September 17

Virgin of the Burning Bush, Mt. Sinai, Egypt

St. Catherine's Monastery on Mt. Sinai is home to a plant said to be the original bush that Moses saw flaming in the presence of God. ("And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed." Exodus 3:2) In its Chapel of the Burning Bush an icon (left) depicts the Virgin and Child in the fiery bush, with Moses kneeling barefooted between her and St. Catherine.
 ("Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." Exodus 3:5) The Orthodox Church regards the bush that burned without being consumed as symbolic of the God-bearer, who gave birth to Christ yet remained a virgin. In Russia, the Virgin of the Burning Bush is often depicted against superimposed diamonds, green for the bush and red for the fire. Such icons (right) are often hung in kitchens as protection from fire. The Russian Orthodox Church honors the Unburnt Bush Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos on the same feast day as Moses: September 4 in the old calendar, September 17 in the new. (Sinai icon from The Getty, www.getty.edu; Russian icon from Espergaerde Gymnasium og HF, www.eg-gym.dk.)

Also celebrated this date:
bulletNotre Dame du Très Saint Rosaire, Plounévez-Lochrist, Finistère, Brittany, France, Kerizinen district. Chapel inaugurated, 1978.
bulletSanta Maria in Vallicella, Rome, Italy. First stone of new church laid, 1575.
bulletSanta Maria de Sauccu, Bortigali, Nuoro, Sardinia, Italy
bulletSanta María la Real, Nájera, La Rioja, Spain (St. Mary the Royal). Procession.
bulletVirgen de Muskilda, Ochagavia, Navarra, Spain. Romería & raffle.
bulletNuestra Señora del Socorro, Palomas, Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain (Our Lady of Help)

 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly