Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Our Lady of Aberdeen

On Saturday 9th July, Scotland celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Aberdeen. Not so long ago we had a community in Aberdeen and thus I have a few words about this feast. 

The website “The moving story of the statue of Our Lady of Aberdeen” gives us plenty. It tells us that the story of this small wooden statue is a fascinating tale of survival. It was made from oak in Aberdeen in the early 1500s, was placed in St Machar’s Cathedral in Aberdeen. It was known as Our Lady of Pity. Bishop Gavin Dunbar (Bishop of Aberdeen from 1518 to 1532) wanted a bridge over the river Dee. However, where to put it? He prayed to Our Lady and in a vision was given the exact location. It was completed in 1527 and it is still there. 

During the Reformation the statue was moved from place to place for safekeeping. However, the persecution became more intense and it was decided that the only way to ensure its survival was to send it abroad. Several miracles occurred to get it eventually to Isabella, the Governor of the Spanish Netherlands. She lived in Brussels, where the statue is today under the title of “Notre Dame du Bob Succes” – Isabella having successfully won the battle against the Dutch United Provinces! 

Like Isabella and all the others involved with this statue let us turn in confidence to Our Lady for her powerful intercession for whatever battles we are facing! 

Fr Piet Wijngaard, O.Carm.

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