Friday, April 27, 2012

Mountain Monasteries, Immovable Statues and Canadians

Departament de Premsa i Comunicació de Montserrat

Today in Canada is the feast day of Our Lady of Montserrat. It is located in the Spanish region of Catalonia, and is one of the black Madonnas of Europe. I have no idea what the tie is between Canada and a statue up in a Benedictine monastery in near Barcelona. The origins of the stature are not known, it is believed to have been moved to this region to avoid the invading Saracens in the 8th century. The  Legend of it's discovery takes place in the following century when shepherds discovered it in a cave after witnessing strange lights and angelic singing. They tried to move it to the Cathedral but the statue got too heavy so they just built around it.

I actually had the opportunity to visit the shrine when I was a kid. Lamentably at the time I didn't appreciate my trip to that holy place. I don't even remember if I even saw the statue itself. All I have are vague memories of the windy mountain road you take to get there and the building s of the monastery.

One thing of note is this is the place where St. Ignatius of Loyola transitioned from from physical warrior to spiritual warrior. It was here that he confessed his sins, gave his clothes to the poor and hung his weapons before the altar of the Virgin of Montserrat.

1 comment:

  1. maybe the Canadians thought "Montserrat" was in France????