Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter +2021
La Moreneta / Our Lady of Montserrat, Spain (718) – 27 April:
The one and only “Lady of Spain,” is a black Madonna who reigns from the lofty heights of Montserrat. The Virgin smiles down from her place of honour above the main Altar of the Basilica of Montserrat.
La Moreneta means the “Little Black One.” The Statue is four feet high and made of wood, blackened from the smoke of innumerable candles which have burned before her through the ages. Our Lady of Moreneta is seated upon a chair and holds her Divine Child who has a fir apple in His left hand. Our Queen is clothed in a golden mantle, a tunic and a veil of diverse colours; the Infant wears a simple tunic and He and His Mother wear matching wooden crowns. The miraculous Statue reposes upon a gleaming throne of marble, and over all, the sunlight diffuses a gleaming glow.
The origin of the Statue and the manner in which it first came to a lowly grotto in the mountainside is not known but is told by an uninterrupted folklore describing its descent from heaven. The legends date from the ninth century when it is believed the hermits who dwelt in caves, kept watch over a tiny Chapel known as Santa Maria de Montserrat. Reliable documents have it that a great monastic centre was founded among the same cliffs in the eleventh century and that a small black Statue of the Madonna drew the Kings of Aragon, the Monarchs of Spain, Emperor Charles V, Saints and celebrities, as well as common folks to the difficult mountain. Here arduous pilgrimages terminated, and here wondrous miracles were wrought.
As the fame of La Moreneta spread, her original Chapel underwent many transformations before the Basilica was constructed in the sixteenth century. Now the first Chapel is called the “Holy grotto” and is decorated within with marble, fine tapestries, and two altars; one to Saint Scholastica, the other to Saint Benedict so that Mass can be said on feast-days and other special occasions.
Montserrat, or “Saw-tooth Mountain,” which Our Lady chose for her shrine is believed to have an intrinsic holiness. Its highest peak bears the name. Tradition says this is the place the devil took Christ after His forty days fast; there is possibility of this being true. Legend further says it was the sight of the Holy Grail in Wagner’s opera “Parsifal.” The mountain of the shrine is 4,070 feet high, multicolored and interspersed with lush patches of tropic vegetation.
St Adelelmus of Le Mans
St Asicus of Elphin
St Castor of Tarsus
St Floribert of Liege
Blessed Jakov Varingez OFM (c 1400–1496)
St John of Kathara
St Joseph Outhay Phongphumi
St Laurensô Nguyen Van Huong
St Liberalis of Treviso
Blessed Nicolas Roland (1642-1678) Priest and Founder
About Blessed Nicolas:
St Noël Tenaud
Blessed Osanna of Cattaro OP (1493-1565) Virgin, Mystic and Anchoress
Bl Peter Armengol
St Pollio of Cybalae
St Simeon of Jerusalem
St Stephen of Tarsus
St Tertullian of Bologna
St Theophilus of Brescia
St Winewald of Beverley
St Zita of Lucca (1212-1272) Laywoman – Her reputation was such that Dante in the Inferno referred to the city of Luccam her birthplace ad home, as “Santa Zita”
Martyrs of Nicomedia: A group of Christians murdered together for their faith. In most cases all we have are their names – Dioscurus, Evanthia, Felicia, Felix, Germana, Germelina, Johannes, Julius, Laetissima, Nikeforus, Papias, Serapion and Victorinus. They died at Nicomedia, Bithynia, Asia Minor (modern Izmit, Turkey).