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.
Maria SS. della Quercia
An engraving of the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Oak in Viterbo, Italy. The Madonna is being venerated by St Dominic and St Catherine of Siena. Around the central frame twelve miracle scenes are depicted.
Viterbo has been a place of pilgrimage since 1467, when 30,000 people came to ask Mary to end the plague. A few days later the plague did indeed cease. This miracle is celebrated during the annual ‘Covenant of Love’, when the people of Viterbo renew their consecration to Mary.
An engraving from the book ‘Diva Virgo Savonensis beneficia ejus, et miracula’, which describes the apparition of Mary in Savona, Italy.
Mary is shown appearing to the shepherd Antonio Botta. The apparition took place in 1536, which was a time of war between the cities Savona and Genoa. In order to bring on peace, Mary told Antonio to encourage both parties to show “Misericordia e non giustizia” (“Mercy and not justice”). It is for this reason Mary is venerated as the Mother of Mercy in Savona.
Mater Admirabilis, ora pro nobis!
A Parisian engraving of the miraculous image of the Mother Most Admirable in the church of Trinita dei Monti, Rome.
The words ‘Ego flos campi et lilium convallium’ are taken from the Song of Solomon and translate as: I am the flower of the field and the lily of the valleys.
Show thyself to be a Mother!
An 18th century engraving of the miraculous image of Our Lady with the Bowed Head, venerated in the church of the Ursuline convent in Landshut, Bavaria.
The words ‘Monstra te esse Matrem’ (Show thyself to be a Mother) are traditionally added to every copy of the image. They are taken from the hymn Ave Maris Stella.