3 old-school photos of Marian Shrines worth seeing

WebmasterFrance, Marian Shrines of Europe

1) Our Lady of Lourdes

At the time of Bernadette, the Grotto was a dirty, hidden, damp and cold place. The Grotto was called the “pigs’ shelter” because that was where the pigs feeding in the area usually took shelter. It was there that the Virgin Mary, dressed in white, a sign of total purity, the sign of the Love of God, in other words, the sign of what God wishes to accomplish in each of us, deigned to appear. There is a contrast between this damp and obscure Grotto and the presence of the Virgin Mary, “the Immaculate Conception”. It reminds us of the Gospel: the meeting of the wealth of the goodness of God and the poverty of the human person. “Jesus goes to sit at the table of sinners”, “because he came to search out that which was lost”.

At Lourdes, the fact that Mary had appeared in a dirty and obscure Grotto, in the place called Massabielle, the Old Rock, tells us that God comes to join us where we are, in the midst of our poverty and failures. The Grotto is not only a place where something happened – a geographical place – it is also a place where God gives us a sign by revealing his heart and our heart.

It is a place where God leaves us a message, a message that is nothing other than that of the Gospel. God comes to tell us that he loves us, – this is the heart of the Message of Lourdes, and he loves us as we are with all our successes but also with all our wounds, our weaknesses and our limitations

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2) Our Lady of Fatima

The Miracle of the Sun was an event which occurred just after midday on Sunday 13 October 1917, attended by some 30,000 to 100,000 people who were gathered near Fátima, Portugal. Several newspaper reporters were in attendance and they took testimony from many people who claimed to have witnessed extraordinary solar activity. This recorded testimony was later added to by an Italian Catholic priest and researcher in the 1940s.

According to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes. The three children (Lucia dos Santos, Jacinta Marto and Francisco Marto) who originally claimed to have seen Our Lady of Fátima also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.[1]

The event was officially accepted as a miracle by the Roman Catholic Church on 13 October 1930. On 13 October 1951, the papal legate, Cardinal Tedeschini, told the million people gathered at Fátima that on 30 October, 31 October, 1 November, and 8 November 1950, Pope Pius XII himself witnessed the miracle of the sun from the Vatican gardens.[2][3] (wiki)

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3) Our Lady of Guadalupe

Here, Mexican pilgrims make their way through the mountains to add their devotion to that of millions of visitors who made pilgrimages to Mexico City and the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage destination in the world. Over the Friday and Saturday of December 11 to 12, 2009, a record number of 6.1 million pilgrims visited the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City to commemorate the anniversary of the apparition.[64]

The Virgin of Guadalupe is considered the Patroness of Mexico and the Continental Americas; she is also venerated by Native Americans, on the account of the devotion calling for the conversion of the Americas. Replicas of the tilma can be found in thousands of churches throughout the world, and numerous parishes bear her name.

Due to a claim that her black girdle indicates pregnancy on the image, the Blessed Virgin Mary, under this title is popularly invoked as Patroness of the Unborn and a common image for the Pro-Life movement. (wiki)