Madonna dei Miracoli / Holy Mary of Miracles, Morbio Inferiore, Ticino, Switzerland (1594) and Memorials of the Saints – 29 July

Madonna dei Miracoli / Holy Mary of Miracles, Morbio Inferiore, Ticino, Switzerland (1594) – 29 July:

Where the Sanctuary of Morbio now stands, a castle stood centuries ago, attested in 1198 and destroyed in the first half of the sixteenth century. Only the ruins of a Chapel, dedicated to St Bernardino of Siena, transformed over time into a pile of rubble, buried by weeds, brambles and thorns., remained. Surrounded by ivy and fortunately well preserved, remained the Fresco in the Chapel, depicting the Virgin with the Child.
The history of the Sanctuary of Holy Mary of Miracles began on 29 July 1594. It was a Friday when the two mothers with their daughters, Catherine and Angela , respectively ten and seven years old, travelled to Morbio to entreat the assistance of Fr Gaspare Basbetrini. They were sick girls, tormented by the devil and had travelledp to Morbio, to ask for the blessing of Don Gaspare Barberini, the assistant Priest at Morbio, who was well-known as an Exorcist.
However, sadly for the pilgrims, Fr Basbetrini was absent. To the tiredness of the journey and the sadness of illness, the bitterness of disappointment was added. Among the ruins of the ancient castle the little group of supplicants waited and discovered on the crumbling and crumbling walls, the faded remains of a fresco depicting the Virgin in a deeply maternal position nursing Baby Jesus.
The two mothers knelt before the Virgin with their daughters and prayed in deep sadness and devotion for the intercession of the Holy Mother to come to the aid of the sick children.
And then the miracle happened. Those two poor simple and innocent creatures were cured. This is Morbio’s miracle – the Madonna appeared to the two little girls and cureds them of all their illnesses, dispelling any demonic presence within them.
Our Lady spoke to the elder girl, Catherine and instructed her to tell the Bishop that the Church should be rebuilt and that the Holy Rosary must be said everyday.
Eight days after the event, on 5 August 1594, the episcopal curia of Como, whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction also extended to the southern regions of Ticino, instructed the regular canonical process, which recognized , upon the sworn deposition of the main eyewitnesses, the truth of what happened and their prodigious and supernatural nature.
A stained-glass window, located at the top of the apse and placed at the beginning of this century, illustrates and reminds those who enter the Sanctuary of this miracle. Catherine is depicted on a ladder, with her arms outstretched, listening in front of the image of the Madonna dei Miracoli. At the foot of the ladder, Angela, the other sick girl, is lying asleep.

In a short while an Oratory was built on the site to recite the Rosary and celebrate Mass there, as the Madonna had said to Catherine, while on 29 July 1595, the Anniversary of the apparition and the miracle, the first stone was blessed and laid for the construction of the Sanctuary, Consecrated on 16 May 1631 by the Bishop of Como, Msgr Filippo Archinti.

St Martha (Memorial) – Sister of Saint Lazarus and Saint Mary of Bethany. Friend of Jesus and hostess to Him in her house. May have been part of an early mission to France.
St Martha:
More on St Martha here:

St Antony
St Beatrix of Rome
Bl Beatrix of Valfleury
St Callinicus of Paphlagonia
Bl Charles-Antoine-Nicolas Ancel
St Faustinus of Rome
St Faustinus of Spello
St Felix of Rome
St John Baptist Luo Tingyin
St John the Soldier
Bl José Calasanz Marqués
St Joseph Zhang
St Kilian of Inishcaltra
St Lek Sirdani
Bl Luis Bertran
St Lupus of Troyes
Bl Mancius of the Cross
St Martha Wang
St Olaf II
St Olaus of Sweden
St Paulus Chen Changpin
Bl Petrus of Saint Mary
St Pjetër Çuni
St Prosper of Orleans
St Rufo of Rome
St Seraphina
St Serapia of Syria
St Simplicius of Rome
St Sulian

Blessed Pope Urban II (c 1035-1099) Bishop of Rome from 1088 until his death, Carthusian Abbot, Confessor,

St William Pinchon of Saint Brieuc (1180-1234) Bishop of Saint Brieuc, Confessor

Four Anonymous Martyrs

Martyrs of Calanda – 8 beati: A group of Dominican priests and friars who were martyred over the course of a day in the same town by the same group of anti-Christian forces in the Spanish Civil War.
• Antonio Manuel López Couceiro
• Felicísimo Díez González
• Gumersindo Soto Barros
• Lamberto María de Navascués de Juan
• Lucio Martínez Mancebo
• Matías Manuel Albert Ginés
• Saturio Rey Robles
• Tirso Manrique Melero
They were martyred on 29 July 1936 in Calanda, Teruel, Spain I.

Martyrs of Lleida – 12 beati: Carmelites of the Ancient Observance novices, friars and priests who were all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Àngel Prat Hostench
• Eliseo Maneus Besalduch
• Gabriel Escoto Ruiz
• Ginés Garre Egea
• Joan Maria Puigmitjà Rubió
• Joan Prat Colldecarrera
• Josep Solé Rovira
• Lluis Fontdecava Quiroga
• Manuel Serrano Buj
• Miquel Soler Sala
• Pere Dorca Coromina
• Pere Ferrer Marín
They were martyred on 29 July 1936 in Clot dels Aubens, Cervera, Lleida, Spain and
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Bartolomé Rodríguez Soria

Martyrs of Rome – 23 saints
Flora the Martyr

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 July – Blessed Pope Urban II (c 1035-1099) Bishop

Saint of the Day – 29 July – Blessed Pope Urban II (c 1035-1099) Bishop, Pope, Abbot, Confessor – born Odo of Châtillon or Otho de Lagery, was Pope from 12 March 1088 to his death in 1099.   Born at Lagery, France and died on 29 July 1099 in Rome, Italy of natural causes.Papst Urban II. / Gem.v.Zurbaran - Pope Urban II / Zurbaran / 163-/35 - Pape Urbain II / Peint. de Zurbaran

Urban II was a native of France.   He was a descendant of a noble family in Châtillon-sur-Marne.   Reims was the nearby cathedral school that Urban, at that time Eudes, began his studies at 1050, under St Bruno O.Cart. (c 1030 -1101), afterwards founder of the Carthusians.  Otho later became canon and archdeacon at Reims.

About 1070 he retired to Cluny and was professed there under the abbot St Hugh.   After holding the office of prior, he was sent by St Hugh to Rome as one of the monks asked for by Gregory VII.   Otho was of great assistance to Gregory in the difficult task of reforming the Church.   (2 images below are St Bruno with Pope Urban).Saint Bruno at the Feet of Pope Urban II Artwork by Eustache Le SueurFrancisco de Zurbarán - La visita de San Bruno y el Papa Urbano II

On 12 March, 1088, he was unanimously elected Bishop of Rome, taking the title of Urban II.   His first act was to proclaim his election to the world and to exhort the princes and bishops who had been loyal to Gregory to continue in their allegiance.   Urban declared his intention of following the policy and example of his great predecessor – “all that he rejected, I reject, what he condemned I condemn, what he loved I embrace, what he considered as Catholic, I confirm and approve”.bl urban II

Due to issue with the Normans, Urban was unable to stay in Rome.   He went to Sicily instead and Southern Italy.   There was also an antipope in Rome.   Eventually, the troops of pope and antipope met in a desperate encounter which lasted three days, with Urban’s troops winning and Urban returned to Rome.   Urban was again expelled from Rome by Emperor Henry IV.   For three years he was compelled to wander in exile about southern Italy.   He spent the time holding councils and improving the character of ecclesiastical discipline.

Urban also started dealing with a Crusade request during a council held at Piacenza.   The Eastern Emperor, Alexius I, had sent an embassy to the pope asking for help against the Seljuk Turks who were a serious menace to the Empire of Constantinople.   Urban succeeded in inducing many of those present to promise to help Alexius but no definite step was taken till a few months later, when he summoned the most famous of his councils, that at Clermont in Auvergne.   The council met in November, 1095 – thirteen archbishops, two hundred and twenty-five bishops and over ninety abbots answered the pope’s summons.   The synod met in the Church of Notre-Dame du Port and began by reiterating the Gregorian Decrees against simony, investiture and clerical marriage.council of clermont bl pope urban II.jpg

Thousands of nobles and knights had met together for the council.   It was decided that an army of horse and foot should march to rescue Jerusalem and the Churches of Asia from the Saracens.   A plenary indulgence was granted to all who should undertake the journey pro sola devotione and further to help the movement, the Truce of God was extended and the property of those who had taken the cross was to be looked upon as sacred.

Coming forth from the church the pope addressed the immense multitude.   He used his wonderful gifts of eloquence to the utmost, depicting the captivity of the Sacred City where Christ had suffered and diedArtgate_Fondazione_Cariplo_-_Hayez_Francesco,_Papa_Urbano_II_sulla_piazza_di_Clermont_predica_la_prima_crociata.jpg

“Let them turn their weapons dripping with the blood of their brothers against the enemy of the Christian Faith.   Let them, oppressors of orphans and widows, murderers and violators of churches, robbers of the property of others, vultures drawn by the scent of battle, let them hasten, if they love their souls, under their captain Christ to the rescue of Sion.”bl urban II statue.jpg

In October, 1098, the pope held a council at Bari with the intention of reconciling the Greeks and Latins on the question of the filioque “and from the Son”.   One hundred and eighty bishops attended, amongst whom was St Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) Doctor of the Church.   The close of November saw the pope again in Rome; it was his final return to the city.   Here he held his last council in April, 1099.   Once more he raised his eloquent voice on behalf of the Crusades and many responded to his call.   On 15 July, 1099, Jerusalem fell before the attack of the crusaders but Urban did not live to hear the news.

He died in the house of Pierleone which had so often given him shelter.   His remains could not be buried in the Lateran because of the antipope’s followers who were still in the city but were conveyed to the crypt of St Peter’s where they were interred close to the tomb of Adrian I.   Guibert of Nogent asserts that miracles were wrought at the tomb of Urban, who appears as a saint in many of the Martyrologies.   Thus there seems to have been a cult of Urban II from the time of his death, though the feast (29 July) has never been extended to the Universal Church.

Amongst the figures painted in the apse of the oratory built by Calixtus II in the Lateran Palace is that of Urban II with the words sanctus Urbanus secundus beneath it.   The head is crowned by a square nimbus and the pope is represented at the feet of Our Lady.  The formal act of Beatification did not take place till the pontificate of Leo XIII.   The cause was introduced by Mgr Langenieux, Archbishop of Reims, in 1878 and after it had gone through the various stages the decision was given by Leo XIII on 14 July 1881.Bl_Urban_II2.jpg