The Greek Madonna in the basilica of Santa Maria in Porto in Ravenna, Italy. The Byzantine marble relief represents Mary with her hands raised in prayer.
According to legend the image arrived in Ravenna in the year 1100, after a monk named Peter had seen it floating on the sea escorted by two angels. Peter considered himself too much of a sinner to approach the image, so he called some of his fellow monks. As they came closer to the Madonna the angels drifted further away. It was clear they were intent on Peter coming to collect the image. And so he did after being urged by the other monks. As he stretched out his arms the angels flew away and left Peter with the sacred image of Mary.
Fons Lucis Stella Maris
This Byzantine icon of Mary is venerated in the Roman basilica of Santa Maria in Via Lata under the title ‘Source of Light, Star of the Sea’.
It is one of several images in the Eternal City of Mary in the orante position, the prayer posture of early Christianity.
Madonna di Montevergine
A vintage postcard of the 13th century Byzantine icon of Mary venerated in the sanctuary on the mountain of Montevergine near Avellino, Italy.
The first church of Montevergine was consecrated in 1124, near the ruins of a temple dedicated to Cybele. The current shrine was built in 1961.
Onze Lieve Vrouw van Ommel
The miraculous image of Our Lady of Ommel in the Netherlands. The small ivory carving is of Byzantine origin and probably dates from the 12th century. It is venerated under the title Refuge in every need.
Ommel has been a place of pilgrimage since about 1400, when a chapel was built in honour of Mary after the image was found in a field and kept returning to it. Pilgrimages continued until 1698, when they were forbidden by the Protestant government of the Netherlands. The chapel became a Protestant church.
The inhabitants of Ommel remained largely Catholic and in 1840 the chapel was returned to them. Once again the village became a place of pilgrimage. Devotion continues until today, especially in the month of May when usually about 50.000 devotees visit the shrine.
History (in Dutch)