February 10

marian calendar     february

Marija Kraljica miru na Kurešcku, Ig, Notranjska, Central Slovenia, Slovenia

Twelve miles south of Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, the baroque Church of the Mother of God stood on 2733' Mount Kurešcek since the 1700s. Home to the Catholic Brotherhood of the Queen of Peace, the shrine was decorated with inscriptions such as "Here I will share the peace" and with frescoes showing Mary mediating conflicts. An outdoor altar allowed huge crowds of pilgrims to attend mass. In September 1940 the bishop led a pilgrimage of 5000 people there, vowing to hold an annual procession if peace was granted. Unfortunately, the vow went unfulfilled. Nazis invaded seven months later. During the war, German artillery damaged the church roof, and under Communism, the building fell to ruin. In 1970, its remains caught fire. But the old statue of Mary, Queen of Peace, was saved and relocated to the parish church of Želimljem five miles away.

Then in 1989, while visiting the apparition site of Medjugorje in Croatia, Slovenian teacher France Špelic began receiving messages from Mary. On February 10, 1990, he visited the church ruins on Kurešcek, where he heard, "I am the Queen of Peace. Renew prayer at this place. Encounter here my heart and the heart of my Son. …" Reconstruction began soon, and the new church was consecrated on August 30, 1992. The Madonna's statue returned to the holy hill. Meanwhile, after a long bout with multiple sclerosis, France Špelic's wife died. In 1993, at the age of 66, he fulfilled his longstanding dream of becoming a priest. He also began to experience stigmata, Christlike wounds on his hands and feet. He continued to receive messages until 1999. He is known as Father Šmaverski, a nickname started by Mary in allusion to his home town, Šmaver.

Mount Kurešcek is once again a place of pilgrimage, particularly on first Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, as Mary requested of Francč Špelic in 1992, and on the anniversary dates of February 10 and August 30. Although the Catholic Church has made no official pronouncement on the authenticity of the messages, it conducts a full liturgical program at the site.

(Information from the shrine's website, The Queen Of Peace - Kurescek, www.kurescek.org; Frank Petric, "Kurešcek," Slovenija, kam na izlet, www.kam.si/romarske_cerkve/kurescek.html; Virgin Mary's Messages Kurescek 1989-1999, www.kurescek.info, and other sources. Picture from "Skupnost IG," donBosko Slovenija, www.donbosko.si/node/66 © don Boskovi salezijanci.)

Also commemorated this date:

Stella Maris, Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nautical procession and crowning of statue on anniversary of city's founding.
Notre Dame de l'Assomption, France; Vow of Louis XIII. In thanks for the birth of an heir, King Louis XIII consecrated himself, his family, and France to Our Lady of the Assumption on February 10, 1638. Commemorated August 15 and the Sunday following.
Sumorin Totma Mother of God, Totma, Vologda, Russia. The icon's feast day is January 28 in the old calendar, February 10 in the new. 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly