Feast of the Black Nazarene, 9 January:
The Black Nazarene is a blackened, life-sized wooden icon of Jesus Christ carrying a cross. It was constructed in Mexico in the early 17th century by an Aztec carpenter. Spanish Augustinian Recollect friar missionaries to Manila, Philippines originally brought the icon to Manila in 1606. The transport ship caught fire, burning the icon but the locals kept the charred statue. Miracles, especially healings, have been reported in its presence. The church in which it stood burned down around it in 1791 and 1929, was destroyed by earthquakes in 1645 and 1863 and was damaged during bombing in 1945. It used to be carried through the streets every January and Christians would rub cloths on it to make healing relics but centuries of this treatment have left the statue in bad shape and since 1998 a replica is paraded at the feast day celebrations. In 1650, Pope Innocent X issued a papal bull which canonically established the Cofradia de Jesús Nazareno to encourage devotion. In the 19th century Pope Pius VII granted indulgences to those who piously pray before the image. Patronage: Quiapo, Philippines.
Our Lady of Mercy of Absam/Our Lady of Clemency (Austria) – 9 January:
The shrine is probably the only one in the world where Our Lady’s shrine is enclosed in glass. It dates from the late 18th century.
On a dark snowy day in 1797, Rosina Bucher, a young girl of the village of Absam near Innsbruck, was sitting by the window sewing in her farmhouse. It was between three and four in the afternoon and the light was just beginning to fade. Rosina looked up and saw a face in the window pane. She looked closely, not sure that she saw clearly and finally called her mother.
Others, including the Parish Priest, were called in to observe the strange happening. All agreed that it was a face, the face of the Mother of Sorrows. It was turned slightly and there was a strange expression on it.
The window was made up of several small panes of glass quite dark in colour. They removed the pane of glass with the picture on it, which was on the inside of the double window. After they had examined the glass, it was sent to experts in painting and glasswork. Here it was discovered that the face disappeared when water was put on the glass but came back as soon as the glass was dry. They analysed it chemically and could not discover by what process the picture had been placed there.
Rosina’s mother thought it was an omen of trouble. The Parish Priest, on the contrary, felt that Our Lady’s blessing must rest on the house. He asked her to let him have the picture for the Church. It can now be seen at St Mary’s Basilica Absam, which quickly became a popular shrine and the most important site of Marian pilgrimage in the Austrian federal state of Tyrol.
Many miracles have been recorded from the pilgrims who prayed there. The church was raised to the status of a Minor Basilica in June of 2000 by Pope John Paul II due to its popularity as a site of pilgrimage.
Our Lady of Clemency of Absam is still a popular place of pilgrimage but the most popular date is the anniversary of the discovery of the picture, 17 January. On the 17th of each month, there is a celebration of the discovery of the image. The picture is quite small, the size of a small pane of glass. It is not at all pretty and popularly known as Our Lady of Mercy and Clemency of Absam – clemency, because Mary’s heart is filled with love and kindness to those who pray at this shrine and implore her help.
St Adrian of Canterbury (c 635-710)
About St Adrian:
Blessed Alix le Clerc/Teresa of Jesus CND (1576-1622)
St Agatha Yi
Bl Antony Fatati
St Brithwald of Canterbury
St Eustratius of Olympus
Bl Franciscus Yi Bo-Hyeon
St Honorius of Buzancais
Bl Józef Pawlowski
Sts Julian and Basilissa (died c 304) Martyrs
Bl Kazimierz Grelewski
St Marcellinus of Ancona
Bl Martinus In Eon-min
St Paschasia of Dijon
St Peter of Sebaste (c 340-c 391) Bishop
St Philip Berruyer
St Teresa Kim
St Waningus of Fécamp
Martyrs of Africa – 21 saints: A group of 21 Christians murdered together for their faith in the persecutions of Decius. The only details to survive are 14 of their names – Artaxes, Epictetus, Felicitas, Felix, Fortunatus, Jucundus, Pictus, Quietus, Quinctus, Rusticus, Secundus, Sillus, Vincent and Vitalis. They were martyred in c 250.
Martyrs of Antioch – 6 saints: A group of Christians martyred together during the persecutions of Diocletian – Anastasius, Anthony, Basilissa, Celsus, Julian and Marcionilla.