part-six/#respond Thu, 13 Feb 2020 00:31:20 +0000 https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/?p=4897 Above: AVILA, SPAIN, APRIL - 19, 2016: The St. Theresia of Avila with the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph in church of Real Monasterio de Santo Tomas by unknown artist of 18. cent  1563: St Teresa of Avila (of Jesus) From the website of the Discalced Carmelites, General Curia of the Teresian Carmel St Teresa's [...]

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Above: AVILA, SPAIN, APRIL – 19, 2016: The St. Theresia of Avila with the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph in church of Real Monasterio de Santo Tomas by unknown artist of 18. cent

 1563: St Teresa of Avila (of Jesus)

From the website of the Discalced Carmelites, General Curia of the Teresian Carmel

St Teresa’s whole Marian experience is found scattered throughout her writings, from which we can put together a lovely mosaic of Mary. We will make use of three important traits of Teresian doctrine.

a) Devotion to Mary and Marian mystical experience 

From the first page of Teresa’s writings the Virgin Mary appears among the most important memories of her childhood. She recalls the devotion taught her by her mother Beatriz, which found expression in the recitation of the Rosary. The episode of her prayer to Our Lady after the loss of her mother at the age of 13 is very moving: “in my affliction I went to an image of our Lady and begged her with many tears to be a mother to me. It seems to me that though I did this in simplicity, it has been of much help to me; for I know that I have always found favour with this sovereign lady when I have commended myself to her and in the end, she has drawn me to herself”. Teresa then attributes to the Virgin the grace of a constant protection and in a special way the grace of her conversion: “She has drawn me to herself”. Other texts from the autobiography reveal to us the permanence of the devotion to Mary: when she turns to the Virgin in her sufferings, when she remembers her feasts of the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception or the Holy Family or her devotion to the Rosary.

Very quickly the devotion to the Virgin, like other aspects of the Saint’s life, passed into an experience of her mysteries, when God made Teresa enter into contact with the mystery of Christ and all that pertains to it. In Teresa’s mystical experience of the mystery of Our Lady there is, as it were, a progressive penetration into the most important moments of the Virgin’s life, as we find it in the Gospels. Thus, for example, we have an intuition of the mystery of the overshadowing of the Virgin and of her humble and wise attitude at the Annunciation. We know of at least two mystical experiences Teresa enjoyed connected with the first words of Mary’s canticle, the Magnificat which, according to the testimony of Mary of St Joseph, Teresa used to repeat frequently “softly, in Castilian”.

She contemplates with amazement the mystery of the Incarnation: “The Lord wills to enter into the womb of his most holy Mother. Such is the Lord, he brings liberty with him, and thus he loves to make himself like us”. She contemplates the presentation of Jesus in the temple and finds the meaning of Simeon’s words to the Virgin: “Do not think that when you see my Mother holding me in her arms, she enjoyed this happiness without grave torment. From the time that Simeon spoke these words to her, My Father gave her clear light whereby to see what I would have to suffer”. She thinks about the flight into Egypt and the hidden life of the Holy Family.

She had a special intuition of the presence of Mary in the paschal mystery of her Son, on the pain of her desolation and the joy in the Lord’s resurrection. Teresa loved to contemplate Mary’s fortitude and her communion with Christ at the foot of the Cross. In Concepts of the Love of God she describes the Virgin’s attitude: “She was up, and not sleeping, but suffering in her most holy soul, dying a cruel death”. She had entered mystically into the sorrow of the Virgin when the Lord was placed in her arms “as it is portrayed in the fifth sorrow” and had experience at Easter in Salamanca in 1571 of desolation and anguish (a dark night of the spirit) which made her remember the loneliness of the Virgin at the foot of the Cross. On this same occasion the Lord said to her, “On my resurrection I went to our Lady who was in great need…. and I stayed long with her for she was in very great need of consolation”.

On various occasions it was given to her to contemplate the glorification of the Virgin on the feast of her Assumption. She was conscious that the Virgin always accompanied the community at prayer with her constant intercession, as happened at St Joseph’s in Avila and at the Incarnation.

When it was given to her to know the mystery of the Trinity she perceived the closeness of the Virgin to this mystery, and the fact that the Virgin, along with Christ and the Holy Spirit, are the ineffable gifts of the Father: “I have given you my Son and the Holy Spirit and this Virgin. What can you give to me?” It can be stated that the Holy Mother had a profound mystical experience of Mary, that she enjoyed her presence. Teresa also experienced the mysteries of Mary’s life. Consequently in Teresa’s doctrine there runs a deep conviction that the mysteries of the Humanity of Christ and those of his Virgin Mother form part of the mystical experience of those tending to perfection .

Church and convent of St Teresa of Jesus. Avila, Castilla Leon. Spain

b) Mary as model and mother of the spiritual life 

Saint Teresa has set down her experience and contemplation of the mystery of the Virgin Mary in a few lines full of doctrine. She would, without doubt, have traced out a beautiful synthesis of Marian spirituality if she had carried out her intention of commenting on the Ave Maria as she did on the Pater Noster in the Way of Perfection.

We can state that among the characteristic virtues of the Virgin which Saint Teresa proposed for imitation there is one that contains all the others. Mary is the first Christian, the disciple of the Lord, the follower of Christ even to the foot of the Cross. Mary is the model of total adherence to the humanity of Christ and of communion with him in his mysteries in such a way that she is the model of a contemplation centred on the sacred Humanity.

Among the virtues which also belong to the Carmelite form of religious life we can cite: Poverty which made Mary poor with Christ; humility which drew God from heaven “into the Virgin’s womb” and so is one of the principal virtues to imitate: “Let us imitate in something the great humility of the most holy Virgin” the attitude of humble contemplation and amazement before the wonders wrought by God and total assent to his will.

Her presence is with us for the whole of our spiritual journey as though every grace and every crucial moment in the maturing of the Christian and religious life needed the active presence of the Mother on the road her children take. Thus the Virgin appears actively present in every description Teresa makes in the Interior Castle of the itinerary of the spiritual life. It is the Virgin who intercedes for sinners when they commend themselves to her. She is the Spouse of the Canticles, the model of perfect souls. She is also Mother in that all her graces are summed up in her union with Christ in “much suffering”. Teresa writes, “We have always seen that those who are nearest to Christ our Lord have the most to suffer: we see what his glorious Mother and the glorious apostles had to go through”. For this reason the memory of Christ and the Virgin in the liturgical celebration of their mysteries accompanies us and gives us strength.

 

c) The Virgin Mary and Carmel 

Teresa of Jesus, in her Carmelite vocation, had entered profoundly into the whole preceding spiritual tradition of Carmel. In the monastery of the Incarnation in Avila she had been able to steep herself in the whole rich Marian spirituality of the Order as it was expressed in the sixteenth century in its historical tradition, spiritual legends, Carmelite liturgy, popular devotion and Carmelite iconography. In her writings the name of the Order is always coupled with that of the Virgin who is the Lady, the Patron, the Mother of the Order and of each one of its members. Everything is Marian in the Order, according to St Teresa: the habit, the Rule, the houses.

When she was appointed Prioress of the Incarnation in 1571 she placed a statue of Mary in the first place in the choir for she knew that the devotion, love and respect of all the religious converged on Mary. This gesture had a delightful epilogue in the apparition of the Virgin. In a letter to Maria de Mendoza (7th March, 1572) she says affectionately, “My ‘Prioress’ (the Virgin Mary) is doing wonders”. She received Fr Gracian with delight as he was devoted to the Virgin, as she frequently recalled in her letters, and she was enthusiastic about knowing the origins of the Order, as narrated in the books written at that time. She was fully conscious of the privileges of the Holy Scapular as appears in this sentence referring to the death of a Carmelite Friar: “I understood that having been a friar who was very faithful to his profession, he had profited by the Bulls of the Order so as not to enter purgatory”.

She undertook the task of the foundation of St Joseph’s in the same Marian spirit as a service of renewal of our Lady’s Order urged on by the Virgin herself. In the first promises made to her by Christ we find an allusion to the presence of the Virgin in Carmel.

Afterwards the Virgin herself urged her to the foundation of St Joseph’s with identical words and promises and with a special grace of interior purity conceded to Teresa for her task of foundress. At the happy conclusion of the foundation of St Joseph’s, Teresa set down her Marian sentiments in these words, “As for me, it was like being in glory to see the Blessed Sacrament reserved…. and to have completed a work which I understood was for the service of the Lord and in honour of the habit of his glorious Mother”. “We keep the Rule of Our Lady of Carmel … please God all will be for his glory and praise and that of the glorious Virgin Mary, whose habit we wear”. In response to this Marian service she saw Christ who thanked her for “what she had done for his Mother”, and she saw the Virgin “in great glory, wearing a white mantle with which she seemed to enfold us all”.

In narrating the progress of the Reform, Teresa always took care to stress its continuity with the Order, the service done for Our Lady, and the special protection afforded by Mary on all occasions. Thus, for example, the encounter with Fr Rubeo and the permission obtained to increase the Teresian monasteries: “I wrote a letter to our Father General … placing before him the service it would be to Our Lady, for he has great devotion to Her. She must have been the one who managed it”. The whole book of the Foundations appears to have been written in a Marian key with continual allusions to the Virgin and her service: “These little dovecots of Our Lady began to be filled up”. “This was the beginning of the renewal of the Rule of the Virgin Mother and Lady, our Patron” she says of the foundation of Duruelo. When she looked back, at the end of the book of Foundations, she saw it all as a service done for the Virgin, who herself had collaborated in the work: “We rejoice to have been able to render some service to our Lady Mother and Patron… little by little things have been done for the honour and glory of this glorious Virgin and her Son”. Even the separation of the Calced from the Discalced made by the Chapter of Alcala in 1581 is seen by Teresa as part of the peacemaking work of the Mother of the Order: “Our Lord has done an important work … for the honour and glory of his glorious Mother, for she is of the Order as Our Lady and Patron”.

On various occasions the thought of the Virgin arouses in Teresa an understanding of the Carmelite vocation inspired by Mary. Here, for example, with an implicit reference to Mary she writes, “All of us who wear this holy habit of Carmel are called to prayer and contemplation. This call explains our origin; we are descendants of men who felt this call, of these holy fathers of Mount Carmel who in such great solitude and contempt for the world sought this treasure, this precious pearl we are talking about”.

TURIN, ITALY – MARCH 13, 2017: The fresco The Death of St. Theresia in church Chiesa di Santa Teresa by Rodolfo Morgari (1827 – 1909).

In the surrounding context the Saint speaks of the vocation to prayer as a hidden treasure, a precious pearl ­ both Gospel allusions ­ which are within us and demand the total gift of our life in order to buy the field where the treasure is buried and acquire the pearl of great price. Mary appears as the Mother of this “race of contemplatives”, through her interior life of meditation and her total gift of self to the Lord. On another occasion Teresa calls attention to the imitation of the Virgin so that we may be called in truth her children: “Please God, sisters, we may live as true daughters of the Virgin, faithful to our profession, so that the Lord may grant us the mercy he has promised”. Teresa’s idea of fraternity, with its reciprocal love and sharing of goods, has for its foundation love of the Virgin and the sense of belonging to the same family, as these two texts suggest: “And so my daughters, all belong to the Virgin and are sisters and should seek to love one another greatly”. “As we all wear the same habit, the monasteries should help one another, for what touches one, touches all”.

These pages show how the Holy Mother had lived integrally the Marian tradition of the Order, enriching it with her mystical experience, her devotion and the doctrinal orientation of her writings. In Teresa’s view the Virgin is the model of adherence to Christ and of the contemplative living of his mystery and ecclesial service for the Discalced Carmelite. The Virgin is the Mother in each monastery, increasing by her presence the sense of intimacy and family, an aid on the road of the spiritual life, presiding over the prayer life by her fervent intercession with her Son.

 

 

To be continued….

 

Resources:

  1. Website of the Discalced Carmelites, General Curia of the Teresian Carmel,  LINK to original article that contains all the referred to sources in the above reprinted article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/the-rededication-of-england/ https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/the-rededication-of-england/#respond Mon, 10 Feb 2020 21:33:40 +0000 https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/?p=4891 Above: Painting by Amanda de Pulford of Our Lady of Walsingham to be blessed by Pope Francis, Independent Catholic News, 02/08/2020   The Re-dedication of England as the Dowry of Mary on March 29th is both a personal promise of the people of our country and a renewal of the entrustment vows made by King [...]

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Above: Painting by Amanda de Pulford of Our Lady of Walsingham to be blessed by Pope Francis, Independent Catholic News, 02/08/2020

 

The Re-dedication of England as the Dowry of Mary on March 29th is both a personal promise of the people of our country and a renewal of the entrustment vows made by King Richard II, per the website BEHOLD2020, The Official Companion of the Rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry.  As the website further states,

This year, the Christians of England are called to make a personal dedication to Mary, taking up her example as Christ’s first disciple.

History shows us that when the people pray a surrender to God’s will for their lives, society is transformed. By taking up this personal dedication in 2020, you can be a part of the renewal of this nation, drawing ourselves closer to the will of our loving God, through Mary.

King Richard II (1377-1399) made a prayer to Our Lady of Pew at the time of the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381, placing his country under her maternal care and consecrating England to her by right, as the Bride of the Holy Spirit: England being a “dowry,” as it were, the wealth a bride brings to her husband. We talk about Catholic  England a bit in a prior blog post HERE.

The Independent Catholic News reported that Pope Francis will be blessing a painting of Our Lady of Walsingham on Wednesday, February 12, during his weekly audience.  The painting will then return to the Shrine to our Lady in Walsingham for the rededication on March 29th and then embark on a journey to visit every parish in the country.   LINK to full article.

BEHOLD2020 has a section on their site listing activities to participate in to prepare for the re-dedication, that includes prayer and pilgrimage.  During our Mary’s Dowry pilgrimage this August we will visit the Shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham and pursue our own re-dedication to Mary.  Join us!  For more information, follow this LINK.

If you live in the United States, consider visiting the National Shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham located in Williamsburg, Va. LINK to website for more information and directions.

 

Our Lady of  Walsingham, pray for us and the country of England, Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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History of Marian Apparition History… Part Five https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/marian-history-part-five/ https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/marian-history-part-five/#respond Thu, 06 Feb 2020 13:00:38 +0000 https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/?p=4875 Above: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Tilma (original paint), Mexico City, Mexico The 1500's: Our Lady appears to Juan Diego From CatholicSpirit.com After the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century, Franciscan missionaries seeking to convert the Aztecs to Christianity destroyed their temples and idols. The missionaries claimed they were acting in the [...]

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Above: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Tilma (original paint), Mexico City, Mexico

The 1500’s: Our Lady appears to Juan Diego

From CatholicSpirit.com

After the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century, Franciscan missionaries seeking to convert the Aztecs to Christianity destroyed their temples and idols. The missionaries claimed they were acting in the interest of the people’s spiritual wellbeing, but the death of their gods left them with a sense of hopelessness.

Other Spaniards enslaved the indigenous people, whom they considered less than human.

“If God does not provide a remedy from His hand, this land is about to be lost,” Mexico’s first bishop, Franciscan Friar Juan de Zumárraga, wrote in a letter to the king of Spain.

On Dec. 9, 1531, Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, an indigenous Catholic convert, was walking to the city of Tlaltelolco in central Mexico to attend Mass. As he approached a hill called Tepeyac, a rainbow appeared amidst shimmery white clouds and he heard a woman calling his name.

“Her dress shone as the sun, as if vibrating, and the stone where She stood, as if shooting rays,” according to the “Nican Mopohua,” one of the earliest written accounts of the Guadalupe apparitions. “Her splendor was like precious stones, like a jewel, everything that is most beautiful, She was. The ground dazzled with resplendence of the rainbow in the fog. The mesquites and the cacti and all the other plants that usually grow there looked like emeralds, the foliage like turquoises, and their stems and thorns shone like gold.”

 

Speaking in the local language, Nahuatl, the dark-complected woman identified herself as Mary, the Mother of God. She instructed Juan Diego to tell the bishop that she would like a “sacred house” to be built in her honor on the hilltop.

The skeptical bishop asked Juan Diego to return with proof that what he was saying was true.

Again Mary appeared to Juan Diego, asking him to gather some flowers growing on the normally barren hillside. She wrapped the flowers in Juan Diego’s “tilma,” or cloak.

When Juan Diego opened his tilma to present the flowers to the bishop, the men were astonished to find the Virgin’s image miraculously imprinted on the fabric.

As word of the miracle spread, people flocked to the site to venerate the image, which the Franciscans named after the dark-skinned Virgin of Guadalupe in Extremadura, Spain. Soon thousands of indigenous people sought to be baptized.

The very fact that the image has lasted nearly 500 years could itself be considered a miracle, according to some experts who have studied the tilma.

Over time, humidity and salt buildup eroded the stonework of the church where the tilma was first housed, but the tilma, made of a delicate plant fiber, remains remarkably well-preserved to this day.

For 116 years the unprotected image was exposed to the elements until 1647, when it was put behind glass. During that time, countless people touched the tilma and burned candles and incense near it.

Acid was once spilled on the tilma and a bomb detonated beneath it, but still it has survived.

Today it is displayed in Mexico City’s Basilica of St. Mary of Guadalupe, one of the world’s most visited Catholic shrines.

Pope John Paul II proclaimed Juan Diego a saint on July 31, 2002. He also declared Our Lady of Guadalupe “Queen of All America.” Her feast day is Dec. 12.

Information in this article is derived from “Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego: The Historical Evidence” by Eduardo Chávez, postulator for the canonization cause of Juan Diego. [1]

 

To be continued….

 

Resources:

  1.  The Catholic Spirit, Julie Carroll, September 29, 2011  LINK to original article.

For more information about Our Lady of Guadalupe, including a timeline, discussion of symbols, images and videos, visit The Miracle Hunter online LINK

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Lady of Loreto and the Holy House of Loreto … Marian Apparition History… Part Four https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/history-of-marian-apparitions-part-four/ https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/history-of-marian-apparitions-part-four/#respond Tue, 04 Feb 2020 13:00:14 +0000 https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/?p=4851 Pope Francis prays inside the Sanctuary of the Holy House on the feast of the Annunciation in Loreto, Italy, March 25, 2019. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)  The 1200's continued...   Our Lady of Loreto and the Holy House of Loreto We are including this site in the history of Marian apparitions as tradition holds this is [...]

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Pope Francis prays inside the Sanctuary of the Holy House on the feast of the Annunciation in Loreto, Italy, March 25, 2019. (CNS photo/Vatican Media) 

The 1200’s continued…

 

Our Lady of Loreto and the Holy House of Loreto

We are including this site in the history of Marian apparitions as tradition holds this is the actual house of Nazareth, where the Virgin Mary was born, raised and greeted by the Angel Gabriel. Tradition further holds that the Holy House arrived in Loreto on Dec. 10, 1294 after a miraculous rescue from the Holy Land as the Crusaders were driven out of Palestine at the end of the 13th century. The following is from a blog posting by Catholic News Agency in December of 2018:

What do Galileo, Mozart, Descartes, Cervantes, and St. Therese of Lisieux have in common? They all traveled hundreds of miles to step inside the Virgin Mary’s house, which is preserved inside a basilica in the small Italian town of Loreto. Catholic pilgrims have flocked to the Holy House of Loreto since the 14th century to stand inside the walls.

In other words, if it is actually the house of Nazareth, it is where the “Word became Flesh” at the Annunciation, a point on which the history of the humanity turned.

There is an often repeated story that angels carried the Holy House from Palestine to Italy. While modern listeners may doubt the legend’s veracity, historic documents have vindicated the beliefs of pious pilgrims over the centuries – with an ironic twist.

In 1900, the pope’s physician, Joseph Lapponi, discovered documents in the Vatican archive, stating that in the 13th century a noble Byzantine family, the Angeli family, rescued “materials” from “Our Lady’s House” from Muslim invaders and then had them transported to Italy for the building of a shrine.

The name Angeli means “angels” in both Greek and Latin.

Further historic diplomatic correspondences, not published until 1985, discuss the “holy stones taken away from the House of Our Lady, Mother of God.” In the fall of 1294, “holy stones” were included in the dowry of Ithamar Angeli for her marriage to Philip II of Anjou, son of King Charles II of Naples.

A coin minted by a member of the Angeli family was also found in the foundation of the house in Loreto. In Italy, coins were often inserted into a building’s foundation to indicate who was responsible for its construction.

Excavations in both Nazareth and Loreto found similar materials at both sites. The stones that make up the lower part of the walls of the Holy House in Loreto appear to have been finished with a technique particular to the Nabataeans, which was also widespread in Palestine. There are inscriptions in syncopated Greek characters with contiguous Hebrew letters that read “O Jesus Christ, Son of God,” written in the same style inscribed in the Grotto in Nazareth.

Archaeologists also confirmed a tradition of Loreto that third century Christians had transformed Mary’s house in Nazareth into a place of worship by building a synagogue-style church around the house. A 7th century bishop who traveled to Nazareth noted a church built at the house where Annunciation took place.

Interior view of the Shrine of Loreto, detail of the Holy House, Loreto, Italy

From St. Francis de Sales to St. Louis de Montfort, many saints visited the Holy House of Loreto over the centuries. St. Charles Borromeo made four pilgrimages in 1566, 1572, 1579, and 1583.

The victory over the Turks at Lepanto was attributed to the Virgin of Loreto by St. Pius V, leading both General Marcantonio Colonna and John of Austria to make pilgrimages to the shrine in 1571 and 1576 respectively.

Christopher Columbus made a vow to the Madonna of Loreto in 1493 when he and his crew were caught in a storm during their return journey from the Americas. He later sent a sailor to Loreto on a pilgrimage of thanksgiving on behalf of the entire crew.

Queen Christina of Sweden offered her royal crown and sceptre to the Virgin Mary in Loreto in 1655 after her conversion from the Lutheran faith to Catholicism.

Napoleon plundered the shrine and its treasury on Feb. 13, 1797, taking with him precious jewels and other gifts offered to the Virgin Mary by European aristocracy, including several French monarchs, over the centuries. Yet, the object of real value in the eyes of pilgrims, the Holy House of Mary, was left unharmed.

In a homily in 1995, Saint Pope John Paul II called the Holy House of Loreto, “the house of all God’s adopted children.” He continued:

“The threads of the history of the whole of humankind are tied anew in that house. It is the Shrine of the House of Nazareth, to which the Church that is in Italy is tied by providence, that the latter rediscovers a quickening reminder of the mystery of the Incarnation, thanks to which each man is called to the dignity of the Son of God.”[1]

 

To be continued….

 

We will visit the Holy House of Loreto this upcoming May during our “Journey Toward the Face of Christ” Pilgrimage. For information about this pilgrimage, click HERE.

 

Resources:

1. Catholic News Agency, Courtney Mares, December 10, 2018. LINK to original posting.

 

 

 

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History of Marian Apparitions … Part Three https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/history-of-marian-apparitions-part-three/ https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/history-of-marian-apparitions-part-three/#respond Wed, 29 Jan 2020 23:20:05 +0000 https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/?p=4842 Photo above of the painted ceiling detail of the church of the "Madonna del Carmine" The 1200's In 1251, St. Simon Stock receives the Brown Scapular from Mary.  As told in a blog post over at Catholicism Pure & Simple, on May 16, 2012: Saint Simon Stock was born to a very illustrious family in [...]

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Photo above of the painted ceiling detail of the church of the “Madonna del Carmine”

The 1200’s

In 1251, St. Simon Stock receives the Brown Scapular from Mary.  As told in a blog post over at Catholicism Pure & Simple, on May 16, 2012:

Saint Simon Stock was born to a very illustrious family in Kent County, England (c. 1165), of which his father was governor. His mother was devoted to the Virgin Mary, and Simon was not yet one year old when he was heard clearly articulating the Angelic salutation several times. When he was twelve, Simon began to live as a hermit in the hollow of a trunk of an oak, where he got the nickname “stock” or “trunk”. Within this wilderness retreat, his continual prayers ascended to heaven and he spent twenty years in the most complete solitude, feeding his soul with the celestial delights of contemplation.

Having voluntarily chosen to deprive himself of human conversation, he was favoured with that of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the angels who urged him to persevere in his life of sacrifice and love. The Queen of Heaven told him that some hermits from Palestine would soon land in England, adding that he should join those men whom she considered as her servants.

Indeed, Lord John Vesoy and Lord Richard Gray of Codnor returned from the Holy Land, bringing with them several hermits from Mount Carmel. Simon Stock joined them in 1212 and was elected Vicar General of the Carmelite Order in 1215. He begged the Virgin Mary by fervent prayers and tears to defend this Order, which was devoted to her, and she appeared in a dream to Pope Honorius III, so the pope finally confirmed the Rule of Carmelites in 1226.

Another time the Mother of God appeared to Simon, surrounded by a dazzling light and accompanied by a large number of blessed spirits, with the scapular of the order in her hand. This scapular she gave him with the words: “Hoc erit tibi et cunctis Carmelitis privilegium, in hoc habitu moriens salvabitur” – This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites, that anyone wearing this habit shall be saved.

Through Saint Simon Stock the devotion of the scapular spread throughout the world, not only among the people, but also among kings and princes who found themselves very honoured to wear the sign of the servants of the Blessed Virgin. Stock breathed his last in the city of Bordeaux while visiting monasteries, in the 20th year of his office as Vicar General. The Church added his last words to the Angelic salutation: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.”

(From Bishop Paul Guerin, 1863 Ed., p. 229-233)

MARY’S PROMISE TO THOSE WHO WEAR THE SCAPULAR

Our Lady gave St. Simon a scapular for the Carmelites with the following promise, saying : Receive, My beloved son, this habit of thy order: this shall be to thee and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire …. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace.

Another important aspect of wearing the Scapular is the Sabbatine Privilege. This concerns a promise made by Our Lady to Pope John XXII. In a papal letter he issued, he recounted a vision that he had had. He stated that the Blessed Virgin had said to him in this vision, concerning those who wear the Brown Scapular: “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.” 

CONDITIONS AND RITUALS ATTACHED TO THE SCAPULAR

According to Church tradition, there are three conditions necessary to participate in this Privilege and share in the other spiritual benefits of the Scapular: wear the Brown Scapular, observe chastity according to your state in life, and pray the Rosary. In addition to the Sabbatine Privilege, enrollment in the Brown Scapular also makes a person part of the Carmelite family throughout the world. They therefore share in all of the prayers and good works of the Carmelite Orders. Participation in the Carmelite family also, of course, places you in a special relationship with the Carmelite saints, especially St. Elijah, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, and, most importantly, Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

In order to receive the spiritual blessings associated with the Scapular, it is necessary to be formally enrolled in the Brown Scapular by either a priest or a lay person who has been given this faculty. Once enrolled, the enrollment is for life and need not be repeated. Anyone, adult or infant, who has not previously been enrolled may be enrolled in the Brown Scapular.

VALUE AND MEANING OF THE SCAPULAR

Many popes and saints have strongly recommended wearing, the Brown Scapular to the Catholic Faithful, including St. Robert Bellarmine, Pope John XXII, Pope Pius Xl, and Pope Benedict XV. For example, St. Alphonsus said: “Just as men take pride in having others wear their livery, so the Most Holy Mary is pleased when Her servants wear Her Scapular as a mark that they have dedicated themselves to Her service, and are members of the Family of the Mother of God.”

Pope Pius XII went so far as to say: “The Scapular is a practice of piety which by its very simplicity is suited to everyone, and has spread widely among the faithful of Christ to their spiritual profit.” In our own times, Pope Paul VI said: “Let the faithful hold in high esteem the practices and devotions to the Blessed Virgin … the Rosary and the Scapular of Carmel” and in another place referred to the Scapular as: “so highly recommended by our illustrious predecessors.”

A modern day look at the Brown Scapular was written about by a Carmelite sister , Sr. Helena, at the blog, Mount Carmel, on July 20, 2018:

The Brown Scapular is a miniature form of the habit worn by Carmelites. The significance of the Scapular to Carmelites is very much tied up to the place of Mary in the Order. It summarizes Marian devotions and piety. The Scapular does not have any value or meaning, if it is not contemplated in relation to Mary. This is because this sacramental of the Church came to us through the initiative of Mary. To understand Mary’s role and place in our modern day existence is to understand well the significance of the Brown Scapular of Carmel in our lives and the world.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA – FEBRUARY 17, 2014: Fresco of hl. Simon Stock by Josef Kastner 1906 – 1911 in Carmelites church in Dobling.

What does this tiny, brown piece of cloth, have anything to do with our Christian life?

The Brown Scapular embodies Mary’s spirit. In our world of noise and frenzied activities, the Scapular invites us to remember our origin and roots as Carmelites. Anyone who wears the Brown Scapular implicitly ties him or herself to the spirit and life of Carmel. We should remember that we were founded in the caves of Mount Carmel, in the spirit of Elias, to contemplate God “in whose presence we stand.” The Brown Scapular calls us to silence and contemplation and intimacy with God. This intimacy must be sought not just by the “contemplatives” of the Order but by anyone who wears the Carmelite scapular.

In our world of consumerism and materialism, the Brown Scapular reminds us of the simplicity of Mary in Nazareth, content with what God had to offer. The simple brown cloth worn as an apron should remind us of the Gospel call to service and humility. At the Last Supper, our Lord put on an apron and began to wash the apostles feet. It should be a constant reminder to us of an interior disposition to make ourselves available in any way we are called upon to serve. The brown color of the Scapular reminds us of earth from which we were formed in creation and a reminder that it is through our frail humanity that we ascend to God. The Scapular, which is worn over the shoulder, is a “yoke” that we put on. Once we put on this yoke, we freely commit ourselves to a “way of life” that will lead us to the mountain of Carmel which is Christ. I emphasize “way of life” because the Brown Scapular should signify a life- changing commitment. We try to re-orient our life and gear it to the Gospel ideals embodied by the Scapular, daily, and with determination. It is not just the act of wearing it but a firmness of purpose to live out the challenge. It is entering into a covenant.

The Brown Scapular, being totally Marian, symbolizes the virtue of chastity. We are “clothed in the habit of our Lady”, as St. Teresa of Avila loved to remind her nuns. How can we worthily wear the Scapular of Mary Most Pure, if we don’t shun impurity in all shapes and forms? In this modern culture glamorizing sex and the idolatrous worship of the body, we have the work cut out for us. We do not mean to be prudish here since we acknowledge the fact that we are not angels but endowed with a human body, with all of its normal operations, desires and processes. But the virtue of chastity is first of all born in the will. “It is not what enters a man’s heart from the outside which renders him impure, but rather what comes out of him,” as Jesus wisely stated. We must try to shun occasions against the virtue of chastity but it may happen that a situation beyond our control presents itself. We must simply turn our heart away from it and invoke Mary’s help to keep us pleasing to God, and remain at peace. Temptations against chastity are often better dealt with flight than fight. It is not worth our time fighting it in its face but to simply ignore it and to elevate our intentions to a higher level.

In our modern age, there is a growing fascination with different schools of spirituality. More and more people show a growing thirst for spiritual things. I believe that there is a richness to be re-discovered in the Brown Scapular. There is a growing awareness , even within the Order, of the great treasure we have in the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. A final document pertaining to this topic was published by the Order. This document is named “The Official Teaching of the Church and of Carmel on the Scapular Devotion.” This document was released by the Congregation for Worship in Rome and was published in “Carmel in the World,” a publication of the Order.

And lastly, the Brown Scapular is a constant reminder to us of our heavenly Mother’s companionship and attentiveness to our needs. She is the Mother for all generations. She is the one who comes to our aid in times of trouble. She did it to Saint Simon Stock over 750 years ago and she still does it to you and me in our day. [2]

 

We visit Aylesford, England, where St. Simon Stock received the Brown Scapular from Our Lady during the pilgrimage, Mary’s Dowry. The next pilgrimage is planned for August 2020.  Follow the link below for information about this and our other pilgrimages.

To be continued….

 

Resources:

1. Catholicism Pure & Simple, by mmvm, May 16, 2012, LINK to original posting.

2. Mount Carmel, Sister Helena, July 20, 2018. LINK to original posting.

For information about our upcoming pilgrimages, click HERE.

 

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History of Marian Apparitions … Part Two https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/history-of-marian-apparitions-part-two/ https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/history-of-marian-apparitions-part-two/#respond Tue, 21 Jan 2020 00:59:30 +0000 https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/?p=4816 Photo above: aeriel view of Monastery of Montserrat (home of Black Madonna) in Catalonia, Spain. Panoramic view from the top of the mountain. The 900's In 963, St. Athanasius, the Athonite, establishes a monastery dedicated to the Mother of God on Mt. Athos peninsula in Greece.  Here the original Icon to Our Lady of Iveron  [...]

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Photo above: aeriel view of Monastery of Montserrat (home of Black Madonna) in Catalonia, Spain. Panoramic view from the top of the mountain.

The 900’s

In 963, St. Athanasius, the Athonite, establishes a monastery dedicated to the Mother of God on Mt. Athos peninsula in Greece.  Here the original Icon to Our Lady of Iveron  (photo, left) hangs over the monastery gates. The icon is believed to have been painted by St. Luke and belongs to a family of images of the Theotokos known as Hodegetria  (Greek: Όδηγήτρια, “she who leads the way”) after the prototype from Constantinople. In these icons, the  Christ Child sits on his mother’s left arm and she is depicted pointing to Christ with her right hand.

A unique characteristic of this icon is what appears to be a scar on the Virgin Mary’s right cheek or her chin. A number of different traditions exist to explain this, but the one most commonly held by Orthodox Christians is that the icon was stabbed by a soldier in Nicaea during the period of  Byzantine iconoclasm under the Emporer Theophilus  (829–842). According to tradition, when the icon was stabbed, blood miraculously flowed out of the wound.

The original in Iveron is encased in a chased riza of silver and gold covering almost all the image except the face, as is common with the most venerated icons.

According to the Orthodox Church’s Sacred Tradition the icon was at one time in the possession of a widow in Nicaea. Not wanting the icon to be seized and destroyed by the iconoclasts, she spent all night in prayer and then cast the icon into the Mediterranean Sea. The widow’s son later went to Mount Athos, where he became a monk and recounted the miracle of the bleeding wound, and how the icon had been placed in the sea. Much later (c. 1004) the icon was recovered from the sea by a Georgian monk named Gabriel (later canonized a saint in the Orthodox Church), who was laboring at the Iveron Monastery on Mount Athos. This occurred on Tuesday of Bright Week (Easter Week), and is commemorated annually on that day (as well as the fixed date of March 31). The icon was taken to the katholikon (main church) of the monastery from which the icon gets its name.

The tradition goes on to say that the following day, when the monks entered the church they could not find the icon. After searching they discovered the icon hanging on the gates of the monastery. This occurrence was repeated several times, until St. Gabriel reported that he had seen a vision of the Theotokos, wherein she revealed that she did not want her icon to be guarded by the monks, but rather she intended to be their Protectress. After this, the icon was permanently installed above the monastery gates, where it remains to this day. Because of this, the icon came to be called Portaitissa or “Gate-Keeper”. This title was not new for the Virgin Mary, but comes from a verse of the Akathist to the Mother of God: “Rejoice, O Blessed Gate-Keeper who opens the gates of Paradise to the righteous.” Orthodox monks and nuns throughout the world will often place an icon of the Theotokos Iverskaya on the monastery gates. It is also common in Orthodox temples (church buildings) to place an icon of the Theotokos Portaitissa on the inside of the iconostasis above the Holy Doors, looking towards the Holy Table (altar table).

 

In 975, Montserrat Abbey (photo above) in Spain was founded which later becomes the shrine with a Black Madonna.  Montserrat, whose name means ‘serrated mountain’, is ideally located to play an important role in the cultural and spiritual life of Catalonia. It is Catalonia’s most important religious retreat and groups of young people from Barcelona and all over Catalonia make overnight hikes at least once in their lives to watch the sunrise from the heights of Montserrat. The Virgin of Montserrat is Catalonia’s favorite saint, and is located in the sanctuary of the Mare de Déu de Montserrat, next to the Benedictine monastery nestling in the towers and crags of the mountain. The Escolonia, Montserrat’s Boys’ Choir, is one of the oldest in Europe, and performs during religious ceremonies and communal prayers in the basilica.

The basilica houses a museum with works of art by many prominent painters. The Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, a publishing house, one of the oldest presses in the world still running, with its first book published in 1499.

The wooden statue of the Black Madonna with Child in her arms in the Montserrat monastery, Catalonia, Spain

The image of Our Lady of Montserrat, popularly known as La Moreneta (the Dark One), due to the dark color of Her skin, is a truly beautiful 12th-century Romanesque polychrome carving. Pope Leo XIII proclaimed Our Lady of Montserrat to be Patron Saint of Catalonia in 1881. In 1947, the image was enthroned in a silver altarpiece, paid for by popular subscription and installed in the upper section of the basilica apse.  Artistically, the image imitates a popular model, that of Our Lady Majesty, with a wholly frontal attitude and Baby Jesus on Her lap in the centre. Both Mother and Child are wearing crowns. The figure of Our Lady stretches out Her right hand, which holds the globe, symbolizing the cosmos. Our Lady nearly rests Her left hand on the Child’s shoulder, indicating that this omnipotent king is Her Son. With His right hand, the Child gives a blessing, whilst His left hand holds a pinecone, symbol of fertility and everlasting life.

The first text which makes reference to the legend dates from 1239, a fact which demonstrates that Montserrat has been a holy place for many many years, due to both the presence of the Image of the Holy Mother of God and the pilgrims coming to worship it. The legend tells that in the year 880, on a Saturday night when the sun was going down over Montserrat, some boy shepherds saw a bright light coming down from the sky, accompanied by beautiful music. The following Saturday they returned with their parents. And the vision came to them again. On the following four Saturdays, the Rector of Olesa went with them. And everyone saw the vision.  The icon of a Madonna with her son sitting on her lap was eventually found in a small cave in Montserrat. Legend again tells that people tried to move it to the village, but it was so terribly heavy that the mission was impossible to accomplish. It was decided to leave the icon there and build a sanctuary to worship it. The place became a place of pilgrimage. This small sanctuary is what it’s nowadays known as the Holy Cave and is one of the highlights of the visit to Montserrat.

It is believed that the image was first known as La Jerosolimitana (the native of Jerusalem), since it was thought to have been carved there in the early days of the Church. The statue was eventually given to St. Etereo, Bishop of Barcelona, who brought it to Spain.

In the seventh century, when Saracen infidels invaded Spain, the Christians of Barcelona heroically defended it for three years until defeat appeared imminent. Knowing that they could hold out no longer, they decided to take their treasured image of Our Lady to a secret, safe place. Quietly, with the knowledge of the Bishop and the Governor of the city, a group brought the statue to Montserrat, placing it in a small cave, April 22, 718. A complete account  of the origin of the miraculous image, the cause of its removal and the place of its hidden security were recorded and  in the archives of Barcelona. Even though the location of the statue was eventually forgotten, the people of Barcelona never forgot the holy image for almost 200 years. Then, in 890, shepherd boys from Monistrol, a village at the foot of Montserrat, were sent unbeknown to them to be the source of the discovery of the treasure.

 

 

 

 

 

To be continued….

 

 

 

 

Resources:

Our Lady of Iveron:  Wikipedia:  click HERE.

Virgin of Montserrat: Wikipedia: click HERE. 

Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey: Wikipedia: click HERE.

Official WebSite of Montserrat Abbey:  click HERE.

CatholicTradition.org: click HERE.

For information about our upcoming pilgrimages, click HERE.

 

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St. Priscilla of Rome https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/st_priscilla_of_rome/ https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/st_priscilla_of_rome/#respond Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:58:56 +0000 https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/?p=4733 Early Christian ceiling art depicting Good  Shepherd, sheep and birds. - Photo was taken inside the Catacombs of St. Priscilla, October 2019.   Today is the Feast Day of St. Priscilla of Rome (1st c.).  She was a Christian noblewoman who served as a benefactor to the Christian community in Rome. She supported St. Peter [...]

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Early Christian ceiling art depicting Good  Shepherd, sheep and birds. – Photo was taken inside the Catacombs of St. Priscilla, October 2019.

 

Today is the Feast Day of St. Priscilla of Rome (1st c.).  She was a Christian noblewoman who served as a benefactor to the Christian community in Rome. She supported St. Peter the Apostle, the first Bishop of Rome, and her home near the catacombs may have served as his headquarters. She was the wife of Manius Acilius Glabrio, a Roman politician, who was executed by the Emperor Domitian for atheism, that is, his refusal to worship the Roman gods because he was Christian. Priscilla buried him in what was once a quarry and donated the property to the Church so that others could also be laid to rest there.

One of the original cores of the catacombs of Priscilla is represented by the Cryptoportico above and the Greek Chapel. This is a long room with five groined vaults, a tank, a trapseid hall, a long entrance hall and a complex octagonal room. Research has proven the sepulchral origin of this area that depended on an overground funerary property where people entered through a staircase. The forward style of painting can be dated back to the first decades of the third century. The room contains a cistern supplied with two external wells and system of pipes to transport the water. Photo taken by ITV Pilgrimages, October 2019.

 

 

Her catacombs, known since the earliest days of Christianity as the “Catacombs of Priscilla” are also referred to as the “Queen of the Catacombs” because such a large number of martyrs and popes were buried there.    It is believed the list includes the brothers Felix and Philip, martyred with their mother Felicitas and their five brothers;  The martyr Crescention rests in a cave, the martyr-saint Priscia in another one, Fimite rests in a cubicle nearby the exit and in another cave rests the sister saints we have come to know so well, St. Pudentiana and Prassedes.  Records indicate that Saints Mauro, Paul, Semetrio and 365 saints rest in a single grave at the site. The list of Popes interred here include: Pope Marcellinus, Sylvester (314-335), Siricius (384-399), Celestine (422-432), Marcellus (308-309), Liberius (352-366), and Vigilius (537-555).

The catacombs also holds a significant collection of early Christian iconography including the earliest known depiction of the Madonna and Child (photo above taken by ITV Pilgrimages, October 2019)

St. Priscilla was also martyred for her Christian faith and is buried here.

 

We will visit the Catacombs of St. Priscilla again next year during our Woman Saints Pilgrimage.

For information about our upcoming pilgrimages, click HERE.

 

Resources:

Some Information for this posting comes from The Catholic Company, The Morning Offering for Thursday, January 16, 2020. Click HERE to link to their website.

The Catacombs of Priscilla; Raffaella Giuliani, 2016. Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archeology, Vatican City.

 

 

 

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History of Marian Apparitions … Part One https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/marian_apparitions_part_1/ https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/marian_apparitions_part_1/#respond Thu, 09 Jan 2020 13:00:55 +0000 https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/?p=4660 Painting of the apparition of Our Lady of Knock -1879 (inside the Shrine at Knock, Ireland) During the Advent season, we reflect upon scripture readings that describe those individuals that prepared the way for Our Lord.  We read the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel speaks with Mary about being chosen as the mother of Christ [...]

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Painting of the apparition of Our Lady of Knock -1879 (inside the Shrine at Knock, Ireland)

During the Advent season, we reflect upon scripture readings that describe those individuals that prepared the way for Our Lord.  We read the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel speaks with Mary about being chosen as the mother of Christ and her “Fiat!”  We read about Joseph and his visit with the angel impacting his decision to be husband and Guardian  of the Redeemer. We read the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah, a righteous, childless couple and how they are blessed in their old age with a son, John.  It was John that first recognized Jesus as Our Lord and spent his life preaching of Our Lord’s coming.  As the story of the events leading up to and including his birth unfold, so many join in pointing the way to Christ. Central in all the stories, in His public ministry and death, is his blessed mother, Mary. From the moment of her fiat through the centuries to today, Our Lady continues to point the way to Christ — not just in the Scripture stories — in the many visions and appearances she has made to the young and the old alike.

Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar it is reputed to be the first church dedicated to Mary in history, Zaragoza, Spain

As we pilgrimage around the world visiting sacred sites and encountering the faithful, we include in our itineraries the sites of approved Marian apparitions, learning of the stories, devotions and meanings of the messages Our Lady has shared over the centuries.  Well known  apparitions are of Our Lady at Lourdes, Fatima and Guadalupe and to St. Simon Stock (in England) to whom she gave the Brown Scapular and to St. Catherine Laboure  (in France) to whom she gave the specific design of the Miraculous Medal.  Irish Catholics are familiar with Our Lady of Knock while Italian Catholics may be familiar with Our Lady of the Snows and Our Lady of Revelations.

History is replete with appearances of Our Lady.  As early as 40 A.D., when Mary, on behalf of her Son, appeared to the Apostle James during his travels through Spain to boost his morale. She was seen on a pillar or column which gave its name to the shrine. The Marian feast of October 12 corresponds to Our Lady of Pilar. The sanctuary of this title is in Zaragoza, Spain.

The first recorded Marian apparition was to Saint Gregory the Wonder-Worker, Bishop of Neo Caeserea, who died in 270 A.D. The account of his vision is preserved by St. Gregory of Nyssa in his life of the Wonder-Worker.

One night he had an extraordinary vision: he saw an old man, dressed in dignified clothes, who, in a subdued voice, pointed to a woman far more beautiful and majestic than known to man; Gregory recognized that as the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary . The extraordinary nature of the apparition was that, despite being in the middle of the night, a light shone clear through those figures, as if it were a lamp burning on. Unable to bear with his human eyes the appearance and the light, Gregory closed his eyes and sat alone listening to her who had appeared and that was certainly the Mother of God. John the Evangelist (the old man), then, to please Mary, gave to Gregory detailed explanations on questions of religious doctrine, the subject of strong dispute in which he was actively engaged. After providing this clarification, the two disappeared.

The words of that revelation are as follows:

One God, Father of the living Word (who consists of wisdom, power and who is the eternal pattern), perfect Begetter of who is perfect, Father of the Only Begotten Son.

One Lord alone from him who is alone, God from God, pattern and image of the divinity, mighty Word, wisdom which encompasses everything, true Son of true Father, immortal [Son] of the immortal [Father], and eternal [Son] of the eternal [Father]. One Holy Spirit whose life is from God and who was made manifest through the Son (as well as to men), perfect image of the perfect Son, living source of those who are alive, holy provider of sanctity in whom God the Father appeared who is above all and in all,

Perfect Trinity to whom belongs glory, eternity and kingship which can never change. (Thus the Trinity is not created, has anything else which claims to be first, nor is there anything which exists that can be introduced later. Similarly, the Son neither lacks the Father nor does the Spirit lack the Son; rather, the Trinity forever remains immutable and constant.)

LINK to complete article on MiracleHunter.com

 

 

Image of St Gregory the Wonderworker-more info at orthochristian.com

In an earlier blog post we shared information about one of the oldest devotions to Our Lady from 352 AD known as Our Lady of the Snows.  This occurred in Rome. During the vision, Mary requested that a church be built and that snow would fall on the site where it was to be built and in the shape of the floorplan. Today this church is the papal basilica St. Mary Major. We visit St. Mary Major on every pilgrimage that includes Rome in the itinerary.

It is also during this time that the gospel writers, St. Paul and the early fathers and writers of the Church refer to Mary’s holiness, virginity and relationship to the Holy Eucharist. The Composition of the Protoevangelium of James (also known as the “Gospel of Mary” and written 150-155 AD) contains details about devotion to Mary and is the source of the names of Mary’s parents and traditions regarding her childhood and early life.  The inscription on St. Peter’s Basilica identifies Mary as Protectress and Advocate.  Churches and shrines are built in her honor including the Santa Maria in Trastevere (220 AD), the earliest known Christian neighborhood in Rome. Icons of Our Lady attributed to St Luke start to appear in 445 AD and over the next few centuries celebrations of the Annunciation, the  Assumption, Feast of the Purification and Feast of the Birth of Mary are instituted.

The Mother of God “The Sign” with Saints in the margins. Facade icon on the wall of the Protecting veil Cathedral (Saint Basil’s) in Moscow, Russia

During the 10th century, Our Lady appeared to St. Andrew the Blessed Fool-for-Christ and the devotion to Veil of Our Lady or the Protecting Veil of the Theotokos or known as Feast of the Intercession or Feast of the Holy Protectress began. According to Eastern Orthodox Sacred Tradition, the apparition of Mary the Theotokos occurred at the Blachernae Church in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) where several of her relics (her robe, veil, and part of her belt) were kept.

On Sunday, October 1 at four in the morning, St. Andrew the Blessed Fool for Christ, who was a Slav by birth, saw the dome of the church open and the Virgin Mary enter, moving in the air above him, glowing and surrounded by angels and saints. She knelt and prayed with tears for all faithful Christians in the world. The Virgin Mary asked Her Son to accept the prayers of all the people entreating Him and looking for Her protection. Once Her prayer was completed, She walked to the altar and continued to pray. Afterwards, She spread Her veil over all the people in the church as a protection.

St Andrew turned to his disciple, St. Epiphanius, who was standing near him, and asked, “Do you see, brother, the Holy Theotokos, praying for all the world?” Epiphanius answered, “Yes, Holy Father, I see it and am amazed!” LINK to complete article on Wikipedia.

 

 

To be continued….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For information about our upcoming pilgrimages, click HERE.

 

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