Re-establishment of Chapel of Our Lady, Boulogne-sur-mer, by Bishop Dormy – Basilica of Notre-Dame de Boulogne: 30 March:
The Basilica of Our Lady of Boulogne, also known as the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, is a minor Basilica in Boulogne-Sur-Mer in northern France. The Basilica is a prominent landmark of the city and was built upon the medieval Cathedral of the same name.
It was in the year 633 that an unmanned boat was seen carrying a luminous Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary into the estuary at Boulogne. Saint Omer, (also known as Audomare) was the Bishop and the Statue was carried to the Church where miracles soon began to occur. This Statue, known as Notre-Dame de la Mer (Our Lady of the Sea) became a popular object of pilgrimage between the 13th and 16th centuries.
In about 1100 a new Church was constructed at the site that underwent many changes over the centuries, including the addition of a choir. It was in this Church that King Edward II was married to Isabella of France.
The Church flourished until the advent of the French Revolution, with its liberal principles that overthrew the Catholic Nonarchy, instigated violence, turmoil and anarchy, destroyed the men who set it in motion and, eventually, culminated not in liberty, fraternity and equality among Frenchmen but instead in a cruel dictatorship under Napoleon.
The Church of Notre-Dame of Boulogne was seized and worship was prohibited. The structure was used as a military warehouse until it was sold to traders from outside the City, who began demolishing the Church in stages. Finally, in 1793, the miraculous Statue of Our Lady of the Sea was burned, leaving only a small portion of the hand. Only the Crypt of the medieval structure survived and this is the longest Crypt in France. (There is a wonderful article regarding the Basilica and especially, the Crypt here: https://thegoodlifefrance.com/the-crypt-of-notre-dame-cathedral-boulogne-sur-mer/ )
A local Priest, Benoit Haffreingue, vowed to rebuild the Cathedral. He was a self-taught architect, with a strong desire to restore the honour of Our Lady of the Sea and return the Bishop to their City. He led a campaign to garner the support he would need for the work and by his enthusiasm, the public rallied to support the project.
Once work was begun, Fr Haffreingue discovered a huge Crypt about 128 meters long. It had been there unknown for centuries, perhaps having been filled in during the time of the siege of Boulogne in 1544 by King Henry VIII of England. The Romanesque style columns were crafted in the 11th century. There were also the foundations of a Roman temple dedicated to Mars and cannonballs used during the 1544 siege. See the Crypt below.
The fact that Fr Haffreingue was self-taught, may be the reason that the nave’s slender arches collapsed in the year 1921. During the time the repairs were being made, the whole structure was reinforced with concrete, which many feel made it possible to survive the bombing the City received, during World War II.
Blessed Amadeus of Savoy (1435-1472) IXth Duke of Savoy
St Clinius of Pontecorvo
St Cronan Mochua
St Domnino of Thessalonica
St Fergus of Downpatrick
St Irene of Rome
Bl Joachim of Fiore
St John Climacus (c 525-606)
St Julio Álvarez Mendoza
St Leonard Murialdo
St Ludovico of Casoria
St Mamertinus of Auxerre
St Marie-Nicolas-Antoine Daveluy MEP (1818-1866) Bishop Martyr
His Life and Death:
Bl Maria Restituta Kafka
St Osburga of Coventry
St Pastor of Orléans
St Patto of Werden
St Quirinus the Jailer
St Regulus of Scotland
St Regulus of Senlis
St Secundus of Asti
St Zozimus of Syracuse
Martyrs of Constantinople: ourth-century Christians who were exiled, branded on the forehead, imprisoned, tortured, impoverished and murdered during the multi-year persecutions of the Arian Emperor Constantius. They were martyred between 351 and 359 in Constantinople.
Martyrs of Korea:
Iosephus Chang Chu-gi
Lucas Hwang Sok-tu