Onze Lieve Vrouw van Rust
The miraculous image of Our Lady of Rest in the parish church of Heppeneert, Belgium.
The statue of Mary and St John the Evangelist has been venerated since it was found on the banks of the river Maas many centuries ago. There has been an archconfraternity of Our Lady of Rest since 1893.
People call upon Our Lady of Rest to be delivered from depression, anxiety and in the event of a difficult decision. Tens of thousands of pilgrims from Belgium and the Netherlands find their way to Heppeneert each year.
Madonna di Caravaggio
In May 1492 Mary is believed to have appeared to a young woman called Giovannette in Caravaggio, Northern Italy. She announced peace between two states in war and expressed a wish for reunification between the Churches of the East and West.
As a memento of her apparition Mary left an imprint of her feet on the stone on which she stood. From under the stone a spring began to flow. The site soon became a place of pilgrimage and attracts pilgrims to this day.
O.L. Vrouw ter Eik
A vintage postcard of the interior of the chapel of Our Lady of the Oak in Meerveldhoven, the Netherlands.
The site has been a place of pilgrimage since the 13th century, when a small statue of Mary miraculously returned to the oak tree on three occasions after a local farmer had taken it home.
If you are not able to assist at the public services or devotions in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary in your own church, erect a little altar to Mary in your house, and adorn her picture, or statue, with flowers, and there, every day, either alone or with others of your household, meditate upon her virtues, and implore her powerful intercession.
- Instructions for May devotions (source)
Nossa Senhora da Penha de França
A 19th century Portuguese engraving of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Peña de Francia, Spain.
According to legend the statue was discovered by the monk Simon Vela after Mary appeared to him in a dream. She told him to go to the mountains, where it had been buried to protect it from destruction by the Moors, who were opposed to the veneration of images.
The monk followed Mary’s directions and eventually found the statue with the help of some shepherds. He built a small chapel on the site, which soon become a place of pilgrimage.
Our Lady of Peña de Francia is usually depicted with a man and a lizard at her feet. One day a pilgrim fell asleep on the side of the road, overcome with fatigue. While he was sleeping a large snake approached him. Before the snake could reach the man a huge lizard jumped over him, as if to warn him. The man woke up and managed to kill the snake before it could attack.
Madre Pietà dei Massari
The Sorrowful Mother of Massari in Trapani, Sicily. The painting is covered with ex votos and the Arma Christi, or Instruments of the Passion.
During Holy Week the image is carried around the city in procession. Watch a video of last month’s procession here.
(Source: Flickr / faber79)