May 27

Notre-Dame des Malades, Vichy, Allier, Auvergne, France

To accommodate the many Catholics coming to take its healing waters, in 1672 the spa town of Vichy began enlarging the church of St. Blaise. When the work was completed, on March 26, 1714, the dark walnut statue of Our Lady of the Sick was installed there. Dating from the 1300s and associated with many miracles, the statue was decapitated during the French Revolution, and its dresses, jewels, and crowns dispersed. An 11-year-old boy, Claude Baffier, saved the head (right). In 1801, with a new body, the Black Virgin was reinstalled in St. Blaise. The next year Our Lady of the Sick made the first of her torchlight processions through the old town, still performed annually on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15. During the heydey of spa therapy between the wars, demand outgrew the church of St. Blaise, and a new church was built adjoining it in 1931. The art deco concrete dome is a jewlbox of mosaics, stained glass, and enamelwork. Atop it is a 16' statue of Our Lady of the Sick. The Black Virgin, crowned on May 27, 1937, still receives homage in old St. Blaise.  


bullet"Église Saint-Blaise de Vichy," Wikipédia,
bullet"Monument Historique Vichy," La Commune, la Mairie de Vichy et sa ville (France / Auvergne),
bulletAlain Carteret, "Patrimoine Vichy," Site Carteret, (photo of interior statue)
bulletGabriel, "Notre Dame des…, Promenade, Aug. 13, 2010, (photo of exterior statue)

Also commemorated this date:

bulletNossa Senhora da Penha, Monte Alegre, Natal, Brazil (Our Lady of the Crag). Church blessed, 1871. Festa late October.
bulletNuestra Señora de Lourdes, Iquique, Tarapacá, Chile, Cavancha district. Grotto blessed, 1923. Fiesta February 11.
bulletGua Maria Fatima Sendang Waluyojatiningsih, Klepu, Ponorogo, East Java, Indonesia. Grotto dedicated, 1988.
bulletMadonna dei Lavoratori, Turin, Piedmont, Italy (Madonna of the Workers)
bulletMadonna della Misericordia, Monteleone di Fermo, Ascoli Piceno, Marche, Italy (Madonna of Mercy). Church consecrated, 1543.
bulletBeata Vergine della Tempesta, Tolentino, Macerata, Marche, Italy. Statue crowned, 1814.
bulletLiberatrice dei Flagelli, Boscoreale, Napoli, Campania, Italy (Liberator from Plagues). Festa commemorates finding of miraculous image.
bulletSanta Maria Madre della Chiesa, Brindisi, Apulia, Italy, Casale district (Jaddico). Marian Day commemorates supernatural illumination of old fresco in 1963.
bulletOnze-Lieve-Vrouw van Hulsterloo, Nieuw-Namen, Hulst, Zeeland, Netherlands. Rebuilt chapel dedicated, 1995.
bulletPanna Mária Frivaldská, Rajecká Lesná, Žilina, Slovakia. Church consecrated, 1866. Feast September 8.
bulletVirgen de los Dolores de Chandavila, La Codosera, Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain (Virgin of Sorrows). Fiesta on the last Sunday of May commemorates the apparition May 27, 1945 to girls Marcelina and Afra Brigida Blanco and shrine dedication May 27, 1947.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly