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Rosary Day 28: Our Lady of Altötting in Germany

Our Lady of Altötting in Germany

Sergey Fedoskin | Shutterstock

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 05/28/21

Today’s intention: For the Holy Father, bishops, presbyters, and deacons.

During the month of May, the Church around the world is joining in a daily Rosary for the intention of the end of the pandemic, as well as a specific intention related to the various victims of the virus.

Each day of the month, a different shrine will lead the daily Rosary, according to local practice.

The beginning and the end of the Rosary Marathon (May 1 and May 31) are led by Pope Francis.

See below to follow the list of the Shrines.

Watch the Rosary live at 6 p.m. Rome time (12 noon EDT) by clicking here. The video screen at the top will go live at the designated time.


Day 28 intention: For the Holy Father, bishops, presbyters, and deacons

For today’s Rosary Relay, we will be at a place beloved by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Our Lady of Altötting in Germany.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Altötting, also known as the Chapel of Grace (German: Gnadenkapelle), is the national shrine of Bavaria. Benedict was born in a nearby town, and considers the shrine his “spiritual homeland.”

The octagonal chapel that houses the image of the Virgin is the oldest Marian shrine in Germany, dating back to 660. The image is also ancient, possibly from around 1330. It is one of the images known as a Black Madonna, because of the dark color of the figures’ faces and hands.

The image is of Our Lady holding the Christ Child, and is about 26 inches high. Mary holds a scepter with a lily blossom in her left hand. The Child Jesus rests on her right arm and has a sphere representing his power as God.

Since the 1500s, the images have been richly decorated with crowns and robes bedecked in jewels.

A miraculous recovery in 1489 further popularized the shrine. A young boy who had been drowned recovered, after his mother laid his body before the image and prayed for a miracle. Many other miracles are attributed to Our Lady of Altötting’s intercession.

A saint is also associated with the shrine. Read his story below:

Shortly after his election as pope, in September 2006, Benedict XVI visited the shrine and left there the episcopal ring he had worn as archbishop of Munich. The ring is an amethyst set in gold, given him by his two siblings on the occasion of his episcopal ordination in Munich in 1977. It now forms part of Our Lady’s scepter.

In his homily at a Mass he celebrated at the site, Benedict soffered this reflection:

Mary leaves everything to the Lord’s judgment. At Nazareth she gave over her will, immersing it in the will of God: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). And this continues to be her fundamental attitude. This is how she teaches us to pray: not by seeking to assert before God our own will and our own desires, however important they may be, however reasonable they might appear to us, but rather to bring them before him and to let him decide what he intends to do. From Mary we learn graciousness and readiness to help, but we also learn humility and generosity in accepting God’s will, in the confident conviction that, whatever it may be, it will be our, and my own, true good.

The region around Altötting has a pilgrimage walking path dubbed the Benedict Trail, connecting the places where Pope Benedict XVI spent his childhood and youth.

Rosary Relay for Pandemic

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