Our Lady of Esquernes
June 11: Our Lady of Esquernes
The shrine of Our Lady of Esquernes lies a half league from Lille, in Flanders, France. This image began to work miracles about the year 1162, and is still greatly venerated for the wonders which Mary continues to work through her intercession.
Legend tells that while the painter responsible for the image of Mary at the above mentioned shrine, was putting forth all his effort and talent to depict the Mother of God as beautiful as might be possible to conceive by the human mind. The Devil tried to intervene. The Virgin suspended the painter in mid-air until the Bishop arrived to pronounce exorcism, and the Evil One molested the painter no further.
*from The Woman in Orbit
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It is known that the Cistercian Order was established by three Benedictine monks in the 11th Century, and that the new order grew rapidly when Saint Bernard joined them. Soon, there were also many convents formed for women, and many of these houses were established in French Flanders. One of those Cistercian convents is still located in Equermes, and it is possible they are related to the image.
“Let all the children of the Catholic Church most dear to Us hear these Our words and, with a more ardent zeal of piety, religion, and love, proceed to worship, invoke, and pray to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, conceived without original sin, and let them fly with entire confidence to this most sweet Mother of Mercy and Grace in all dangers, difficulties, doubts, and fears. For nothing is to be feared, and nothing is to be despaired of under her guidance, under her auspices, under her favor, under her protection, who, bearing towards us a maternal affection, and taking up the business of our salvation is solicitous for the whole human race, and, appointed by God the Queen of Heaven and Earth, and exalted above all the choirs of Angels, and orders of Saints, standing at the right hand of the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, intercedes most powerfully, and obtains what she asks, and cannot be frustrated.”
Pope Pius IX
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