Easter Friday – Day Six in the Easter Octave +2021
Notre-Dames de Myans, Savoie / Our Lady of Myans, Savoy, France (1249) – 9 April:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “It is believed that this image, in the year 1249, prevented the thunder, which had already consumed the Town of Saint Andre with sixteen villages, from going farther and was the cause of its stopping at Myans.”
Our Lady of Myans in Savoy, is located on a little hill between Modane and Chambery near the Mont Cenis tunnel. It can be easily recognised, as there is a huge statue of the Blessed Virgin standing atop the Shrine’s belfry. The Shrine has been a pilgrimage site since at least the thirteenth century, and its small ‘Black Virgin’ was an object of the devotion of Saint Francis de Sales.
The foundation of the Shrine is no longer remembered but the Church became famous for a miracle that occurred there in 1248.
On the evening of 24 November of that year, a tremendous earthquake shook the region causing Mont Granier, the tallest mountain of the Chartreuse Massif, to disintegrate into huge boulders, which came crashing down into the valley. Some of these boulders, were the size of a house, and 16 villages were crushed and 5,000 lives lost. The Shurch of Myans, however, was spared, though gigantic boulders were stopped abruptly at the very door of the Church. Some of these boulders can still be seen around the church grounds.
A marvellous answer to prayer occurred in 1534, in favour of Jean Grandis of Savoy, who was on a vessel bound from Genoa to Leghorn. When the ship was threatened during a tempest and seemed likely to sink, Jean Grandis called upon Our Lady of Myans, Queen of Savoy. Battered by the waves, the ship foundered and sank. Jean Grandis was the only survivor. As a gesture of thanksgiving, he travelled barefoot to the Shrine and there placed his ex-voto. It is said to be one of the oldest to survive.
Another miracle attributed to Our Lady of Myans was in favour of the brother of Saint Francis de Sales, Count Louis de Sales, who in 1603 was travelling to the Chateau of Cusy to marry Claudine Philiberte de Pingon. Since there was no bridge in sight, the Count attempted to cross the River Cheran at a place that he thought was shallow and safe. However, the Count was swept away by flood water. Invoking the name of Our Lady of Myans and promising to make a pilgrimage, he was suddenly thrust onto an obstruction that saved his life. The wedding ceremony was conducted on 2 April. The next day, Saint Francis de Sales offered a Mass of thanksgiving in the little Crypt Chapel before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Myans.
The Black Madonna of Myans, venerated in the Crypt (lower church), is a 70cm high wooden statue, representing the seated Virgin. It dates to around the 12 th century . With her left arm, she presents the Child Jesus seated on her knees. Under the stiff folds of the mantle, the detail of the attitudes fades and the Virgin appears to be standing. She is a virgin of majesty . The mantle of the Statue is in fine moiré gold cloth, revealing a dress in silver cloth. The whole forms a royal adornment. The Virgin was crowned on 17 August 1905 by decision of Pope Pius X who delegated, for this purpose, Cardinal Couillé, Prelate of Gauls, Archbishop of Lyon, surrounded by 5 Bishops and more than 20,000 faithful.
The Church was half destroyed during the French Revolution but the Statue was saved and later enshrined again in the restored building, where it was crowned in 1905.
The Sanctuary is particularly resorted to by pilgrimages of men and the image was taken to Rome by a Savoyard pilgrimage for the definition of the Dogma of the Assumption in the year 1950. At the entrance to the choir is evoked the disaster of the landslide of Granier. In the vault of the nave of the lower Church are painted ten unforgettable figures of the Saints and blessed of Savoy and Dauphiné, including St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) and St Louis of Savoy (1462-1508).
In 1855, the steeple, half demolished during the revolution, was raised in its current form to serve as a pedestal for a monumental Statue which crowns its summit. This Statue, executed in Paris by the sculptor Louis Rochet, was inaugurated on 17 October 1855. It is in gilded bronze, measures 5.25m and weighs 3 tons . The Virgin holds the Child Jesus on her left arm, her right arm is extended as if to bless. She wears the ducal crown, emblem of her sovereignty over Savoy. It is draped in the costume of the 13th century, the time of the Granier disaster.
St Acacius of Amida
St Aedesius of Alexandria
Blessed Antony of Pavoni OP (1326-1374) Priest and Martyr
His Life nd Death:
St Casilda of Toledo
St Concessus the Martyr
St Demetrius the Martyr
St Eupsychius of Cappadocia
St Hedda the Abbot
St Heliodorus of Mesopotamia
St Hilary the Martyr
St Hugh of Rouen
Bl James of Padua
Blessed John of Vespignano
Blessed Celestyna (Katarzyna) Faron IHM (1913 – 1942) Virgin Martyr
St Liborius of Le Mans (early 4th century – 397)
St Liborius’ story:
St Madrun of Wales
St Marcellus of Die
Bl Marguerite Rutan
St Maximus of Alexandria
Bl Pierre Camino
Blessed Thomas of Tolentino OFM (c 1255–1321) Martyr
Blessed Thomas’ Life:
Blessed Ubaldo Adimari OSM (c 1245-1315) Priest and Servite Friar
St Waltrude of Mons
Martyrs of Croyland – 9 saints: A group of Benedictine monks martyred by pagan Danes – Agamund, Askega, Egdred, Elfgete, Grimkeld, Sabinus, Swethin, Theodore and Ulric. Croyland Abbey, England.
Martyrs of Masyla: Massylitan Martyrs Group of Christians martyred in Masyla in northwest Africa.
Martyrs of Pannonia: Seven virgin-martyrs in Sirmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia).
Martyrs of Thorney Abbey – 3+ saints: A group of Hermits, hermitesses and monks who lived in or around Thorney Abbey who were martyred together during raids by pagan Danes. We know little more than the names of three – Tancred, Torthred and Tova. 869 by raiders at Thorney Abbey, Cambridgeshire, England.