Saturday of the Second Week of Easter +2021
Nossa Senhora da Arrábida / Our Lady of Arrábida, Portugal (16th Century) – 17 April:
The Shrine of Our Lady of Arrábida is popular with sailors and with all those who travel by water. It owes its beginnings to a miraculous occurrence during the 16th century.
At some time during this century, an English merchant named Hildebrand, was standing off the entrance to the Tague River when a great storm caught his ship and immediately plunged him into the dangerous waters at the mouth of the river. The ship was in great danger and the merchant, being a pious Catholic, knelt before a picture of Our Lady which he always kept on board his ship.
Soon after, he began praying a bright light was seen shining through the darkness and the ship came to rest in calm waters. When daylight came, it could be seen, that the vessel was safely anchored at the foot of a very steep wooded mountain.
Hildebrand went back below decks to kneel before the illustration of Our Lady in thanksgiving, when he found that the picture was no longer there. Since it had been from that direction of the mountain that he had seen the light, the night before, Hildebrand went on land and climbed the steep trail to the top.
There, on the very top of the mountain, amid the dense woods, was his picture of Our Lady, before which he had prayed in his hour of need. Greatly moved, Hildebrand finished his business as soon as possible, in England and returned to Portugal. He gave away his goods to the poor and settled down in a small hermitage at the top of the mountain, where the picture had indicated that Our Lady wished a Shrine to be.
The Shrine is there today and still popular with the local peoples and all sailors, fisherman and those who travel by water. Numerous votive tablets surround the picture, testifying to miracles worked by Our Lady of Arrábida for those who come to her in need. Sailors going on a long voyage usually go for a farewell visit on departure and return to give thanks when they come home.
The Ancient Statue of Nossa Senhora da Arrábida is in the Chapel of the Convent.
It is a replica that is taken in procession and like the original, has a natural head of hair and a silver crown, a blue mantle over an embroidered dress bedecked with silver sequins. In one hand the Blessed Virgin carries the Baby Jesus who wears a similar crown to that of His Mother. In the other hand, Our Lady holds a silver scepter. Only half a meter tall, she has a profound physical and spiritual presence. The procession winds through several City streets, accompanied by a band, banners, and flags. A great crowd processes each year to pay homage to Senhora da Arrábida, or in thanksgiving for answered prayers and many climb the mountain barefoot.
There are fishermen who are going to fulfil vows made in moments when they feared that their vessels were sinking and women, accompanied by their children, who go in thanksgiving for their husbands and fathers, who came back safely through heavy storms. Still others speak of cures from serious illnesses or severe accidents and several miracles which are attributed to Our Lady of Arabida. Ave Maria!
Bl essed Andrés Hibernón Real OFM (1534-1602)
St Agia of Hainault
St Pope Anicetus (Died 168) 12th Bishop of Rome and Martyr Papacy 157-168
St Anthia of Illyria
St Athanasia of Aegina
St Calocerus of Brescia
St Donan of Eigg (Died 617) Priest and Martyr
His Life and Death:
St Eleuterius of Illyria
St Elpidius of Melitene
St Eusebius of Fano
St Galdinus of Milan
St Gebuinus of Lyons
St Hermogenes of Melitene
Bl Idesbald of Dunes
Bl James Oldo
Bl Joseph Moreau
St Laserian of Leighlin
Bl Louis Leroy
Bl Luca Passi
St Perfecto of Córdoba
St Robert de Turlande/Chaise-Dieu OSB (c 1000-1067)
Bl Roman Archutowski
Bl Savina Petrilli
St Stephen Harding O.Cist. (1050-1104) Co-Founder of the Cistercian Order
About St Stephen:
St Ursmar of Lobbes
St Wigbert of Augsburg