Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Lady of Madhu

The venerable shrine of Our Lady in Sri Lanka was in the news recently and it has an amazing history. Here are some stirring photos of pilgrims at the shrine from the BBC. More HERE. The Time article is quite compelling. To quote:
The statue had been in grave danger before. In the late 17th century, the Protestant Dutch tried to eradicate the Roman Catholicism brought to the island by the Portuguese. The Virgin Mother had been moved from the shrine then as well and secreted away. In the 21st century, the statue shared the fate of many Sri Lankans, becoming a refugee as it was carried from church to church until July 2008, when it was in a more secure spot. By November, it was once again at the shrine, ready for the outpouring of piety during this year's Feast of the Assumption. Last week, at a corner of the church, people kept filling bags, paper towels and handkerchiefs with earth from a small hole in the ground. The location is where Catholics believe the statue — miraculously hidden in a tree — was rediscovered by a woodcutter following the Dutch persecution.

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