Our Lady of Altagracia – 21 January – Also known as: Our Lady of High Grace (Altagracia) – Our Lady of Grace – Protector and Queen of the hearts of the Dominicans – Tatica from Higuey – Virgen de la Altagracia – Virgin of Altagracia. Today is Día de la Altagracia, or Altagracia Day!
A portrait of the Virgin Mary in a Nativity scene. It is 13 inches (33 centimeters) wide by 18 inches (45 centimeters) high and is painted on cloth. It is a primitive work of the Spanish school, painted c 1500. The Spanish brothers Alfonso and Antonio Trejo, two of the first European settlers on Santo Domingo, brought the portrait to the island some time prior to 1502 and eventually donated it to the parish church at Higuey. It’s first shrine was finished in 1572 and in 1971 it was moved to its present Basilica. The image was crowned on 15 August 1922 during the pontificate of Pius XI. Due to its age, centuries of handling by the faithful and exposure to candle smoke, it was in sad shape, and was restored in 1978. On 25 January 1979 St Pope John Paul II crowned the image with a gold and silver tiara, his gift to the Virgin. It’s frame is made of gold, enamel and precious stones and was constructed by an unknown 18th century artisan.
The Dominicans see the image as exemplifying Our Lady watching over the island and the growth of Christianity there. The feast day is marked by services, all-night vigils, singing, dancing and festivals in many of the towns.
Legend says that the pious daughter of a rich merchant asked her father to bring her a portrait of Our Lady of Altagracia from Santo Domingo but no-one had heard of that title. The merchant, staying overnight at a friend’s house in Higuey, described his problem as they sat outdoors after dinner. An old man with a long beard, who just happened to be passing by, pulled a rolled up painting from his cloak, gave it to the merchant and said, “This is what you are looking for.” It was the Virgin of Altagracia. They gave the old man a place to stay for the night but by dawn he was gone, not to be seen again. The merchant placed the image on their mantle but it repeatedly disappeared only to be found outside and the family finally returned it to the church.
St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr (Memorial)
Detailed biography of St Agnes:
AND St Ambrose Reflection:
St Agnes of Aislinger
St Alban Bartholomew Roe
St Anastasius of Constantinople
St Aquila of Trebizond
St Brigid of Kilbride
St Candidus of Trebizond
Bl Edward Stransham
St Epiphanius of Pavia
St Eugenius of Trebizond
Bl Franciscus Bang
St Gunthildis of Biblisheim
Blessed Josefa María Inés de Benigánim OAD (1625–1696)
St John Yi Yun-on
St Maccallin of Waulsort
St Meinrad of Einsiedeln OSB (c 797–861) Martyr, Priest, Monk
St Nicholas Woodfen
St Patroclus of Troyes
St Publius of Malta
Bl Thomas Reynolds
St Valerian of Trebizond
St Vimin of Holywood
St Zacharias the Angelic
Blessed Martyrs of Laval – 19 beati: Fifteen men and four women who were martyred in Laval, France by anti-Catholic French Revolutionaries.
• Blessed André Duliou
• Blessed Augustin-Emmanuel Philippot
• Blessed François Duchesne
• Blessed François Migoret-Lamberdière
• Blessed Françoise Mézière
• Blessed Françoise Tréhet
• Blessed Jacques André
• Blessed Jacques Burin
• Blessed Jean-Baptiste Triquerie
• Blessed Jean-Marie Gallot
• Blessed Jeanne Veron
• Blessed John Baptist Turpin du Cormier
• Blessed Joseph Pellé
• Blessed Julien Moulé
• Blessed Julien-François Morin
• Blessed Louis Gastineau
• Blessed Marie Lhuilier
• Blessed Pierre Thomas
• Blessed René-Louis Ambroise
The were born in French and they were martyred on several dates in 1794 in Laval, Mayenne, France. They were beatified on 19 June 1955 by Pope Pius XII at Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Rome – 30 saints: Thirty Christian soldiers executed together in the persecutions of Diocletian. They were martyred in 304 in Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Tarragona: Augurius, Eulogius, Fructuosus