16th June : Our Lady Of Aix La Chapelle

Our Lady Of Aix La Chapelle

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The city of Aachen today is a quiet town; still, there is hardly another city in Germany which could equal its past glory.  This was the town of Charlemagne (768-814) and it remained the capital of the Holy Roman Empire until the middle of the sixteenth century.  Thirty-seven German Emperors were crowned in Aachen.  It was made the capital by Charlemagne and a great part of its lasting fame dates from his reign.

One of the chapels of the cathedral built by Charlemagne has immeasurable treasures for the Christian world.  It guards the four so-called great relics:  The cloak of the Blessed Virgin, the swaddling cloth of the Infant Jesus, the loin cloth worn by Our Lord on the cross, and the cloth on which lay the head of St. John the Baptist following his beheading.

Charlemagne took pride in securing for the cathedral as many important relics from the Holy Land and Rome as he could.  This pious practice was continued by his successors and it explains why the cathedral is so treasured by the Christian world.  One of the first desires and orders of Charlemagne was to build a Lady Chapel because of his deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin.  A beautiful reliquary there contains the shroud of the Blessed Virgin.

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