Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Westrozebeke / Our Lady of Westrozebeke, Staden, West Flanders, Belgium (1482) – 26 November, Third Sunday of June:
On 26 November 1382, opposing armies camped around the Village of Westrozebeke: rebels recently victorious in Ghent vs. Louis II, King of Flanders and French troops brought in to help him. The residents congregated at a forest Chapel to beg the Virgin’s help. At the battle the next day, the rebels fled after their leader was killed. Afterward, a red silk thread encircling the area the King’s forces had occupied, with seven knots equally spaced along it and crosses where the ends met, was discovered – this was interpreted as a sign of the Virgin’s protection. The silk thread was soon distributed for relics and in its place, eight Chapels were built – seven to honour each of Mary’s Sorrows, where the knots had lain and a larger one to honour the Holy Cross. In 1384, Louis II’s son-in-law Philip II of Burgundy, instituted an annual procession and Mass in thanksgiving for the victory.
Many pilgrims sought out the circuit of eight Chapels and the help of Our Lady of Roosebeke (“rosy stream“), especially sufferers from the streptococcal skin infection erysipelas, known as St Anthony’s fire in English but as wondroos (“rosy wound“) in Dutch. And they continued to frequent the old forest Chapel of Our Lady of the Fountain, near a spring with waters believed to cure eye diseases.
The annual pilgrimage continued for centuries. The faithful from the Provincial Capital of Bruges, brought new clothes for Our Lady’s Statue, while those from Menen, to the south, came in thanksgiving for their deliverance from an epidemic in the early 1500s.
In 1566, iconoclasts destroyed the Statue. Believers installed a new one in 1584.
During World War I, another miracle came to light. In 1916, when Germans torpedoed the ferry “Sussex” as it crossed the English Channel toward France, sailors from Westrozebeke prayed to Our Lady and were spared. But their Village was not so fortunate: it was destroyed during the war. Our Lady’s beloved Statue, which had been moved away for safekeeping, returned afterwards and was installed in the new Church of St Bavo on 13 June1924.
Now part of the Municipality of Staden, Westrozebeke holds a 10-day festival in July, starting on the third Sunday, when firemen throw roses from the Church tower. The religious portion culminates in Our Lady’s Pageant on the following Saturday, with a procession and Mass in St Bavo’s Church, where roses encircle the Statue of Our Lady.
Bl Albert of Haigerloch
St Alypius Stylites
St Amator of Autun
St Basolus of Verzy
St Bellinus of Padua
St Bertger of Herzfeld
St Conrad of Constance
St Ðaminh Nguyen Van Xuyên
Bl Delphine of Glandèves
St Egelwine of Athelney
Blessed Gaetana Sterni (1827-1889) Widow, Religious, Founder of the Sisters of Divine Will.
Bl Giacomo Alberione
Bl Hugh Taylor
St Humilis of Bisignano
St Ida of Cologne
St James the Hermit
St Leonard of Port Maurice OFM (1676-1751) Priest and Friar of the Friars Minor, Confessor, Preacher – in particular Parish Mission Preacher, Ascetic Writer, Spiritual Director.
About St Leonard:
St Peter of Alexandria (Died 311) Martyr, “The Seal of the Martyrs” Bishop of Alexandria. Tradition attests that the Egyptian Bishop, St Peter, was the last believer to suffer death at the hands of Roman imperial authorities for his faith in Christ. Hence the title “The Seal of the Martyrs.”
His Life and Death:
St Magnance of Ste-Magnance
St Marcellus of Nicomedia
Bl Marmaduke Bowes
St Martin of Arades
St Nicon of Sparta
Bl Pontius of Faucigny
St Sabaudus of Trier
St Siricius, Pope
St Sylvester Gozzolini OSB Silv. (1177– 1267) Priest, Abbot, Founder
St Tôma Ðinh Viet Du
Martyrs of Alexandria – 7+ saints: A group of approximately 650 Christian priests, bishops and laity martyred together in the persecution of Maximian Galerius. We have the names and a few details only seven of them – Ammonius, Didius, Faustus, Hesychius, Pachomius, Phileas and Theodore. The were born in Egypt and were martyred there in c 311 in Alexandria, Egypt.
Martyrs of Capua – 7 saints: A group of seven Christians martyred together. The only details about them to survive are the names – Ammonius, Cassianus, Felicissimus, Nicander, Romana, Saturnin and Serenus. They were martyred in Capua, Campania, Italy, date unknown.
Martyrs of Nicomedia – 6 saints: A group of six orthodox Christians martyred by Arians. Few details have survived except their names – Marcellus, Melisus, Numerius, Peter, Serenusa and Victorinus. Martyred in 349 in Nicomedia, Bithynia, Asia Minor (modern Izmit, Turkey).