Mary the Mother of Mercy, Chapel of the Gates of Dawn in Vilnius, Lithuania
The rizas (robes), or revetments, of gilded silver, are in three separate pieces. The gown of Our Lady is embellished with flowers, in a reference to Our Lady as a ‘hortus conclusus’ or walled garden. Many miracles have taken place after veneration of the painting – and about 8,000 votive offerings have been presented to the chapel, including the silver crescent moon at the base of the painting. The painting is believed to be of Polish origin and, unusually, represents Our Lady without the Infant Christ. The statues on either side of the painting are of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin. The chapel is an important place of pilgrimage in Lithuania and was visited by Blessed John Paul II in 1993.
In the third week of November every year – in 2012, from 11th to 18th of November, the Indulgenced Feast of the Merciful Mother of God at the Gates of Dawn takes place in Vilnius. The general prayer intention for the indulgenced octave is “To be brave witnesses of faith in the contemporary world”. The octave is centered around the Feast of the Holy Virgin Mary of the Gates of Dawn, the Mother of God’s Mercy on November 16th and is the most important feast in the Archdiocese of Vilnius.
I recently received the gift of tickets to see Andre Rieu. The concert isn’t scheduled for another six months so I've stored the tickets away until I need them. Imagine if I lose them!
Or if I forget I even had them! I will never experience the true joy the gift was intended to bring me. Nor could I genuinely show appreciation to my generous gift giver. God has provided us with spiritual gifts with which to live the spiritual life.
Over the next 7 months, the 10 Minute Daily Retreat will reflect on 7 of these gifts; one every month.
In June, we will reflect on the gift of Wisdom.
'Don't turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you.' Proverbs 4:6 Join us on our journey! Reflections can be sent by email. Details on:
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Note: In each of the above you will find an alternative First Reading, Responsorial Psalm and Second Reading that may be used in Year C. The Gospel below is always used in Year C. Gospel Luke 3: 15-16, 21-22 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition) As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bod…
The saint of the day is St. Etheldreda (also known as: Audrey, Ethelreda, Æthelthryth, Edilthride, Ediltrudis, Edeltrude), a widow and a Benedictine nun. She was born in Exning, Suffolk, England and died at Ely, 679.
To her friends and family, this once most famous female Anglo-Saxon saint was Etheldreda. To poor people she was Audrey, and the word "tawdry" originally came from the cheap necklaces that were sold on the feast of Saint Audrey and which were believed to cure illness of the throat and neck. This was because Etheldreda had suffered from neck cancer, which she attributed to divine punishment because she was once vain enough to wear a costly necklace. She had a huge tumor on her neck when she died, but, according the Saint Bede, when her tomb was opened by her sister Saint Sexburga, her successor as abbess at Ely Abbey, ten (or 16) years after her death, her body was found incorrupt and the tumor had healed.
Etheldreda was a woman of noble birth, the daughter of K…