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.
This popular prayer, a favorite of many Catholics, dates back to the 15th century and takes its name from the first Latin word of the prayer, "memorare," which means "remember." The Memorare is of unknown authorship, although it has been attributed to St. Augustine (354-430), St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) and, with more reason, to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (c. 1090-1153). St. Bernard's sermons on Mary were famous, and it was his Cistercian monks in the monastery of Citeaux in the 12th century who popularized the name "Our Lady" for Mary. The Memorare has also been attributed to the French cleric Claude Bernard (1588-1641), known as the "poor priest" of Paris, whose homilies contain passages that echo its words. No matter who wrote this prayer, it was Father Bernard who did much to popularize it, teaching it in hospitals and prisons, where Mary's intercession was effective in working miracles of grace. The first manuscript of the Memorare a…
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:
My life never really went along as planned. When I was a young, unbaptized woman, I wasn’t sure I wanted to get married and I certainly wasn’t going to have children!
After my conversion to the Catholic faith, I got married and we had three children. I was a stay-at-home mom for 25 years when I decided it was time to return to work. I got a job in retail during the Christmas holiday (which nearly killed my Christmas spirit!).
You can read my very first post at CatholicMom.com here.