Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter +2021
Nuestra Señora de Europa / Our Lady of Europe, Gibraltar (1492) – 5 May:
Together with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Our Lady is the Catholic patron Saint of Gibraltar and as such, protector of the whole of Europe.
In thanksgiving for the reconquest of Spain by Christian forces in 1492, the Catholics of Gibraltar converted a mosque into the Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Europa. Beneath a lighthouse tower, Our Lady presided over the Straits, its mariners and the continent of Europe for over two centuries. But in 1704, the British captured Gibraltar and pillaged the Shrine. They mutilated the wooden statue of the Virgin and Child and threw it over the cliff. A fisherman found the floating pieces and took them to Father Juan Romero de Figueroa at the Church on Main Street (now the Catholic Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned), who carried them to Spain for safekeeping, while the Church of Our Lady of Europe served as a British guardroom.
There across the bay in Algeciras, the Capillita de Europa housing the repaired Statue became a focus of devotion. A replica was placed in Gibraltar’s Cathedral.
In 1864, the Bishop attended the First Vatican Council, where he interested Blessed Pope Pius IX in building a new Shrine to Our Lady of Europe. Two years later,, the new Church was completed. The Vicar Apostolic John Baptist Scandella arranged for the original Statue to be returned to Gibraltar from Algeciras, where a replica replaced it.
But military occupation during two World Wars left the Shrine in such disrepair, that in 1960 it was torn down for construction of the Old People’s Home. In 1961, the Government of Gibraltar returned the original Chapel, the former mosque, to the Catholic Church. In 1962, it was renovated and reopened as the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe, where the Statue was reinstalled on 17 October 1961. In 1979 Pope John Paul II proclaimed the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Principal Patroness of the Diocese of Gibraltar under this title.
The feast of Our Lady of Europe was celebrated on 30 May until 1980, when the Vatican authorised its transfer to 5 May, then celebrated as Europe Day in honour of the Council of Europe’s founding on 5 May 1949.
Conversion of Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
St Pope Pius V OP (1504-1573) (optional memorial) changed in 1969 this feast which had been celebrated on this day of his birth into Heaven since 1713.
Bishop of Rome, Ruler of the Papal States, Pope of the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, the Battle of Lepanto, the Holy Rosary and the Pope who declared St Thomas Aquinas as a Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
The Roman Martyrology states of St Pius V today: “At Rome, Pope St Pius V, of the Order of Preachers, who laboured zealously and successfully for the re-establishment of Ecclesiastical discipline, the extirpation of heresies, the destruction of the enemies of the Christian name and, governed the Catholic Church by holy laws and the example of a saintly lfe.”
Lepanto by G K Chesterton:
St Angelus of Jerusalem O.Carm (1185-1220) Priest, Martyr, Hermit, Mystic, Reformer, Thaumaturge, Missionary, convert from Judaism and a professed Priest of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel – The 800th Anniversary of his death – 5 MAY 2020..
His Life and Death:
St Avertinus of Tours
Bl Benvenuto Mareni
St Britto of Trier
Blessed Caterina Cittadini (1801-1857) Italian Sister from Bergamo who established the Ursuline Sisters of Saint Jerome Emiliani.
St Echa of Crayke
St Eulogius of Edessa
St Euthymius of Alexandria
St Geruntius of Milan
St Godehard of Hildesheim
Bl Grzegorz Boleslaw Frackowiak
St Hilary of Arles
St Irenaeus of Thessalonica
St Irenes of Thessalonica
Bl John Haile
St Jovinian of Auxerre
St Jutta Kulmsee
St Leo of Africo
St Maurontius of Douai
St Maximus of Jerusalem
St Nectarius of Vienne
St Nicetas of Vienne
St Nunzio/Nuntius Sulprizio (1917-1836) Aged 19
St Nunzio’s very short life:
St Peregrinus of Thessalonica
St Sacerdos of Limoges
St Sacerdos of Saguntum
St Silvanus of Rome
St Theodore of Bologna
St Waldrada of Metz