Third Sunday after Pentecost
Svetogorska Kraljica, Nova Gorica, Slovenia
In the spring of 1539, a shepherd girl named Ursula Ferligoj brought her village a message she said Mary had given her on the 2200' mountain west of town. "Tell this community that they should build me a church here and come to ask for graces." Local officials responded by jailing the seer, but she escaped repeatedly. Pilgrims began visiting the mountain, now on the border of Italy and Slovenia but then under Austria, where they built a wooden chapel at the apparition site. Italian sculptors provided a statue modeled on Ursula's description.
But in 1786, Emperor Joseph II had the church and monastery auctioned off, along with many others, in an effort to modernize his domains. In 1793, not long after taking power, his son Francis II agreed to the renovation of the sanctuary and return of the sacred image to the Holy Mountain. In 1907, Pope Pius X designated the church a Basilica Minor. Then in World War I, the friars fled with the painting to Italy; the shrine complex was reduced to rubble. In the 1920s, under Italian rule, it was rebuilt. The friars and the holy image returned. In 1943, after partisans imprisoned the friars, Italian clergy removed the painting for safekeeping. Used as a fort by German forces in 1944, the shrine itself remained unhurt. Clouds foiled an aerial attack planned for April 29, 1945. After the war, the friars and the painting returned, and then the area became part of Yugoslavia. Now under Slovenia, the Holy Mountain remained a pilgrimage destination despite periods of official disapproval. (Information from the shrine's website, svetagora.si, and other sources. Picture from "Srečanje vernikov koprske in goriške (nad)škofije na Sveti Gori," Katoliška Cerkev, katoliska-cerkev.si/srecanje-vernikov-koprske-in-goriske-nadskofije-na-sveti-gori.)
Also commemorated this day: