Fourth Sunday in September

Panna Maria Pomocná, Zlaté Hory, Jeseník, Olomouc, Czech Republic

Near the town of Zlaté Hory on the Polish border, the pilgrimage center Maria Hilf got its start as a simple forest shrine. During the 30 Years' War, a woman named Anna Tannheiserová gave birth here while hiding from Swedish soldiers. Her son became a city councilman, and in 1718 his daughter hung a painting of the Madonna at her father's birthplace in the woods. Based on Lucas Cranach the Elder's widely copied altarpiece in the Innsbruck Cathedral, the painting by Simon Schwarzer moved to the parish church in 1729 and a copy was placed in the forest, where a small chapel now hosted pilgrims and miraculous healings. A larger church was consecrated September 8, 1841, gradually augmented by a Way of the Cross, chapels to Sts. Anne and Martha, a Lourdes grotto, and a holy well. Before World War II, up to 100,000 people visited annually, including many Germans and Poles. The war embittered the Czech people toward the Germans and led to the Communist takeover in 1948. Because of the strong German presence at the shrine to Our Lady of Help, as well as the religious intolerance of the period, the sanctuary was already in decline by 1973, when the Communist regime demolished it. Since the 1989 Velvet Revolution, the shrine has been rebuilt as a Center for Spiritual Revival, dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, Guardian of Life. Pope John Paul II blessed the foundation stone on April 22, 1990. The Pilgrimage of Three Nations – Czech, German, Polish – takes place the day before the local pilgrimage on the fourth Sunday in September. (Image and information from the shrine's site, mariahilf.hyperlink.cz.)  

Also celebrated this date:
bulletNotre Dame de Pitié, Septfonds, Tarn-et-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénées, France
bulletFájdalmas Szuzanya, Gyöngyös, Heves, Hungary (Sorrowful Virgin Mother)
bulletBeata Vergine Addolorata, Cavalese, Trento, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy (Sorrowful Blessed Virgin)
bulletMadonna del Sole, Coriano, Rimini, Emilia Romagna, Italy (Our Lady of the Sun)
bulletMaria Santissima della Difesa, Casacalenda, Campobasso, Molise, Italy (St. Mary of Defense)
bulletMadonna Addolorata, Serradifalco, Caltanissetta, Sicily, Italy. Town copatron. Night street procession. Civil festa 3rd Sun. Sept.
bulletSanta Maria di Loreto, Vallelunga Pratameno, Caltanissetta, Sicily, Italy
bulletMadonna delle Grazie, Catenanuova, Enna, Sicily, Italy (Our Lady of Graces). Penultimate Sunday.
bulletMadonna della Mercede, Sperlinga, Enna, Sicily, Italy. Festa, procession.
bulletMadonna delle Grazie, Carpanzano, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
bulletVirgen de los Dolores, La Soledad, Parcoy, Pataz, La Libertad, Peru (Virgin of Sorrows)
bulletNossa Senhora d'Aires, Viana do Alentejo, Evora, Alentejo, Portugal
bulletNosa Seńora da Mercé da Saínza, Rairiz de Veiga, Ourense, Galicia, Spain (Our Lady of Mercy). Romería.
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly