Mare de Déu de Montserrat, Monestir de Montserrat, Barcelona, Catalonia,
|Perched on a 4,000' peak whose name means "jagged
mountain," the shrine of Montserrat has been a focus of devotion for
centuries. Its Black Virgin is known as La Moreneta, the Dark Lady, and
also as La Jerosolimitana, Lady of Jerusalem, where St. Luke was believed
to have carved the statue. Supposed to have been moved to Montserrat in
718 for safekeeping from the Saracens, the statue was found in 890 by some
shepherds who were guided to its cave by mysterious lights and singing.
However, art historians date the present Black Virgin to the 1100s, about
100 years after the first Benedictine monastery was built on the mountain
near the Chapel of Santa Maria. Rebuilt after the Napoleonic and Civil
Wars, the Abbey and Sanctuary of the Mother of God of Montserrat host some
two million pilgrims a year. The shrine celebrates her feast day on April
27 with liturgical ceremonies, folk music, and dances.
|O Virgo splendens hic in monte celso miraculis serrato,
fulgentibus ubique quem fideles conscendunt universi, Eia, pietatis
oculo placato, cerne ligatos fune peccatorum ne infernorum ictibus
graventur sed cum beatis tua prece vocentur.
||O Virgin resplendent, here on the high mountain
gleaming with shining wonders, where believers from everywhere
ascend, Ah, with your peaceful, holy eye behold those bound in the
bond of sinners; let them not suffer from the blows of the nether
world, but by your prayer let them be called with the blessed.
— Song from the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat, 1399
the Abbey's website, www.abadiamontserrat.net,
its tourist website, www.montserratvisita.com,
and other sources. Song text and translation from "O Virgo Splendens,"
Collegium Cantorum, www.collegiumcantorum.org/recordings/Anon_002_OVirgoSplendens.html.
Picture from "Amb serra d'or," Pepquímic,
April 27, 2009, pepquimic.wordpress.com.)
Also commemorated this date:
|Notre Dame de Gaillan, Puycasquier, Gers, Midi-Pyrénées, France.
Plague ended, 1654.|
|Sainte-Marie, Toulon, Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France.
Cathedral consecrated, 1661. Procession first Sunday of Advent.|
|Madonna del Campo, Cave, Roma, Latium, Italy. Fresco found, 1655.|
|Madonna dei Lumi, Civitella del Tronto, Teramo, Abruzzo, Italy
(Madonna of the Lights)|
|Madonna di Pietraquaria, Avezzano, L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy|
|Madonna Incoronata, Santa Croce di Magliano, Campobasso, Molise,
|Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, Fregenal de la Sierra, Badajoz,
Extremadura, Spain. Statue crowned, 1906.|
|Nuestra Señora de Begoña, Almaciga, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary