Notre-Dame-de-Foy / Our Lady of Faith, Gravelines, Liege, France (1616) – 27 July:
Not far from the small town of Dinant, in Liege near a home belonging to the Lord of Celles, two magnificent oaks once grew. One of the two venerable old trees was felled in the year 1609 by a man named Gilles, a lumberjack. The worker who inspected the tree found a small terracotta statue of the Mother of God, enthroned, as it were, with three iron bars that served as a trellis. The old oak stood on the edge of a path taken by pilgrims travelling to St Hubert. Apparently, at some time in the distant past, some pious Christian soul had placed the holy image in a hollow of the oak, as if in a niche. Then, over a period of time, the opening the tree had made while it was still young gradually closed and as it grew, the tree hid in its womb, the precious figure. Over the years the bark of the tree closed upon it and, as the road became less frequented, the existence of the Statue was completely forgotten.
To honour the Virgin, the Statue was subsequently displayed on the other oak, once again behind an iron grating, by order of the Baron of Celles. In this new Sanctuary, the Mother of God was honoured with the title of Our Lady of Faith. Those passing by did not fail to venerate the Statue;and there were many unexpected miracles. Graces of all kinds multiplied,and soon pilgrims began to flock to the area because of the dazzling miracles and very quickly a spontaneous cult grew.
The Statue was first placed in another oak but it was almost thrown away by servants who thought it had no value. The local Baron placed it near the door to his oratory at the Castle of Veves as pilgrims began to flock there. In this new Sanctuary, the image of Our Lady was honoured under the title of Our Lady of Faith, which was the name of the farm.
The first miracle occurred in 1616. As a result of the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary an old man was healed from a painful and debilitating hernia. The canonical investigation prescribed by the Bishop of Liege, was positive in its conclusion.
A Priest of the Society of Jesus had recently been sent to Gravelines. He worked diligently to cultivate souls, as if upon a fruitful vine and by his sermons excited the people of the region to a greater love for the Mother of God. Seeing that this devotion had taken root, he met with the local Magistrate to discuss how to maintain and increase the piety of the people. It was decided that they should make replicas of the Statue of Our Lady of Faith, made from the wood of the first oak. When the first was completed, the image was observed to have a great resemblance to the original. Received with great joy, it was placed in a large reliquary above the high Altar in the Parish Church.
St Aetherius of Auxerre
St Anthusa of Constantinople
St Aurelius of Cordoba
St Benno of Osnabruck (c 1020-1088) Bishop
Bl Berthold of Garsten
St Pope Celestine I (Died 432) called “the Heresy Fighter.” Much is unknown about Celestine, including his birthday. But his reign as Pope – from 422 to his death in 432 – is credited with many achievements.
St Ecclesius of Ravenna
Bl Felipe Hernández Martínez
St Felix of Cordoba
St Galactorio of Lescar
St George of Cordoba
Bl Jaime Ortiz Alzueta
Bl Joaquín Vilanova Camallonga
Bl José María Ruiz Cano
St Juliana of Mataró
St Lillian of Cordoba
Bl Lucy Bufalari
Blessed Maria Grazia Tarallo/Bl Maria of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1866-1912) Virgin, Religious Sister of the Institute of the Sisters Crucified Adorers of the Eucharist.
Bl Maria Klemensa Staszewska
Blessed Maria Magdalena Martinengo OSC Cap (1687-1737) Nun
St Maurus of Bisceglia
Bl Modesto Vegas y Vegas
St Natalia of Cordoba
Bl Nevolone of Tavenisa
St Pantaleon (Died c 305) Martyr, Lay Physician, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.
His Life and Death:
Bl Rudolf Aquaviva S.J.
Bl Robert Sutton
St Semproniana of Mataró
St Sergius of Bisceglia
Bl William Davies
Bl Zacarías Abadía Buesa
Martyrs of Nicomedia – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together. The only other information to survive are their names – Felix, Jucunda and Julia. Nicomedia, Asia Minor.
Seven Sleepers of Ephesus: A group of seven young Christian men who hid in a cave in hopes of avoiding the persecution of Decius in the year 250. Found and arrested, they were ordered by the pro-consul in Ephesus to renounce their faith; they refused and were sentenced to die. Legend says that they were walled up in their hiding cave, guarded by the dog Al Rakim; when the cave wall was breached in 479 – they all woke up!
It is likely that the youths were tortured to death in various ways and buried in the cave. The resurrection story confusion came from the phrase “went to sleep in the Lord” which was used to describe the death of Christians and 479 is when their relics were discovered. Their names were Constantinus, Dionysius, Joannes, Malchus, Martinianus, Maximianus and Serapion. They were martyred in 250 in Ephesus (in modern Turkey); tradition says that they were walled up in a cave to suffocate but other records indicate that they were tortured to death in various ways. Their relics discovered in 479 and translated to Marseilles, France and enshrined in a large stone coffin.
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