22nd May : Our Lady Of The Virgin’s Mount

Our Lady Of The Virgin’s Mount

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Year : 1119

A very famous Benedictine sanctuary in the Campanian region of Italy is known as “Monte Vergine”; its religious history goes back to pre-Christian times, when there was a temple of Cybele there.  A chapel of the Blessed Virgin was built in the seventh century, and in 1119 St. William of Vercelli, founded the monastery that still exists, high up on the mountains.

In the church is a large icon of the Mother and Child, “of Constantinople” (said to have been brought to Italy by King Baldwin of Jerusalem) which came into the possession of the monastery in 1310.  The dark figures stand out strikingly from the gold background; the present lower part of the picture is a later addition.

There are some 200,000 pilgrims yearly who come to Monte Vergine, notably at Whitsuntide.  There is a church at Seattle, Washington dedicated in honor of Monte Vergine, Our Lady of the Mount, and another at New Brunswick, New Jersey.

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