Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Our Lady Around the World: Part 3

11. France - Our Lady of Lourdes

In 1852 Our Lady appeared to a fourteen year old French girl, Bernadette Soubirous. At first people did not believe Bernadette, but the words of Our Lady helped her to prove who she had really seen. She told Bernadette how to find a spring in the ground. The water that comes from the spring heals people who are sick. Millions of people go to Lourdes every year to bathe in the spring and pray there.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

12. Germany - Our Lady of Altotting

Many hundreds of years ago a little Church was built at Altotting in Bavaria (now part of Germany) to mark the place where St. Rupert baptised the ruler of the Bavarians. Later a wooden statue of Our Lady was placed there and many pilgrims went to Altotting to see it. Many miracles and cures have taken place there. People light lamps to say "thank you" to Our Lady and the smoke from the lamps has turned the statue black. It is called the Black Madonna of Altotting.

Our Lady of Altotting, pray for us!

13. India - Our Lady of Vailankanni

At Vailankanni in India Our Lady performed three miracles. First she appeared to a shepherd boy who was carrying a pot of milk. She asked him for some of the milk for her child, and he gave it to her. The boy's master did not believe his story until until the pot was miraculously refilled with milk. Some years later Our Lady came again and asked a lame boy for a cup of buttermilk. She also told him to ask for a chapel to be built there. The boy's legs were healed and he did as she asked. The last miracle came when a ship was caught in a storm. The sailors prayed to Our Lady and promised to build a Church for her if she rescued them. The ship was saved and landed near Vailankanni on September 8th, Our Lady's birthday. The sailors kept their promise and replaced the small chapel there with a new stone church. Our Lady of Vailankanni is also called Our Lady of Good Health.

Our Lady of Vailankanni, pray for us!

14. Ireland - Our Lady of Knock

In 1879 fourteen people at Knock in Ireland saw Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John appear in front of the Church. The youngest person to see the vision was only six years old. Our Lady wore white robes and a crown, with a golden rose on her forehead. After this many miracles took place at Knock.

Our Lady of Knock, pray for us!

15. Italy - Our Lady of Loreto

Seven hundred years ago the house where Mary lived in Nazareth was taken from the Holy Land by angels who carried it all the way to the village of Loreto in Italy. Inside the Holy House was a statue of Our Lady. The statue was stolen during a war but it still came back to Loreto. Eventually it was destroyed by accident and a new statue was made. Many people go to Loreto to see the house and imagine what it was like when Mary, Joseph and Jesus lived there. It is very small, only the size of a large room.

Our Lady of Loreto, pray for us!

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