Saturday nearest May 8

Chlum Svaté Máří, Sokolov, Czech Republic

Once upon a time, on Chlum Hill in western Bohemia, a butcher's apprentice fell asleep under a hazel bush. On awaking, he found a statuette of the Virgin and child in the bush. He took it home, but the next morning it had disappeared. After a fruitless search, he returned to the hill and again found the statue in the branches. Deciding the Virgin wanted to stay there, he built a wooden shelter over the hazel bush. By the late 1200s, when the Virgin of Chlum had been forgotten, a barrel-maker's apprentice got lost near the spot. The Virgin appeared and asked him to repent of his sins. When he promised to do so, she showed him the statue and the way home. This time the community became more involved. They built a chapel on the hill to house the holy image, under the care of the Bohemian order of Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, which attracted many pilgrims. The town of  Chlum Svaté Máří, Chlum St. Mary, grew up around it. Rebuilt after Protestant attacks in 1429 and 1618, the baroque church is still undergoing renovation following its closure and ruin during the Communist period. Pilgrimages have resumed on the Saturday nearest May 8, celebrated locally as the feast of the Mediatrix of Grace, and on Pentecost Sunday and the Sunday nearest the feast of the Assumption (August 15).   


bullet"The Miraculous Statuette in the Hazel Shrub," Karlovy Vary Region,
bullet "Poutní místo Chlum svaté Márí," Ceský ráj,
bullet "Zpravodaj plzeňské diecéze červen 2004," Stránky Plzenské diecéze,
bullet Chlum Svaté Márí, (picture)

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly