Vierge Noire de Le Puy
There is a tradition that holds that, while on the way to Palestine to fight in the Crusades, Louis IX, the sainted king of France, was ambushed by the Sultan of Egypt. The young Louis was brought to the Sultan’s palace, where he was kept as the latter’s hostage. To show off the wealth of his lands, the sultan brought Louis to his treasury, which housed the many fabled splendours of Egypt, whose value was truly beyond measure.
It was during this visit that Louis espied a curious statue of a Woman cradling a Child on her lap, black as pitch, ancient as the hoary mysteries of the land.The young king immediately recognized it as the image of the Mother of God— but how to explain its ancientry? The sultan told Louis that he could take any item in the treasury back to France; he insisted on the Black Woman in the gleaming vault, much to the sultan’s consternation.
Jacobus de Vorraigne’s Legenda Aurea recounts an anecdote from the Scholastic History which tells of a visit of the Prophet Jeremias to Egypt, who prophesied to the heathen kings how their mighty kingdom would one day fall and its false gods fall upon their faces when a Virgin conceived a Child. In fear the priests fashioned a statue of a Woman cradling a Child on her lap, venerating it with profane rites in unseen parts of the Temple. Ptolemy reportedly desired to know the meaning of this rite; but the priests could no longer remember the judgment of Jeremias, and could only answer that it was a mystery handed down to them by their forefathers who had received it from “a great and holy man.”
Thus the Black Virgin came to France, and was venerated in the French countryside undisturbed for many years until the Revolution. The old image of the Black Virgin was destroyed and cast into flames. It is said, however, that a piece of parchment fell from a recess in its back just before it succumbed— but what was written in it has been forever lost to history.
What Dante Gets Wrong About Heaven
Beatam me (Mode VI) - Proper for Communion of the Solemnity of the Assumption
Beatam me dicent omnes generationes,
quia fecit mihi magna, qui potens est.
All generations shall call me blessed,
because He who is mighty has done great things for me.
Ave, dulcissima Maria,
vera spes et vita, dulce refrigerium!
O Maria, flos virginum,
ora pro nobis Jesum.
Hail, sweetest Mary,
true hope and life, sweet refreshment!
O Mary, flower of virgins,
pray for us to Jesus.
Today is the feast day of my hero and greatest spiritual friend, St Maximilian Maria Kolbe OFMConv, someone who has never failed to intercede for me when I’ve needed it, and so I celebrate today with much joy! I’ll be praying for all of you, hope you have a blessed day :)