August 27

Holy Mother, Nizhnee Bolotnoe, Irshava, Zakarpattia, Ukraine

On August 27, 2002, two girls - Olena Kuruts, 10, and Mariana Kobal, 9 - went to fetch water at Dzublyk spring in the Carpathian foothills of western Ukraine. As one was drawing water, the other shouted, "Look who's behind you!" They saw a beautiful white lady standing on a flower-strewn hovering cloud. Frightened of this possible witch, the girls hurried home with their water, but the lady accompanied them on her floating cloud. On hearing the story, Olena's parents scolded her, but Mariana's father Petro, a Greek Catholic priest, cautioned them to make the sign of the cross if they saw the apparition again. That evening when the girls went to get Olena's little sister from kindergarten, the lady on the cloud reappeared, making the sign of the cross herself after they did so. Thus reassured that the vision was not an evil spirit, Olena and Mariana asked her name. She answered that she was the Virgin. The girls began seeing and conversing with her every day. She asked that their parents go pray at the countryside spring, and that Father Petro tell the bishop about the apparitions. He did. The bishop traveled to their village and questioned the girls in his car, requesting that they ask the lady for a sign to show that the events were from God. After speaking with her on the spot, they answered that the greatest sign was that people were flocking to pray at the spring. Happy with this reply, the bishop conducted the first liturgical service at Dzublyk on August 31, only four days after the apparitions began. But that bishop died a year later, and other church authorities were dubious. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Synod issued letters to all parishes discouraging pilgrimages to Dzublyk. However, after the seers visited Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 2003, and following successful negotiations by a supportive monk, the hierarchy relented, allowing the building of a church complex and monastery at the apparition site. Meanwhile, there were miracles: pilgrims also saw the Virgin, as well as solar phenomena; a large cross bled; lapsed believers returned to Greek Catholic practice. Mariana stopped seeing the apparitions, but Olena continued to meet often with pilgrims and report frequent meetings with the Mother of God. For a time, she experienced the pain of Christ's crucifixion. The shrine hosts big pilgrimages on the 27th of each month, with fireworks on the apparition date, August 27. It celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Virgin's appearance in 2012.   

Sources include:

bullet"Apparition of Our Lady and Holy Family at Dzhublyk in Zakarpattya (Ukraine)," (information & photo)
bullet"Історія Джублика," Місце об'яви Джублик,
bulletAgnieszka Halemba, "Virgin Mary and the Border: Identity Politics of the Greek Catholic Church at the Ukrainian/Slovak Borderland," Sociológia vol. 40, no. 6, 2008,
bulletVasili Dyatlov, "С небес на землю," Журнал "ИТОГИ" No. 49 (495), May 12, 2005,
bulletMariya Vlad, "Appearances of the Virgin in a remote village," Welcome to Ukraine, 2005,

Also commemorated this date:

bulletOur Lady of Lourdes, Meyronne, Saskatchewan, Canada. Church consecrated, 1913.
bulletNotre-Dame-des-Portes, Châteauneuf-du-Faou, Finistère, Brittany, France. New chapel dedicated, 1893.  Pardon penultimate Sun. Aug.
bulletNotre-Dame, Bon-Encontre, Lot-et-Garonne, Aquitaine, France. Oratory blessed, 1551. Pilgrimages in May.
bulletMadonna di Prascondù, Ribordone, Torino, Piedmont, Italy. Apparition, 1619.
bulletMadonna della Biorca, Sondalo, Sondrio, Lombardy, Italy. Church dedicated, 1624; festa Sept. 29.
bulletSanta Maria delle Grazie, Certosa di Pavia, Lombardy, Italy. First stone of Cistercian monastery laid, 1396.
bulletMadonna della Febbre, Rome, Italy (Madonna of the Fever). Painting in St. Peter's crowned, 1636.
bulletMadonna della Lizza, Alezio, Lecce, Puglia, Italy. Procession commemorates protection during earthquake Aug. 27, 1886. Festa Aug. 15.
bulletMadonna della Neve, Taverna, Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy, Mancuso village (Madonna of the Snow). Torchlight procession.
bulletMadonna del Romitello, Borgetto, Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Painting crowned, 1922.
bulletMatka Boża Różańcowa, Smardzowice, Skała, Krakow, Małopolskie, Poland (Mother of God of the Rosary). Painting crowned, 1972.
bulletBesednaya Icon, Besedniy Monastery, Tikhvin, Novgorod, Russia (Aug. 14 Julian)

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly