Nuestra Señora de las Gracias de Torcoroma / Our Lady of Graces of Torcoroma, Ocaña, Norte de Santander, Colombia (1711) – 16 August:
The holy apparition took place on 16 August, 1711. At that time, there lived in the Mountains of Torcoroma in the Ocaña region, a peasant family dedicated mainly to the cultivation of cane with which they made sweets. The family consisted of Don Cristóbal Melo, his wife Pascuala Rodríguez and their two children, José and Felipe. According to their contemporaries, the Melo-Rodríguez were people of good morals and a life consecrated to the Christian Faith.
One morning Don Cristóbal sent his children to cut down a tree, that had wood good enough to carve the box or “canoe” with which he made his sweets. The young boys went into the mountain and as they entered the thick of the forest ,they marked the oaks that were suitable for their purpose. Until they found one that was a “wonder” and despite the fact that it was summer, it had fragrant red flowers. Such was the perfume that it could be perceived from afar.
Excited about the great find, they proceeded to cut down the tree. Given its complicated location, when cutting its base, the main part fell into a ravine. It was dusk and the boys resolved to return home and discuss the event with their father. The next day they restarted their search for the appropriate tree, but not finding one that suited their purposes, they determined to use the one already felled and went to the place where it had fallen.
They began to carve the “canoe” right there and shortly after taking the first ax blows, a light so intense came out that it reached out and illumined the lush forest. When the father realised what was lying in the middle of the splinters of the trunk, he, without thinking for a second, put his hands where his sons were preparing to take the next blow, stopping them suddenly. The father and his children were astonished when they saw, in the heart of the trunk, the image of the Virgin, with her hands together and placed on her chest, with the action of her face “as if directed to heaven,” shining with a great light and with an intense and aromatic perfume.
The news of the holy apparition quickly spread through the Ocaña region. Upon reaching the ears of the Priest and Vicar of the City, Fr.Diego Gabino Quintero, he asked Cristóbal Melo to present himself with the image of the Virgin. After carefully examining it and having listened to numerous testimonies that affirmed the divinity of the image, the Priest authorised its private worship.
In 1716 Fray Antonio Monroy y Meneses, Bishop of Santa Marta , came on a pastoral visit and after a rigorous analysis of the image that appeared and the testimony of the witnesses, he granted permission for a Chapel to be erected on the site of the appearance and ordered that the image be brought to the cCty to place it on the Altar of the main Church, today the Cathedral of Santa Ana . The image would rest in the Church for several years while awaiting the Chapel, which was only built in 1882 thanks to the financing of Bogota parishioners. Finally, at the beginning of the 20th century, the image would be definitively transferred to the Sanctuary, where it is visited not only by its faithful but by thousands of pilgrims every year..
St Stephen of Hungary (c 975- 1038) King of Hungary (Optional Memorial) “Apostle of Hungary,” King and Confessor, Marian devotee, Apostle of Charity, Evangeliser and Missionary.
Blessed Angelo Agostini Mazzinghi O.Carm. (1385-1438) was an Italian Priest and a professed member of the Carmelite Order. He was a noted preacher, prior and reformer, teacher of theology and was known for his pious devotion to the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Carmelite Rule of Life and to the profession of the Gospel.
St Armel of Brittany (Died c 570) Priest, Monk, Missionary, Confessor, Evangeliser, spiritual adviser, Miracle-worker .,
St Arsacius of Nicomedia
Bl Iacobus Bunzo Gengoro
Bl Jean-Baptiste Menestrel
Bl John of Saint Martha
Bl Laurence Loricatus
Bl Magdalena Kiyota Bokusai
Bl Maria Gengoro
Bl Ralph de la Futaye
St Roch (1295-1327) “Pilgrim,” Confessor, Hermit, Apostle of the Sick, Miracle Worker.
The story of St Roch here:
Bl Simon Kiyota Bokusai
Bl Thomas Gengoro
St Titus the Deacon
St Ugolina of Vercelli (c 1239-c 1300) Anchorite, Recluse
Martyrs of Palestine – 33 saints: Thirty-three Christians martyred in Palestine; they are commemorated in old martyrologies, but the date and exact location have been lost.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Amadeu Monje Altés
Bl Antonio María Rodríguez Blanco
Bl José María Sanchís Mompó
Bl Laurentí Basil Matas
Bl Plácido García Gilabert