Monday, June 05, 2006

Miraculous images: Maria Roggendorf

This image of the Virgin Mary is venerated in the Austrian village Maria Roggendorf, which has been a place of pilgrimage since the 15th century.

The first sanctuary of Roggendorf was a small chapel, built in 1291. In 1653 the chapel was replaced by a church dedicated to the Virgin's Nativity. When this church was destroyed by a fire in 1695, the Italian Baroque architect Carlo Antonio Carlone was commissioned to build the current sanctuary.

In the 18th century Roggendorf became very famous as a place of pilgrimage. On average, 5000 pilgrims would visit the site on the Virgin's feast days. However, in 1795 the Austrian emperor Joseph II forbid the pilgrimage as part of his secularist policies. The first public pilgrimage after that took place in 1924. Nowadays, the church of Maria Roggendorf is still an important regional shrine. The church has been a Basilica since 1988.


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