Our Lady of Saideneida

Our Lady of Saideneida

February 3

Outside of Palestine one of the most famous sanctuaries of the Mother of God in the Levant was at a convent of Orthodox nuns, - Dair as-Sagura, located within the walls of an ancient fortress on a hill near Damascus. The Middle Ages were certainly a time of faith, and there were many images of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, and various saints that were produced for the edification of the people. Inflamed with a true zeal for the faith, and anxious to give glory to God, there were many shrines all over Europe, many of which are now long forgotten in our age when the world struggles mightily to extinguish the light of Christ.

The origins of the shrine of Our Lady of Saideneida are no longer known, but it goes back to a time long before the separation of the Orthodox Church from Old Rome. In fact, there is a tradition that associates the shrine to at least the time of the Roman Emperor Justinian I (d565). The icon, called Our Lady of Saideneida, was said to have been brought to its home outside Damascus in the year 870, from either Constantinople or Jerusalem. The shrine was formerly well known in the West, where from about 1200 it was popularized by the stories of miracles that were related of the veneration of the image. In our own time the shrine has become all but forgotten, as there is almost no reference to it to be found anywhere. If anyone has more information on this shrine, please send it to me for publication on this site. Thank you.

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