January 4

marian calendar     january

Notre-Dame des Miracles, Avignonet-Lauragais, Haute-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénées, France

In 1242, the Inquisition met with resistance in the Cathar town of Avignonet: citizens axed 11 inquisitors in their sleep. The Vatican responded by closing their church. Forty years later, when it reopened, a wooden statue of the Virgin was found beneath its porch. Bells rang for a day and a night. A new church, dedicated to Our Lady of Miracles, was begun in 1385. On January 4, 1537, Pope Paul III granted its visitors a plenary indulgence -- exemption from all punishment still due for forgiven sins. The gilt statue, also known as Notre Dame la Belle, is a typical late Gothic Virgin, standing, with her naked child in one arm looking up at her, gilt drapery gracefully following her asymmetrical stance (a copy replacing the stolen original). The feast day of Notre-Dame des Miracles is the first Tuesday in June, preceded by a vigil procession Monday night. (Picture from the deanery's website, www.paroissedevillefranche.com.)

Also commemorated this date:
Beata Vergine delle Rose, Albano Sant'Alessandro, Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy. Apparition, 1417.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly