September 16: Our Lady of Good News, Sicily
On the spot where today stand in Palermo the church of Holy Mary, there was once an inn for pilgrims. It is related that a pilgrim wishing to make a fire to warm himself, picked up a piece of old board that was encrusted with dirt. It appeared it had once been used to cover a wall.
The man attacked the board with an axe but could not break it or even chip off a single splinter. He struck it repeatedly at one angle and then another, but it was of no use – he could not even make a mark in the board; it seemed to be held together with invisible bonds.
Astonished, everyone presumed the board must conceal some divine secret, so they cleaned the dirt from it and discovered a painting – an image of Our Lady with the Infant Jesus nestled on her right arm! She was being crowned by two graceful little angels.
The pilgrims lost no time in getting the story of this strange happening to the Archbishop, and he ordered a procession of the clergy to bring the image to his palace. The Archbishop himself cleaned the board further and as he worked, the features of the Mother and Child became clearer and more distinct. The image was placed on the altar of the archbishop’s palace and venerated with deep affection by all the people. This marked the beginning of miracles; the fame of which flowed out not only through Sicily, but through all of Italy. A confraternity was instituted and with the gifts of the faithful, a church was erected for the Queen of Heaven.
One time while Pignatelli, the Viceroy of Sicily early in the 16th century, was going to the church, a messenger who had traveled far, come to him. Pignatelli called out, “Do you bring good news?”
“The very best,” answered the messenger. Hearing this, Pignatelli dismounted and took the letters from the messenger, and entered the church to read them.
The Viceroy and the whole court had been in great anxiety because the Emperor of the Saracens – their principal enemy – had moved many troops from Africa against the Christian army and naval forces. The news that the letters contained was that the Saracens had withdrawn and peace negotiations had been successful.
So, the Viceroy having received such happy news about the Saracens’ threat, paid thanks to the Queen of Heaven; then the Viceroy said to all present, “This church that has the name of Holy Mary, will in the future be known as Holy Mary of Good News, because within it such good news has been received.” Thus he ordered and thus the church was named, and the image became Our Lady of Good News.
Our Lady of Good News.
*from The Woman in Orbit
Do you have a great story? Have You Visited This Shrine? Share it!
Pelayo's resistance initiated the nearly 800-year-long Reconquista to take back his country from the ruthless invader who had conquered his homeland and sought to erase his culture and his faith. His actions would lay the foundations of a Kingdom for Christ that would eventually reach around the world and spread the Catholic faith to millions of souls. Read more...
Please help us continue to bring high quality books to our readers at the lowest possible price! Click the link below! Thank you!
Now Available!Catholic Vitality Publications presents . . .
Brand new by
Now in paperback!
Battles - Honor - Miracles! This
book is filled with amazing stories of little-known Catholic heroes presenting
spectacles of bravery and valor never exceeded in all the annals of history. read more. . .
Now Available for $18.95
Roman Catholic books currently published by Catholic Vitality Publications:
-the amazing true story of the life of Rodrigo Diaz, El Cid!
Available for only $16.95
- King St. Fernando III, born 100
years to the month after the death of
the Cid. His life was filled with miracles
and many conquests!
Available now for $26.95
Discounts available for bulk
orders and for bookstore
retail sales! Just contact us