Mary Page News

March 3, 1998

Mary Page is a link to a variety of information. The items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the myriad ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.

Southern German Pilgrimage Place 1,250 Years Old
Welcome Christ into Your Family

Southern German Pilgrimage Place 1,250 Years Old

The Black Madonna at the Bavarian pilgrimage place, Altötting, receives thousands of visitors every year. This year, 1998, Altötting will celebrate 1,250 years of existence. One hundred years ago, the village became a city. Archeological findings register dwellings up to 6,000 years ago, and, although the Christian traces are not dated, the spot became a Marian shrine of renown in 1489. The foundations of the Marian chapel rest on the octagonal base of an ancient baptismal place from the 8th century. According to the ancient stories, the Marian statue of Our Lady of Altötting was rescued from the ravaging of the church by flame in the year 907.

Historical figures from the 8th century onward loved and cherished Altötting. Charlemagne apparently spent the year 803 there. His great grandson, Karlmann, lived there and laid the cornerstone for the first monastery and a basilica where the current monastery church is located.

The area was later sacked by the Hungarians and laid waste for three hundred years. It became historically important again after the occurrences of miraculous healings. In Bavaria a child that had drowned was restored to life through intercession of the Mother of God. Another, who had been crushed by a wagon, was completely healed. Both miracles took place in 1489 and spread the fame of Altötting. The unbelievable story spread like the wind all over Europe.

Pilgrims began to come from all over Europe. Over 50,000 ex-votos and thanksgiving plaques have been erected at the shrine as a testimony to the help received from Mary's prayer. Although there has been a stormy history involving the Reformation and political intrigue as well, the simple and devote still come to Altötting. The pilgrimages continue up to the present with statistics mentioning well over a million pilgrims each year. The votive plaque depicted to the right, one of many like it, has the inscription: "A sport's accident. Due to a fall, chest and spine fractured and over four months in a cast. By calling on the help of the Mother of God at Altötting, I became well again. A thousand thanks! / Frankfurt/Oder 1.4.1947 / M. Ecker 1970."

We invite you to read more about Altötting and other Black madonna pilgrimage places in our Mary Page meditations resource: Introduction to Black Madonna History.

Source: Paulinus, the weekly of the Diocese of Trier (Treves), Germany, February 22, 1998.

Welcome Christ into Your Families

On February 7, 1998, Pope John Paul II met with families in Rome. On this First Saturday of the month 12,000 people gathered to pray the Rosary with the pope. The following are excerpts from the pope's message to the families.

Source: L'Osservatore Romano, N. 7, February 18, 1998.

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