Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Our Lady of Mantara / Our Lady of ‘Awaiting’, Maghdouché, Sidon, South Governorate, Lebanon (1721) – 11 June, 8 September:
While Jesus preached in Sidon, Mary is said to have waited here in the cave of Mantara (“awaiting” in Arabic).
Emperor Constantine’s wife Helena replaced a pagan shrine with one to the Holy Mother, donating to it an Icon and Altar furnishings. Three centuries later, after takeover by an intolerant Arab ruler, Christians sealed the cave and fled Maghdouché.
In 1683, descendants of the exiles returned to their homeland under the inclusive Prince Fakhreddin II.
On 8 September 1721, when a goat fell through a gap in the porous limestone, its young herder made a rope from vine twigs, tied it to a tree and followed the animal into the hole but the rope broke. The boy fell into the darkness, where eventually he made out the golden glimmer of an Icon of the Madonna and Child. On seeing the image, the Melkite Catholic clergy recognised it as St Helen’s Icon.
Christians now celebrate its rediscovery annually on 8 September, Feast of the Virgin’s Birth.
A Cathedral was added to the site in 1860 and a modern tower topped with a bronze Statue in the 1960s.
On 11 June 1911, some 400 people saw a silent, luminous apparition of the Madonna and Child near the cave.
Our Lady of Mantara is invoked for the healing of eye diseases and the protection of children, so the Shrine is a popular site for infant Baptisms.
St Barnabas the Apostle (Memorial) (Martyred in c 61 at Salamis)
St Aleydis of Schaerbeek
St Blitharius of Seganne
Blessed Helen of Poland (c 1235-1298) Princess, Widow, Mother, Nun and Abbess of the Poor Clares
St Herebald of Bretagne
Bl Hugh of Marchiennes
Blessed Ignazio Shoukrallah Maloyan ICPB (1869-1915) Bishop and Martyr
His Life and Death:
Bl Jean de Bracq
St Juan de Sahagun OESA (1419-1479) Priest and Friar of the Order of the Augustinians, Preacher, Social Reformer, Defender of workers.
Biography: His Memorial was on 12 June but moved in 1969.
Bl Kasper of Grimbergen
St Maximus of Naples
St Paula Frasinetti
St Riagail of Bangor
St Tochumra of Kilmore
St Tochumra of Tuam
Martyrs of Tavira – 7 beati: Members of the Knights of Santiago de Castilla. During the re-conquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Muslims by Christian forces, in a period of truce between the armies, the group was allowed to leave the Portuguese camp to hunt. Near Tavira, Portugal, he and his companions were ambushed and killed by a Muslim force. Making a reprisal attack, the Portuguese army took the city of Tavira. The murdered knights were considered to be martyrs as they died in an action defending the faith. They were –
• Blessed Alvarus Garcia
• Blessed Beltrão de Caia
• Blessed Damião Vaz
• Blessed Estêvão Vasques
• Blessed Garcia Roiz
• Blessed Mendus Valle
• Blessed Pedro Rodrigues
They were martyred in 1242 outside Tavira, Faro, Portugal. Their relics are enshrined under the altar of Saint Barnabas in the Church of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels (modern Santa Maria do Castelo) in Tavria
Mercedarian Martyrs of Damietta: Three Mercedarian lay knights who worked to ransom Christians enslaved by Muslims. During the 7th Crusade, a plague swept through the Christian army and these knights volunteered to work with the sick. During this work they were captured by Muslims and ordered to convert to Islam; they refused. They were tortured, taken to Damietta, Egypt where they were murdered for their faith. They were thrown from a tower in the mid-13th century in Damietta, Egypt.