December 9

Matka Boża Pocieszenia, Cracow, Poland

In 1349, King Casimir of Poland killed the messenger who brought news that the Bishop was excommunicating him for public immorality. He had a hole cut in the ice on the Vistula and the man thrown in to drown. Then, in penance for the murder, Casimir began the building programs that helped make him "the Great." He founded the University of Cracow, the first in northern Europe. In the town of Kazimierz, which he had named for himself in 1335 (then outside Cracow and now in it), he founded the Augustinian Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria. Begun by 1363, the church took nearly a century to complete, then suffered a series of earthquakes, floods, fires, and invasions. In the Mother of God of Consolation Chapel, a 1400s fresco saved from the damaged cloister shows the Virgin with long golden-brown hair, a gold damask robe, and a blue mantle with rose reverse, holding a naked Child, and standing on a crescent moon between Sts. Augustine and Nicholas of Tolentino, amid smaller panes illustrating her miracles. This is the patronal chapel of the Archconfraternity of the Matka Boża Pocieszenia. In 1950, under Communism, the Polish Augustinians were forced to disband. In 1989 they returned to St. Catherine's and soon began yet another restoration of the again deteriorating buildings. On December 9, 2000, on Pope John Paul II's authority, Franciszek Cardinal Macharski, Archbishop of Cracow, crowned the image of the Mother of God of Consolation. St. Catherine's and its confraternity celebrate her feast day on September 4. (Information from the church's site,  parafia.augustianie.pl, and other sources; image from "Kazimierz – zydowska dzielnica Krakowa," Ciekawe Miejsca, nr 9 (18), Wrzesien 2008, www.ciekawe-miejsca.net.)

Also commemorated this date:

Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos, Greek, Syrian, Chaldean, and Armenian churches
Virgen de la Amargura, Cádiz, Andalucia, Spain (Virgin of Bitterness). Statue blessed, 1967.
Our Lady of Good Aid, Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland, United Kingdom. Catholic cathedral opened, 1900.
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly