15th March : Sous Terre Viergo Or Our Lady Of The Underground

Sous Terre Viergo Or Our Lady Of The Underground

Country : France

Year : 1568

In the city of Chartres, 55 miles southwest of Paris, Our Lady is honored under three titles, among them, Our Lady of the Underground.  All three titles have their origin at the spot today occupied by the Cathedral of Chartres.

On the spot where the Cathedral of Chartres now stands, the Druids raised a prophetic statue of a virgin, and called it Virgini Pariturae (who would bear a son).  The Druids were a fraternity of priests, religious teachers and judges who ruled the Celtic inhabitants of ancient Gaul (France now), Britain and Ireland.  They did everything they could to uphold the national cause against the Roman conquerors and urged the people to rebel.  Tiberius, Emperor from 14 A.D. to 37 A.D., and Claudius, Emperor from 41 A.D. to 54 A.D., deemed it necessary to officially forbid the practice of the Druid religion.  At the time Julius Caesar was in Gaul (58-49, B.C.) the Druids had a place of worship at Chartres, and even then, they had an altar in a grotto on a hill now occupied by the Cathedral; this altar was dedicated to the “Virgin who would bring forth a son” – traditionally also at that grotto there was a wooden statue to this (Pagan) virgin.  It is natural to wonder where the Druids got the idea of this virgin.  There are several theories on the idea; they might have learned it from the Jews, who, after the conquests of Alexander scattered all over the earth [or they may have been a segment of the Jews themselves who kept their prophecies and traditions with them]; they might have received it from a revelation direct from God; they may have gotten it from ancient tradition running back to the early patriarchs and prophets.

Regardless of whence it came, it is certain that when the Christian missionaries arrived in Chartres, they found the ancient shrine there.  The Christian missionaries transferred the shrine into one dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Mother of God.  All down the centuries, through building, fires, and rebuilding of the several churches, the original Druid grotto was called Our Lady of the Underground, since it was kept in the crypt (underground) of the Cathedral of Chartres.  In 1650, the grotto underground was walled up and, at that time, a small chapel was built close by the crypt, and the statue of Our Lady of the Underground was transferred to it.

In 1793, during the French Revolution, the revolutionists removed the statue and burned it, badly damaging the chapel.  In 1857 the underground shrine was restored and a new statue carved of stone placed in it.  So, Our Lady is still Our Lady of the Underground.  And how fitting today that she has such a title; for so many of our Communist-domineered people must certainly worship in secret, they are of the “underground”, so to say, and have a Mother also thus titled.

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