Nossa Senhora da Lapa / Our Lady of the Grotto, Sernancelhe, Viseu, Douro, Norte, Portugal, 1498 and Memorials of the Saints – 10 June

Nossa Senhora da Lapa / Our Lady of the Grotto, Sernancelhe, Viseu, Douro, Norte, Portugal, 1498 – 10 June:

In 1498, a mute girl was herding her flock in the hills of Quintela, outside the Town of Sernancelhe in north central Portugal, when she found a Statue of the Virgin and Child in the cleft of a rock. Young Joana made the Statue an object of personal devotion, carrying it back and forth from home, where she made clothes for it, to the hills, where she would set it on a rock, surround it with flowers and pray, while the sheep grazed nearby. Her mother began to feel the “doll” was distracting the girl from her chores and one day threw it in the fireplace. Suddenly Joana spoke, for the first time in her life: “Mother! That’s Our Lady of the Grotto! What are you doing?” The girl grabbed the unburnt image out of the fire. She was cured but her mother’s arm became paralysed! After they both prayed, the mother regained use of her arm. As word spread through the area, people began coming to venerate the Statue, and the Parish Priest suggested moving it to the Church. But three times, the image vanished from the Church, reappearing in its original place between the rocks. So, a Chapel was built there, enclosing the location where Joana found the Statue. People believed that in 982, nuns fleeing the Islamic conqueror Almanzor, had hidden the image there.

Nossa Senhora da Lapa became one of Portugal’s major pilgrimage destinations, attracting devotion from colonies in Brazil and India, as well as from the Portuguese aristocracy. In 1575, Pope Gregory XIII approved the request of King Sebastian to transfer the Shrine to the Society of Jesus. Between 1610 and 1635, the Jesuits rebuilt the Church, decorating the interior with azulejo tilework. Later, they added a college and housing for pilgrims, students and themselves. From the 1700s to the 1900s, the complex changed hands several times, repeatedly taken over by the state then returned to the Church. Since 1929, it has belonged to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lamego.

n addition to the huge boulders within the Sanctuary, another unusual feature of the Shrine is a crocodile hanging from the ceiling (as in the Church of Our Lady of the Cherry Tree in Belgium)—a wooden replica of the long-decayed stuffed skin, which some say a pilgrim brought to thank the Virgin for her help against the beast in India. A more fanciful local story relates that a monstrous lizard menaced a girl who was spinning by hand while watching her flock. After invoking Our Lady of Lapa, she was able to subdue the animal by stuffing its mouth with balls of wool, then lead it home by a thread to be killed and mounted.

Although the Shrine’s fame has been eclipsed by that of Fatima, it still hosts three big pilgrimages annually: on 10 June Portugal Day, on `15 August Feast of the Assumption (preceded by novenas) and on 8 September Feast of Mary’s Birth.

Bl Amata of San Sisto
St Amantius of Tivoli
St Asterius of Petra
St Bardo of Mainz
Blessed Bogumilus of Gniezno (c 1135-c 1182) Bishop, Camaldolese Hermit
St Caerealis of Tivoli
St Censurius of Auxerre
St Crispulus of Rome

Blessed Edward Johannes Maria Poppe (1890-1924) Priest – Apostle of Eucharistic Adoration, especially amongst children and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Evangeliser, Reformer, Spiritual Director of Seminarians, Supporter of the Labourer.

Bl Elisabeth Hernden
Bl Elizabeth Guillen
St Evermund of Fontenay
St Faustina of Cyzicus
Bl Gerlac of Obermarchtal
St Getulius of Tivoli

Blessed Henry of Treviso (1250-1315) Layman, Widower and Father. Over two hundred miracles were reported within a few days after his death. Beatified by Pope Benedict XIV on 23 July 1750.
About Blessed Henry:

St Illadan of Rathlihen
St Ithamar of Rochester

Blessed John Dominici OP (c 1355-1419) ArchBishop, Cardinal, Religious Friar, Theologian, Preacher, Confessor, Reformer, Papal Legate, Papal Counsellor and Confessor, Writer, Evangeliser . Beatified by Pope Gregory XVI in 1837.
His Life:

Bl José Manuel Claramonte Agut
Bl Joseph Kugler
St Landericus of Novalese
St Landericus of Paris
Bl Mary Magdalene of Carpi
St Maurinus of Cologne
St Primitivus of Tivoli
St Restitutus of Rome
Bl Thomas Green
St Timothy of Prusa
Bl Walter Pierson
St Zachary of Nicomedia

Martyrs of North Africa – 17 saints: A group of seventeen Christians martyred together in North Africa; the only surviving details are two of their names – Aresius and Rogatius. Both the precise location in North Africa and the date are unknown.

Martyrs of the Aurelian Way – 23 saints: A group of 23 martyrs who died together in the persecutions of Aurelian. The only details that survive are three of their names – Basilides, Mandal and Tripos. c.270-275 on the Aurelian Way, Rome, Italy.



Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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