Notre-Dame de Boulogne -sur-Mer , France / Our Lady of Boulogne-Sur-Mer (1469) – 10 July:
In the year 636, a small group of people standing on the seashore witnessed a boat without oars or sails came into the harbour of Boulogne. It finally came to rest in the estuary, seemingly of its own accord. One of the witnesses boarded the boat and confirmed that there was n-one aboard, and that the vessel had no rudder, oars or sails.
The ship, however, bore a luminous Statue of Our Lady. Taking hold of it to bring it to land, a voice was heard saying, “I choose your City as a place of grace.” The citizens welcomed Mary to their City by erecting a Shrine in her honour, which reached its height of glory in the 12th Century.
King Henry VIII is reported to have stolen the Statue of Our Lady of Boulogne and taken it to England. After many negotiations, the French managed to get it back. The image had been stolen and hidden many other times, but always saved and returned.
World War II almost completely destroyed the Statue. In modern times, four exact replicas of Our Lady of Boulogne toured France for more than seven years as a symbol of French devotion to Mary. One of these was taken to Walsingham, England, in 1948 and carried in procession by the Cross-bearing pilgrims.
Boulogne was one of the most important Lady Shrines of medieval France; among its noted pilgrims have been: Henry III, Edward II, the Black Prince, John of Gaunt.
The dedication of a new Church built in honour of Our Lady of Boulogne was Consecrated in the year 1469 by Bishop Chartier of Paris. The confraternity of Our Lady of Boulogne was so celebrated, that six French Kings have chosen to belong to it.
At the French Revolution, the Statue was burnt to ashes and the Church pulled down. A new Statue was made in 1803 and pilgrimages began again. The image represents the Mother with the Child in her arms, standing in a boat, with an angel on either side. At the Marian Congress in Bolougne in 1938, a the custom began, to take replicas of this Statue on visitations through France and abroad. A branch of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Compassion at Boulogne has been established for the reconciliation of the Church of England.
The Sanctuary Church at Boulogne was badly damaged during World War II, and Mary’s image smashed but the return, the “Great Return” of one of the copies of the Statue which had been sheltered at Lourdes, took place in 1943, and the occasion will long be remembered by lovers of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There is an ancient offshoot of this Shrine at Boulogne-sur-Seine.
St Amalberga of Mauberge (Died 690) Wife, Mother of 3 Saints: Gudila, Reinelda, and Emembertus. She and her husband mutually agreed to separate to become a Monk and a Nun, respectively, once the children were growmn.
St Anatolia & Victoria (Died 250) Martyrs, Sisters who gave their lives for Christ.
St Antôn Nguyen Huu Quynh
St Apollonius of Sardis
Bl Arnold of Camerino
St Bianor of Pisidia
St Canute IV (c 1042-1086) Martyr, King of Denmark, known as “Canute the Holy.”
About St Canute:
St Cuán of Airbhre
Bl Marie-Gertrude de Ripert d’Alauzier
St Pascharius of Nantes
St Peter Vincioli
St Phêrô Nguyen Khac Tu
St Rufina and St Secunda of Rome (3rd Century) Virgin Martyrs
Seven Holy Brothers and their mother, St Felicitas (Died c 165) Martyrs. The Seven Sons of St Felicitas were the very first victims sacrificed by Emperor Marcus Aurelius to satisfy his false philosophy and the superstitions of his pagan subjects. St Felicitas is also celebrated separately on 23 November .
St Sylvanus of Pisidia
Bl Sylvie-Agnès de Romillon
Martyrs of Africa – 4 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in Africa. The only information that has survived are four of their names – Felix, Januarius, Marinus and Nabor.
Martyrs of Antioch – 10 saints: A group of ten Christians martyred together. We have no details about them but the names – Diogenes, Domnina, Esicius, Macarius, Maxima, Maximus, Rodigus, Timoteus, Veronia and Zacheus. They were martyred in Antioch, date unknown.
Martyrs of Damascus – 11 beati: A group of Franciscans and laymen ordered by Druz Muslims to convert to Islam. They refused and were hacked to pieces.
• ‘Abd Al-Mu’ti Masabki
• Carmelo Bolta Bañuls
• Engelbert Kolland
• Francisco Pinazo Peñalver
• Fransis Masabki
• Juan Jacobo Fernández y Fernández
• Manuel Ruiz López
• Nicanor Ascanio de Soria
• Nicolás María Alberca Torres
• Pedro Soler Méndez
• Rufayil Masabki
They were cut to pieces on 9-10 July 1860 in Damascus, Syria.
Beatified on 10 October 1926 by Pope Pius XI.
Martyrs of Nicopolis – 45 saints: A group of 45 Christians tortured and martyred together in the persecutions of emperor Licinius. We know nothing else but six of their names – Anicetus, Anthony, Daniel, Leontius, Mauritius and Sisinno. c 329 in Nicopolis, Armenia (modern Koyulhisar, Turkey).
Martyrs of Nitria – 5 saints: Fathers of Nitria – Four monks and the bishop of Alexandria, Egypt who were martyred by heretics. Saint John Chrysostom wrote about them but their names have not come down to us. They were martyred in the 4th century in Nitria, Egypt.