March 17

Könnyezo Szuz Mária, Gyor, Gyor-Moson-Sopron, Hungary

After Cromwell's takeover in 1649, Walter Lynch, Catholic bishop of Clonfert, Ireland, took the painting of the Comforter of the Afflicted with him into exile. In Vienna he met the bishop of Gyor, Hungary, who invited him there. Bishop Lynch served in Gyor until his death in 1663. He was buried in the Cathedral and the painting was installed there. On March 17, 1697, the Irish Madonna began weeping at early mass in Gyor Cathedral, where for three hours thousands of people watched her bloody tears fall on to the sleeping child below her praying hands. The weeping continued after the tears were wiped off and the picture removed from its frame. Some people connected this with a law passed later that year in Dublin banning Catholic bishops from Ireland. In 1767, the Weeping Virgin Mary was set in a magnificent baroque altarpiece. Against a dark background, the Madonna looks down at the baby asleep on a little bed, neatly tucked between two sheets and a red brocade spread, with his head on two pillows. His chest and arms are bare. She wears a pinkish gray veil over brown hair and a blue mantle over a terracotta robe. Information from the Diocese of Gyor, www.gyor.egyhazmegye.hu/index.php?t=st&id=9, and other sources. Picture of Gyor altarpiece from Jeffrey Smith's article on the copy in Toledo, "The Irish Madonna of St. Stephen's," December 18, 2006, Catholic Architecture and History of Toledo, Ohio, catholictoledo.blogspot.com.   

Also commemorated this date:

bulletNotre-Dame des Champs, Paris, France (Our Lady of the Fields). First stone of present church placed, 1867. 
bulletGua Hati Tersuci Santa Perawan Maria, Bengkong Harapan, Batam, Riau, Indonesia. Grotto dedicated, 2002. 
bulletMother of God that Rediscovered the Hidden Christians, Nagasaki, Kyushu, Japan. Annual feast commemorates French missionary's discovery of Nagasaki's secret Catholic community March 17, 1865.
bulletMaica Domnului, Blaj, Alba, Transylvania, Romania (Mother of God). Icon wept, 1764.
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly