Madonna ta' Loretu, Ghajnsielem, Gozo, Malta 

The town of Ghajnsielem on the island of Gozo in Malta got its name from Salem's Spring, once a hub of activity near what is now the town center. Around 1800, a farmer named Anglu Grech would drive his flock there daily, often praying in the shade of a carob tree as the sheep and goats drank. One afternoon a beautiful lady in white appeared on the other side of the spring, asking him to erect a statue to Our Lady of Loreto at a certain spot close by. Neighboring farmers helped Grech fulfill this request. Together they fashioned a statue and a wayside shrine, where they would gather to pray the rosary with their families. The Catholic parish began celebrating the apparition anniversary with an annual procession, and in 1810 work began on a church there, completed and blessed in 1820. This shrine chapel became a parish in 1855. In thanks for deliverance from cholera in 1865, the people of Ghajnsielem commissioned its titular statue from Galard et Fils of Marseilles, France. More fluid and lighter in color than the Black Madonna of Loreto, the Madonna of Ghajnsielem is supported by flanking angels, recalling the miraculous flight of the Holy House from Nazareth to Croatia and Italy. In 1924, work began on a larger church, not completed until 1978 and consecrated in 1989. In 1954 the town sealed over the spring to enlarge Apparition Square, erecting a monument there in 1996, with statues of Mary and Anglu Grech. The festa on the last Sunday in August includes music by the St. Joseph Band, Pontifical High Mass, procession of the statue through the streets, and fireworks. (Picture and information from the town's site, www.ghajnsielem.com.)

Also commemorated this date:

bulletNotre-Dame de la Fosse, Guémené-sur-Scorff, Morbihan, Brittany, France
bulletNossa Senhora de Fátima, Rosmaninhal, Idha-a-Nova, Castelo Branco, Centro, Portugal, Cegonhas village
bulletVirgen de Cillas, Sajazarra, La Rioja, Spain
bulletNuestra Señora de Fátima, Saja, Los Tojos, Saja-Nansa, Cantabria, Spain
bulletNuestra Señora del Mercado, Berlanga de Duero, Soria, Castile and Léon, Spain (Our Lady of the Market)
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly