10 Shrines around the world dedicated to Our Lady
1. Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, Vailankanni, Tamil Nadu, India:
The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, also known as Sanctuary of Our Lady of Vailankanni, is a Marian Shrine located in the town of Vailankanni in Tamil Nadu, India. Devotion to Our Lady of Health Vailankanni can be traced back to the mid 16th century, attributed to 3 separate miracles believed by devotees to have been worked at the site: the apparition of Blessed Mary and the Christ Child to a slumbering shepherd boy, the healing of a handicapped buttermilk vendor, and the rescue of Portuguese sailors from a deadly sea storm.
Initially, a simple and modest chapel was built by the Portuguese in Goa and Bombay-Bassein, soon after they washed ashore safely in spite of a severe tempest. More than 500 years later, a 9-day-long festival is still celebrated and draws nearly 5 million pilgrims each year. The place has been called "the Lourdes of the East", because it is one of the most frequented pilgrimage centers in South Asia.
To know more, click here: Our Lady of Good Health Vailankanni
2. Notre Dame de Paris in Paris, France:
Notre-Dame de Paris, referred to simply as Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité (an island in the Seine River), in the 4th arrondissement of Paris.
The cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Several of its attributes set it apart from the earlier Romanesque style, particularly its pioneering use of the rib vault and flying buttress, its enormous and colourful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration.
Construction of the Cathedral began in 1163 under bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely completed by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the centuries that followed. In the 1790s, during the French Revolution, Notre-Dame suffered extensive desecration; much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. In the 19th century, the coronation of Napoleon I and the funerals of many of the French Republic's presidents took place at the cathedral.
3. Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth:
The Church of the Annunciation, sometimes also referred to as the Basilica of the Annunciation, is a Catholic church in Nazareth, in northern Israel. It was established over what Catholic tradition holds to be the site of the house of the Virgin Mary, and where the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced that she would conceive and bear the Son of God, Jesus – an event known as the Annunciation.
The church was established at the site where, according to one tradition, the Annunciation took place. Another tradition, based on the apocryphal Gospel of James, holds that this event commenced while Mary was drawing water from a local spring in Nazareth, and the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation was erected at that alternate site.
4. Shrine of St. Mary, in Aachen Cathedral, Germany:
The Marienschrein (Shrine of Mary) in Aachen Cathedral is a reliquary, donated on the order of the chapter of Mary around 1220 and consecrated in 1239. Along with the Karlsschrein, the artwork, which is from the transitional period between romanesque and gothic, is among the most important goldsmith works of the thirteenth century.
The shrine serves as the container of the four great contact relics and objects of pilgrimage in Aachen Cathedral. The relics include: the swaddling clothes and loin cloth of Jesus, the dress of Mary and the decapitation cloth of John the Baptist, which have been shown to the congregation and to pilgrims participating in the Aachen pilgrimage every seven years since plague struck in 1349. Until the nineteenth century, it was also the container for the Noli me tangere casket, a silver-gilt casket with mysterious contents.
5. The Church of the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, in the garden of Gethsemane, in Jerusalem:
Church of the Sepulchre of Mother Mary, also Tomb of the Virgin Mary , is a Christian tomb in the Kidron Valley – at the foot of Mount of Olives, in Jerusalem – believed by Eastern Christians to be the burial place of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
The Sacred tradition of Eastern Christianity teaches that the Virgin Mary died a natural death , like any human being; that her soul was received by Christ upon death; and that her body was resurrected on the third day after her repose, at which time she was taken up, soul and body, into heaven in anticipation of the general resurrection. Her tomb, according to this teaching, was found empty on the third day.
Roman Catholic teaching holds that Mary was "assumed" into heaven in bodily form, the Assumption; the question of whether or not Mary actually underwent physical death remains open in the Catholic view. On 25 June 1997 Pope John Paul II said that Mary experienced natural death prior to her assumption into heaven.
6. National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom, Vallarpadam, Kerela, India:
The National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom aka Vallarpadam Basilica located in Vallarpadam, a suburb in Ernakulam, in the city of Kochi, is a minor Basilica and a major Christian pilgrimage centre in India. Around 5 million people visit the Basilica every year. It is the most important Marian Shrine in India. People from all parts of the world irrespective of caste or creed go to the church to seek the blessings of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, popularly known as "Vallarpadathamma".
The Roman Catholic Church has raised the historic Marian pilgrimage destination on the Vallarpadam Island to the status of a National Pilgrim Centre. The documents related to the raising of the status of the Our Lady of Ransom Church on the island were handed over recently[when?] to the Archbishop of Varappuzha Daniel Acharuparampil by the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo.
7. Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompei, Pompei, Campania, Italy:
The Pontifical Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompei, is a Roman Catholic cathedral, Marian pontifical shrine and minor basilica commissioned by Bartolo Longo, located in Pompei, Italy. It is the see of the Territorial Prelature of Pompei.
Bartolo Longo started restoring a church in disrepair in October 1873 and promoted a festival in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. In 1875, Longo obtained a painting of Our Lady of the Rosary from a convent in Naples and raised funds to restore the image so as to locate it in the church.
Miracles began to be reported and pilgrims began flocking in droves to the church. Three hundred people of the area pledged a penny a month for the work. Bartolo Longo was encouraged by Giuseppe Formisano, Bishop of Nola, to begin the construction of a larger church—the cornerstone being laid on the 8 May 1876. The church was consecrated on the 7 May 1891 by Cardinal Raffaele Monaco La Valletta, representing Pope Leo XIII.
8. National Marian Shrine, Mariamabad, Pakistan:
The National Marian Shrine in Mariamabad, Sheikhupura District, Pakistan is a National Shrine and the site of an annual pilgrimage for the September 8 feast of the birth of Mary. This event has been taking place since 1949. Mariamabad means city of Mary in the Urdu language.
Mariamabad has existed for over a century making it one of Pakistan's oldest Catholic settlements. Located about 80 km from Punjab's capital of Lahore, it covers an area of 835 hectares (2000 acres) and has become the destination for over one million pilgrims a year.
Mariamabad began in 1892. Observing the misery and oppression of the newly converted Christians in the district of Sialkot, Capuchin Bp Emmanuel Van Den Bosch purchased 150 acres (0.61 km2) of government land for 650,000 rupees (US$29,545) for Christians to live and work on. In January 1893, a 'Long march' of six days (170 km) led by Capuchin fathers Godefroid Pelckmans and another, took three christian families to the new land baptized ‘Maryabad’ (today 'Mariamabad'), in Punjab. This event compared to the Biblical exodus has a particular significance in the history of the local Christian community.
Pilgrims travel by foot, bullock carts, bicycles, buses and trucks to Mariamabad. The shrine also houses the Church of St. Mary and St. Joseph established by Belgian Capuchins on December 8, 1898.
A prominent feature of the shrine is the Marian grotto on a hill where a three-and-a-half-meter statue of Mary stands.
9. Mariazell Basilica, Mariazell, Styria, Austria:
Mariazell Basilica, also known as Basilica Mariä Geburt (Basilica of the Birth of the Virgin Mary), is a Roman Catholic church building in Mariazell, Austria. It is the most important pilgrimage destination in Austria and one of the most visited shrines in Europe. In the church, a miraculous wooden image of the Virgin Mary is venerated.
Pope Pius X personally raised the sanctuary to the status of a minor basilica by a Motu proprio in 10 November 1907. Later, he ensured the coronation of the Marian image by a decree on 8 September 1908. Mariazell is the only church named as a national shrine of all German-speaking countries.
The territory around Mariazell was given to St. Lambert's Abbey around 1103, and the monks built a cell in order to serve the local residents. Tradtion gives the town's founding day as December 21, 1157, but it is first documented in 1243. A Marian altar was dedicated in 1266.
10. Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana, Copacabana, Bolivia:
The Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana is a 17th-century Spanish colonial shrine that houses the image of the Virgen de Copacabana. It is located in the town of Copacabana, Bolivia on the shores of Lake Titicaca near the Altiplano region. Our Lady of Copacabana is the patron saint of Bolivia.
The current building was built between 1669 and 1679 by the Spaniard architect Francisco Jiménez de Siguenza replacing a small former church. It was originally administered by the Augustinians.
Constructed at the foot of a small steep hill, sacred to the Inca and known as the Temple of Sun, it remains as one of the two principal sacred places of importance to the indigenous peoples and Catholics alike. The other is the Virgin of Urkupiña near Cochabamba, Bolivia.
April 2013 robbery:
In the early hours of Monday, 22 April 2013, the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana was robbed and the image of the Virgen de Copacabana was stripped of her gold and silver accessories. Initial reports indicate that twenty-eight items, including the sculpture of the baby Jesus, were removed from the Virgen de Copacabana by thieves who entered the building using a ladder stolen from a nearby telecommunications station.