24th February : Our Lady Of De Grebnev

Our Lady Of De Grebnev

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Grebnev possessed a picture of the Mother of God which was said to have been painted by St. Luke.  The picture is described as being three feet high and two and a half feet wide.  The panel is composed of two pieces, which by time have become slightly disjointed.  The Blessed Virgin’s Countenance is sweet; her head is covered with a blue veil.  She holds the Infant, who is most beautiful, seated on His Mother’s knee.  He holds a book in the left hand, and the right is held up in blessing.

The most celebrated miracle connected with this picture is which spread desolation everywhere.  Nothing was heard but weeping and lamentations; all over were seen the dead being carried to the grave by the dying.  (It is said that the disorder affected particularly the fibres of the brain and produced sneezing.  Hence arose the custom of saying, “God bless you” to those who sneeze.)  With the coming of Easter, the disease raged in all its fury.  The Holy Father, Pope Gregory the Great, assembled the faithful capable of leaving their houses (One-half of the inhabitants had died) and ordered a penitential procession for Easter Sunday.

The venerated picture was taken down and the praying crowds grouped around the holy image, went in procession through the city amid sobs and lamentations, bareheaded and with naked feet.  The impure air was dissipated, and the plague fled at the approach of the sacred picture.  The people and the Holy Father heard in the air choirs of angels saluting their Queen in the words of the “Regina Coeli”.  The angelic hymn was adopted by the Church and sung during the Paschal time—so the legend relates.

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