March 20

marian calendar     march

Matka Boża Bołszowiecka, Gdańsk, Poland

Like many sacred objects in Eastern Europe, the history of this icon reflects that of its troubled region. It has had to keep moving to survive. While fighting the Tatars, Hetman Marcin Kazanowski found a beautiful portrait of the Mother of God. Not long after, on March 20, 1624, the icon was installed in the Carmelite convent in Bołszowce, then in southeastern Poland. Canonically crowned in 1768 and again in 1777, the icon was saved when Russians attacked in 1916 and moved to Lviv. The town of Bołszowce, largely destroyed during World War II and the Soviet occupation, is now Bilshivtsi, Ukraine. In 1945, the Carmelite church in Lviv was closed, so the image moved to Krakow. In 1968 it took refuge in St. Catherine's Church in Gdańsk. That church burned in 2006, but most of its holy objects, including the Mother of God of Bołszowce, were saved. Information from the Carmelites of Gdańsk, www.gdansk.karmelici.pl. Picture from Koronowane obrazy, www.theotokos.ovh.org.   

Also commemorated this date:

Notre-Dame de la Consolation, Calevoet, Uccle, Brussels, Belgium. Chapel dedicated, 1425.
Notre-Dame de Cîteaux, Saint-Nicolas-lès-Cîteaux, Côte-d'Or, Burgundy, France. Monastery founded, 1098.
Our Lady of Ports, Ernakulam, Kerala, India. Pope Paul VI designated the church a Basilica Minor, 1974.
Santissima Concezione, Genoa, Italy. First stone of new Capuchin church placed, 1593.
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly