Sunday after July 16

Schwarzen Madonna, Einsiedeln, Schwyz, Switzerland

"Einsiedeln" means "hermitage." It was the home of St. Meinrad, a Benedictine monk who retreated to this place in the pine woods to live in solitude, with a pair of tame crows for company. Abbess Hildegarde of Zurich gave him a statue of the Madonna for the forest chapel built in 853, which soon became a place of pilgrimage. In 863, hoping to get his stash of pilgrim donations, two thieves murdered the saint, who was living in poverty. The crows alerted people, who found and buried the body and executed the killers. In 948, Benedictines built a church on the site of St. Meinrad's hermitage. On September 14, the night before Bishop Conrad was to bless the new church, he dreamed that Jesus himself was blessing it. In the morning, when he began the ceremony, everyone heard a voice say, "Stop, for the church has been consecrated divinely." In 1028 the first of five fires destroyed everything but the chapel containing the statue. These miracles increased popular devotion to the shrine, which was repeatedly rebuilt. Although tradition holds the present statue to be the original, it is unlike any that remain from the Ottonian period. Carved of dark wood, the graceful, sweet-faced Madonna, her right knee slightly bent, stands a little over three feet tall, holding the naked Child in her left arm. This is a typical late Gothic work of the mid-1400s, possibly installed after the third fire in 1465. Displayed before a great aureole of golden rays, since the 1600s the statue has worn elaborate vestments in colors matching those of priests for each liturgical season. The Feast of Our Lady of Einsiedeln is July 16, usually celebrated on the Sunday following. Even greater pilgrimages occur on September 14 in honor of the church's miraculous consecration. (Information and picture from shrine's site,; see also Joan Carroll Cruz, Miraculous Images of Our Lady, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Illinois, 1993.)  

Also celebrated this date:

bulletNotre-Dame de la Vallée, Vic-sur-Cčre, Cantal, Auvergne, France
bulletKarmelhegyi Boldogasszony, Attyapuszta, Veszprém, Hungary (Blessed Virgin of Mt. Carmel)
bulletOur Lady of Hope, Vypin, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
bulletMadonna dei Monti, Grazzano Badoglio, Asti, Piedmont, Italy
bulletMadonna del Carmine, Varazze, Savona, Liguria, Italy. Patronal festa of Alpicella district: mass, music, vespers, procession.
bulletMadonna del Carmine, Bazzano, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
bulletMadonna del Carmine, Chianni, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
bulletSanta Maria del Carmelo, Roccalumera, Messina, Sicily, Italy
bulletMadonna del Carmine, Noicattaro, Bari, Apulia, Italy
bulletNiepokalane Poczęcie Najświętszej Maryi Panny, Włościejewki, Książ Wielkopolski, Śrem, Greater Poland, Poland (Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
bulletPanna Mária Karmelská, Vel'ký Šariš, Prešov, Slovakia
bulletVirgen del Carmen de Huelin, Málaga, Spain
bulletVirgen del Carmen, Murcia, Murcia, Spain, Beniaján district

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly