Our Lady Of Treves, Italy
Country : Italy
St. Jerome Emiliani, founder of the Congregation of Semasca, when still a layman experienced in a marvelous way the mercy of Our Blessed Lady. It happened that he was once entrusted with the defense of Castelnuevo, in Fruili, Italy, when this was stormed by the enemy. Jerome was captured and confined in a dark prison, where he was loaded down with chains.
Being a man of many vices, he began to feel remorse for his past life, almost to the point of despair. Then, he thought of Mary, the Mother of God, as the Mother of Divine Mercy. To her he turned, promising to lead a better life in the future, if this loving Mother would deliver him from his miserable condition.
In an instant, Jerome beheld his prison filled with light, and the Virgin Mary descending from Heaven to loose with her own hands, the chains with which he was bound. Moreover, she handed him a key with which to open the door of the prison and escape. Eluding his captors, he directed his steps toward Treves, to the shrine of the Mother of God.
When he arrived in Treves, he prostrated himself before the image of Our Lady and laid on her altar the instruments of his torture. He then retired to a life of penance until God sent him companions to start his order. He always exhorted not only these, but all with whom he came in contact, to reverence the powerful Queen of Heaven by often reciting the “Hail Holy Queen” and other Marian hymns. St. Jerome Emiliani died a holy death in 1537.