December 23

Notre-Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany, France

Jean de Montfort founded the Dominican convent of Our Lady of Good News in Rennes to pay a vow taken during the battle of Auray in 1364, where his victory settled him as Duke of Brittany. In the following century, a panel painting in the convent's cloister gained a reputation for miracles, so a separate chapel was built for it. Another vow was paid after the plague of 1632, which hit Rennes less hard than the surrounding areas. In thanks, the city gave Our Lady of Good News a solid silver model of the town and, from 1634, observed a votive celebration every year on September 8, the Feast of Mary's Birth. Another miracle occurred during the great fire of December 23, 1720, when, as their wooden houses burned, the people of Rennes saw Our Lady of Good News look down in compassion from the sky. During the French Revolution, the city sold its silver model, which was melted down. The chapel was destroyed and the convent used to store fodder. A gardener saved the holy image, which he gave to the neighboring Church of St. Aubin in 1803. In 1849, a cholera epidemic inspired a new vow. A new silver-plated model city was commissioned from Napoleon III's goldsmith and the September votive feast reinstated. When St. Aubin's became too small for all the pilgrims, a new church was built, dedicated in 1904 to St. Aubin and Notre-Dame de Bonne Nouvelle. The painting was canonically crowned in 1908. In recent years the votive feast has been held on the first Sunday in October rather than September 8. The old convent has been serving as an art center. Information from Diocèse de Rennes, catholique-rennes.cef.fr. Picture from "Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle de Rennes," imagessaintes.canalblog.com.   

Also commemorated this date:

bulletNotre-Dame de Pitié, Chaudesaigues, Cantal, Auvergne, France. Rebuilt shrine consecrated, 1863.
bulletMaria Santissima delle Grazie, Naples, Italy. Painting brought to Naples at the Virgin's request, 1442.
bulletNotre-Dame, Papeete, Tahiti. Cathedral inaugurated, 1875.
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly