April 27

Mare de Déu de Montserrat, Monestir de Montserrat, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Perched on a 4,000' peak whose name means "jagged mountain," the shrine of Montserrat has been a focus of devotion for centuries. Its Black Virgin is known as La Moreneta, the Dark Lady, and also as La Jerosolimitana, Lady of Jerusalem, where St. Luke was believed to have carved the statue. Supposed to have been moved to Montserrat in 718 for safekeeping from the Saracens, the statue was found in 890 by some shepherds who were guided to its cave by mysterious lights and singing. However, art historians date the present Black Virgin to the 1100s, about 100 years after the first Benedictine monastery was built on the mountain near the Chapel of Santa Maria. Rebuilt after the Napoleonic and Civil Wars, the Abbey and Sanctuary of the Mother of God of Montserrat host some two million pilgrims a year. The shrine celebrates her feast day on April 27 with liturgical ceremonies, folk music, and dances.
O Virgo splendens hic in monte celso miraculis serrato, fulgentibus ubique quem fideles conscendunt universi, Eia, pietatis oculo placato, cerne ligatos fune peccatorum ne infernorum ictibus graventur sed cum beatis tua prece vocentur. O Virgin resplendent, here on the high mountain gleaming with shining wonders, where believers from everywhere ascend, Ah, with your peaceful, holy eye behold those bound in the bond of sinners; let them not suffer from the blows of the nether world, but by your prayer let them be called with the blessed.

— Song from the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat, 1399

(Information from the Abbey's website, www.abadiamontserrat.net, its tourist website, www.montserratvisita.com, and other sources. Song text and translation from "O Virgo Splendens," Collegium Cantorumwww.collegiumcantorum.org/recordings/Anon_002_OVirgoSplendens.html. Picture from "Amb serra d'or," Pepquímic, April 27, 2009, pepquimic.wordpress.com.)

Also commemorated this date:

bulletNotre-Dame d'Espérance, Charleville-Mézières, Ardennes, Champagne-Ardenne, France (Our Lady of Hope). Church consecrated, 1501. Pilgrimage Trinity Sunday.
bulletNotre Dame de Gaillan, Puycasquier, Gers, Midi-Pyrénées, France. Plague ended, 1654.
bulletSainte-Marie, Toulon, Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France. Cathedral consecrated, 1661. Procession first Sunday of Advent.
bulletMadonna del Campo, Cave, Roma, Latium, Italy. Fresco found, 1655.
bulletMadonna dei Lumi, Civitella del Tronto, Teramo, Abruzzo, Italy (Madonna of the Lights)
bulletMadonna di Pietraquaria, Avezzano, L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy
bulletMadonna Incoronata, Santa Croce di Magliano, Campobasso, Molise, Italy
bulletOnze Lieve Vrouw van Zeven Smarten, Panningen, Peel en Maas, Limburg, Netherlands (Our Lady of Seven Sorrows). Foundation stone of present church laid, 1930.
bulletNuestra Señora de los Remedios, Fregenal de la Sierra, Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain. Statue crowned, 1906.
bulletNuestra Señora de Begoña, Almaciga, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly