Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Notre-Dame-des-Vertus / Our Lady of Power, Aubervilliers, France (1336) and Memorials of the Saints – 12 May

Wednesday of the Sixth week of Easter +2021

Notre-Dame-des-Vertus / Our Lady of Power, Aubervilliers, France (1336) – 12 May:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “This image has wrought so many miracles in this Church, that it is called Our Lady of Power, though the Church is dedicated to Saint Christopher.”

Known now as Notre-Dame-des-Vertus, this is the 14th century Church in Aubervilliers that is the very location that experienced so many miracles during the Middle Ages. As noted by the Abbot Orsini, the Church was originally dedicated to Saint Christopher, yet the name soon changed to honour the Mother of God, in recognition of the graces and miracles obtained there due to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Parish had been built around the Saint Christopher Chapel and after whom the road leading to the Church is named.
The first miracle occurred on 14 May 1336 and is known locally as the Miracle of Rain. It was during a time of terrible drought when a small girl entered the Church of Saint Christopher with flowers to adorn the Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. While praying that Our Lady would send rain to save the crops, the girl suddenly noticed, that the Statue had become covered, with what appeared to be drops of sweat and the sky turned dark, as the weather began to turn.

This, I believe, is a Holy Card of the original Statue which was desecrated during the French Revolution

The inhabitants of the Parish flocked to the Church, alerted by the sound of the Church bell, to see the wonder and give thanks to God for this miracle. This was but the beginning of the pilgrimages to the Church that began almost immediately, especially from the Parishes of Paris. These pilgrimages were encouraged by the authorities of the Church, as well as by the example of the many distinguished visitors and the continued occurrences of many other miracles over the following centuries. These miracles included many cures, as well as the miracles of two children who were brought back to life. Kings and Queens were among the many pilgrims who came during the Middle Ages, including King Louis XIII, who came to pray for the capture of Rochelle.
The Archbishop of Paris confirmed the celebration of the festival on the second Tuesday of May, which is the month of Mary. After all these miracles, the Chapel was far too small to contain the influx of pilgrims, in particular the processions coming from Paris to the Basilica that stopped at the miraculous little Chapel on their way.

This is our Blessed Lady on the Facade

The small Sanctuary was later replaced by a more imposing Church whose construction began in the fifteenth century. Particularly remarkable are the stained glass windows that adorn the Church and remind the visitor of the extraordinary history of this place, for they relate to the many different miracles performed by the Blessed Virgin in the Chapel, of which there were many. Virtually every great Saint is depicted in these windows too – if you wish to see them, although they are not professional photographs, go here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g3347617-d10980848-Reviews-Eglise_Notre_Dame_des_Vertus- There are numerous Statues and Altars of the Blessed Virgin in the Sanctuary, all of them highly venerated by pilgrims.

During the French revolution, in 1789, the Statue of the miraculous Virgin was profaned. It was dragged on the road leading to Saint Denis with a rope around its neck; the Sans-Culottes movement burned it singing the French song “Carmagnole et Ah! Ca ira!” proof of the Satanic roots of the French Revolution. One of her hands was saved from the flames and was preserved.
The present Statue of the Virgin, located in the left Chapel, was sculpted in wood by Baffet House in 1873. It is a copy of an ancient Statue found that year in the Chapel Saint-Julien-Le-Pauvre at Hotel-Dieu. It was inserted into a Neo Gothic frame, flanked by two angels holding phylacteries, (a coiled-end speech scroll bearing legends) which recall the miracle in 1582 when the Virgin restored a stillborn child to life.

St Achilleus of Terracina Martyr (Optional Memorial)
AND –
St Nereus of Terracina Martyr (Optional Memorial)
About:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/12/saints-of-the-day-12-may-sts-nereus-and-achilleus/
Together with St Flavia Domitilla, their mistress and fellow hermit, were Martyred for Christ:
St Flavia here:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/05/07/saint-of-the-day-7-may-saint-flavia-domitilla-of-terracina-1st-century-virgin-and-martyr/

St Pancras of Rome (c 289 – c 303) Martyr Child of 14, Roman Convert (Optional Memorial)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2017/05/12/saint-of-the-day-st-pancras/

St Crispoldus
St Cyril of Galatz
St Dedë Malaj
St Diomma of Kildimo
St Dionysius of Asia
St Dominic de la Calzada
St Ejëll Deda
St Ephrem of Jerusalem

St Epiphanius (c 315 – 403) Bishop of Salamis (Cyprus) known as the Oracle of Palestine, Church Father, Theologian, Confessor, Writer, Defender of the Faith, Monk and Ascetic.
His story:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/05/12/saint-of-the-day-saint-epiphanius-c-315-403-the-oracle-of-palestine/

St Erc Nasca of Tullylish
St Ethelhard of Canterbury
St Euphrosyna of Terracina
Bl Francis Patrizzi of Siena
Bl Gemma of Goriano
St Germanus of Constantinople (c 640-733) Bishop

Blessed Joanna of Portugal OP (1452-1490) Religious of the Second Order of St Dominic, Virgin, Princess of Portugal of the House of Aviz, daughter of King Afonso V of Portugal and his first wife Isabella of Coimbra, Penitent.
About Blessed Joanna whom the Portuguese called “Saint Princess Joanna”:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/12/saint-of-the-day-12-may-blessed-joanna-of-portugal-1452-1490/

Bl Juan de Segalars
St Lucien Galan

St Maria Domenica Mazzarello

St Modoald of Trier
St Palladius of Rome
St Philip of Agira
St Richrudis of Marchiennes
St Theodora of Terracina
St Thomas Khampheuane Inthirath

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 12 May – Blessed Joanna of Portugal (1452-1490)

Saint of the Day – 12 May – Blessed Joanna of Portugal (1452-1490) Virgin, Princess of Portugal of the House of Aviz, daughter of King Afonso V of Portugal and his first wife Isabella of Coimbra, Penitent, Apostle of Charity, Dominican Nun.    She was born o 16 February 1452 at Lisbon and died on 12 May 1692 in Aveiro Portugal, possibly as a result of poisoning.   Patronage – Diocese of Aveiro, Portugal.  Also known as Jane, Joan, Joana.515px-bl_Joana,_Princesa_de_Portugal

Joanna, a child of many prayers, was born heiress to the throne of her father, King Afonso V, at a time when Spain and Portugal had divided the colonial wealth of the earth between them.   Her sickly brother Juan was born three years later and soon after this their mother, Queen Elizabeth of Coimbra, died.   Joanna was left to the care of a wise and pious nurse, who cultivated the child’s natural piety.   By age five, the little princess had exceeded her teacher in penitential practices.   She fasted and prayed, rose at night to take the discipline and wore a hairshirt under her glittering court apparel.

Although Joanna would not inherit the throne of Portugal while her brother was alive, a wise marriage would do much to increase her father’s power.   Accordingly, he began early to arrange for her marriage.   Joanna, whose knowledge of court intrigue was as good as his own, skilfully escaped several proposed matches.   She had treasured the desire to enter the convent but, in view of her father’s plans, her desires met with violent opposition.   She was flatly refused for a long time, finally, her father gave his reluctant consent but he withdrew it again at her brother’s insistence.

She was Regent of Portugal when her father and brother went to war against the Moors, and when they defeated the Moors in 1471, her father, in the first flush of victory, granted her request to take the veil.   Joanna and one of her ladies-in-waiting had long planned to enter the Dominican cloister of Jesus at Aveiro, which was noted for its strict observance.   But when her father finally gave consent for her to enter religion, he did not allow her to enter that Dominican convent.   She had to go to the nearby royal abbey of the Benedictines at Odivellas.   Here she was besieged by weeping and worldly relatives who had only their own interests at heart.   After two months of this mental torture, she returned to the court.

The rest of Joanna’s life is a story of obedience and trials.   Her obligations of obedience varied.   She was required to bend her will to a wavering father, who never seemed able to make a decision and abide by it;  to bishops, swayed by political causes, who forced her to sign a paper that she would never take her solemn vows and to doctors, who prescribed remedies that were worse than the maladies they tried to cure   The trials came from a jealous brother, from ambitious and interfering relatives, from illness and from cares of state.

Retrato_da_Princesa_bl_Joana_com_o_Menino_-_Joao_Baptista_Pachim
Princess Saint Joanna with the Infant Jesus, by Joao Baptista Pachim, 18th century

After 12 years of praying and hoping, Joanna finally received the Dominican habit at the Convent of Jesus at Aveiro in 1485.   Once again, she was deprived of it by an angry delegation of bishops and nobles and, at another time, her brother tore the veil from her head.   Despite the interruptions of plague, family cares and state troubles, Joanna lived an interior and penitential life.   She became an expert at spinning and weaving the fine linens for the altar and busied herself with lowly tasks for the love of God.   She used all her income to help the poor and to redeem captives.

Her special devotion was to the Crown of Thorns and, in early childhood, she had embroidered this device on her crest.   To the end of her life she was plagued by the ambition of her brother, who again and again attempted to arrange a marriage for her and continually disturbed her hard-won peace, by calling her back to the court for state business.

On one of these trips to court, Joanna was poisoned by a woman – a person she had rebuked for leading an evil life.   The princess lived several months in fearful pain, enduring all her sufferings heroically.   She died on 12 May 1490, aged 38, as it says in an old chronicle, “with the detachment of a religious and the dignity of a queen” and with the religious community around her.

She was Beatified in 1693 by Pope Innocent XI – (cultus confirmed). Although she has not been Canonised, in Portugal she is known as the Princess Saint Joanna.

O God,
in the midst of the Royal Court,
You strengthened Blessed Joanna
with purity of heart.
By her prayers,
may Your faithful
turn from the things of earth
and seek after the things of heaven.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Amen

General Calendar of the Order of Preachersst joanna of portugal stamp

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints -12 May

St Achilleus of Terracina Martyr (Optional Memorial)
St Nereus of Terracina Martyr (Optional Memorial)
About:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/12/saints-of-the-day-12-may-sts-nereus-and-achilleus/

St Pancras of Rome (c 289 – c 303) Martyr (Optional Memorial)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/05/12/saint-of-the-day-st-pancras/

St Crispoldus
St Cyril of Galatz
St Dedë Malaj
St Diomma of Kildimo
St Dionysius of Asia
St Dominic de la Calzada
St Ejëll Deda
St Ephrem of Jerusalem
St Epiphanius (c 315 – 403)
His story:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/05/12/saint-of-the-day-saint-epiphanius-c-315-403-the-oracle-of-palestine/
St Erc Nasca of Tullylish
St Ethelhard of Canterbury
St Euphrosyna of Terracina
Bl Francis Patrizzi of Siena
Bl Gemma of Goriano
St Germanus of Constantinople
Bl Joanna of Portugal OP (1452-1490) Princess of Portugal
Bl Juan de Segalars
St Lucien Galan
St Modoald of Trier
St Palladius of Rome
St Philip of Agira
St Richrudis of Marchiennes
St Theodora of Terracina
St Thomas Khampheuane Inthirath