Our Lady of the Taper of Cardigan (1100s)– 15 June:
During the middle ages there was a notable pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady in Cardigan. A beautiful legend describes how a Statue of Mary was found by the side of the river Teifi, “and her sonne upon her lappe and the taper bernynge in her hande.” It was taken to the Parish Church but would not remain there, returning three or four times to “the place where now is buyIded the Church of our Lady,” the present St.Mary’s Church. A chantry Priest sang Mass daily in honour of Our Lady for pilgrims who came to pray and leave gifts. They lodged with the Knights Hospitallers of S. John, where the Angel Hotel now stands.
St Mary’s dates from 1158, built to hold the Statue. It resembles an earlier Shrine in the city of Arras, which was then in Flanders. Did Flemish merchants, who settled in Cardigan and traded in Welsh wool out of the port, bring the Statue back with them?
Devotion to Mary was once universal in Wales. Many places are called Llanfair or Capel Mair (Mary’s Church, Chapel) and dozens of flowers and plants bear her name. No girl was given the name Mair (Mary), as it was reserved for Our Lady.
We do not know how the devotion transferred to Barcelona and Cagliari. In the 1320’s and 1330’s Catalonian sailors had thronged British waters. Did they come to Cardigan, see the Shrine and copy it? In 1904 Breton Monks, in exile near Cardigan, revived the devotion, giving the title Our Lady of Cardigan to their Abbey Church and also to the little Church they opened in Town in 1912. They left in 1916 and another generation passed before the name was heard again.
In 1952 Martin Gillett, who later was to found the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, told Bishop Petit that Cardigan had once possessed a famous Shrine. The Bishop instantly decided to restore it. In 1956 a new Statue was blessed by Cardinal Griffin in Westminster Cathedral and then taken to every Parish in the Diocese of Menevia before arriving in Cardigan. On 27 May 1956, a great concourse from all parts of Britain bore it to the little Church of Our Lady of Sorrows. On 23 July 1970 Bishops Petit and Fox consecrated the new church of Our Lady of the Taper, named after the Shrine. Three days later pilgrims transferred the Statue there.
The original Statue was taken to London and destroyed at Chelsea in 1538 along with other Marian images on the orders of Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, Chief Minister of King Henry VIII. Mother Concordia, OSB, was asked to make another in bronze. Designated as a Welsh National Shrine of Our Lady, it was blessed in Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral and brought all over Wales before, on Pentecost Sunday, 18 May 1986, it was solemnly installed in the presence of 4,500 pilgrims. Its beauty catches the imagination and arouses devotion. Pope John Paul II wrote a special message for the occasion, and a taper he blessed in Rome was placed in the hand of the statue and lit.
Its symbolism is that Mary presents her Son to us, as she did to the Wise Men, to be adored. The taper testifies that He is Light of the World. Pilgrims come to pray individually and in groups. May they learn to treasure the word of God in their hearts, as Mary did, and live by the light of her Son, who is her Saviour and ours.
St Abraham of Saint-Cyriacus
St Achaicus of Corinth
St Barbara Cui Lianshi
St Benildis of Córdoba
St Bernard of Montjoux/Menthon CRSA (c 1020-1081) “Apostle of the Alps” Priest, Founder of a patrol that cleared robbers from the mountains and he established hospices for travellers and pilgrims. The large dogs, trained to search for lost victims in the mountains, are named for him. Patronages – Alpinists, Alps (proclaimed by Pope Pius XI on 20 August 1923), Campiglia Cervo, Italy, mountain climbers (proclaimed by Pope Pius XI on 20 August 1923), mountaineers, skiers, travellers in the mountains (proclaimed by Pope Pius XI on 20 August 1923).
St Constantine of Beauvais
St Domitian of Lobbes
St Edburgh of Winchester
St Eutropia of Palmyra
St Fortunatus of Corinth
St Germaine Cousin (1579–1601) Incorrupt- Laywoman, Penitent, Apostle of Charity, miracle-worker. Patronages – abandoned people, abuse victims, child abuse victims, against poverty, disabled and handicapped, people, girls from rural areas, illness, impoverishment, loss of parents, shepherdesses, people disfigured by disease, physical therapists.
Her Holy Life:
St Hadelinus of Lobbes
St Hesychius of Durostorum
St Hilarion of Espalion
Bl Juan Rodriguez
St Julius of Durostorum
St Landelin of Crespin
St Leonides of Palmyra
St Libya of Palmyra
St Lotharius of Séez
St Melan of Viviers
Bl Pedro da Teruel
Bl Peter Snow
St Pierre de Cervis
Blessed Pietro Nolasco Perra OdeM (1574-1606)
Bl Ralph Grimston
St Tatian of Cilicia
Bl Thomas Scryven
St Trillo of Wales
St Vaughen of Ireland
St Vitus (c 290-c 303) – Martyr, One of the Seven Holy Helpers. Died aged 12-13 years of age. Patronages – against animal attacks, against dog bites, against epilepsy; epileptics, against lightning, against over-sleeping, against rheumatic chorea or Saint Vitus Dance, against snake bites, against storms, against wild beasts, of actors, comedians, dancers, dogs, Bohemia, Czech Republic, Serbia, 17 cities.
His very short life:
St Vitus Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic:
St Vouga of Lesneven
Martyr of Lucania – 11 saints: Eleven Christians martyred together. We known nothing else about them but the names – Anteon, Candidus, Cantianilla, Cantianus, Chrysogonus, Jocundus, Nivitus, Protus, Quintianus, Silvius, Theodolus in Lucania (modern Basilicata), Italy, date unknown.
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