Our Lady of Oropa

October 29: Our Lady of Oropa, Vercelli, Italy (380)

Our Lady of Oropa, near Bielle, in Savoy; this image, of cedar wood, six feet high, is in a chapel, which Saint Eusebius, Bishop of Bercelli, caused to be built, about the year 380; he often retired thither during the troubles caused by the Arians.

The sanctuary of the black Virgin of Oropa, high in the Alps north of Biella, is traditionally associated with Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, who died in 371; but the circumstances of the story are anachronistic. Yet the shrine is certainly an old one, and throughout the Middle Ages was associated with a Community of Canon Regulars.

The vast range of buildings, there today was begun by the dukes of Savoy, early in the seventeenth century, and forms one of the most complete pilgrimage centers in the world (there is even a cinema theater). It is recorded that her in 1895, contemplating the space and beauty of the mountains, Marconi heard the first call to his life’s work.

The black painted cedar-wood statue has been crowned four times, the last time in 1920; the three superimposed diadems (the fourth is represented by a halo of twelve stars) can hardly be said to add to the beauty of the image.

Saint Eusebius who had been exiled into Syria because of his differences with the Arians, died in the year 370. While in exile, the Emperor Constantine permitted him some freedom. Eusebius discovered among some ruins in Jerusalem three statues of Our Lady. On his triumphant return after the Arians had been temporarily overthrown, he gave two of the statues away. The third he kept for himself, placing it in a little hermitage at Oropa which he often visited.

In the 5th and 6thcenturies when Arianism again reared its ugly head, the faithful Catholics took refuge at the shrine of Our Lady of Oropa.

At one time it was decided to transport the statue to another place. As the procession marched along, the statue became so heavy that the men who carried it could not move on. Only when they decided to take Our Lady back to her original shrine at Oropa were they able to move.

The chapel of Our Lady of Oropa is a beautiful one and thousands of pilgrims today make their way there as they have done over the centuries.

The Holy See asked the authorities in 1856 to make a list of the miracles recorded at the shrine. It is long and impressive. Then, as now, Our Lady of Oropa has a way with her Divine Son.

*from The Woman in Orbit

Have A Great Story About This Topic?

Do you have a great story? Have You Visited This Shrine? Share it!

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

 submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

Return to Marian Calendar October from Our Lady of Oropa

Return to Titles of Mary from Our Lady of Oropa

Return to Roman Catholic Saints Home Page from Our Lady of Oropa

  Now Available!

Catholic Vitality Publications presents . . .

Defenders of Christendom

Brand new by

James Fitzhenry

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. . .

Also available:

Catholic Vitality Publications

Roman Catholic books currently published by Catholic Vitality Publications:

El Cid, God's Own Champion

-the amazing true story of the life of Rodrigo Diaz, El Cid!

Buy 2 and Save!

St. Fernando III

A Kingdom for Christ

- 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!

Buy Any Two and Save!
Request author signed copies:

Discounts available for bulk
orders and for bookstore
retail sales! Just contact us