Our Shrines

The History of Our Shrines

  • The Story of St. Peregrine
  • The Shrine of St. Peregrine
  • The Shrine of Our Lady of Happy Delivery
  • The Story of Our Lady of Lourdes
  • The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes

The Story of St. Peregrine
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St. Peregrine was born in Forli, Italy sometime around 1265 AD. Forli was a part of the Papal States and hence governed
by the Pope. During St. Peregrine’s lifetime, Forli stood in staunch opposition to papal authority and many involved in the anti-papal party were associated with the town, including Peregrine’s own family. As a result, the town and its inhabitants found themselves under the heavy church penalty of interdict – the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments were prohibited within the city.

A pivotal moment came when St. Philip Benizi was sent to call the city’s inhabitants to reconciliation and penance so that the interdict could be removed. Peregrine was present during one of St. Philip’s speeches and heckled him throughout his preaching. At one point Peregrine’s anti-papal fervor overcame him and he struck St. Philip. Legend has it that at that moment Peregrine’s life changed forever. He experienced a true sense of metanoia and began to channel his fervor into performing good works. Peregrine went on to eventually join the Servants of Mary, of which St. Philip Benizi was the Prior General. He professed his vows in the Servite Priory in Siena, Italy when he was roughly 30 years old.
speregrine_paintPeregrine eventually returned to Forli, where he would spend the remainder of his life dedicating himself to the sick, the poor and those on the fringe of society. He imposed a special penance on himself – to stand whenever it was unnecessary to sit – the result of which led to varicose veins that went on to become an open, weeping sore on his leg. By the age of 60, the wound would be diagnosed as cancer and his leg was scheduled to be amputated by the local surgeon.

Faced with the impending loss of his leg, Peregrine went to the priory chapter room the night before his scheduled amputation and prayed before an image of the crucified Christ. He entered into a deep trance-like state in which he envisioned Christ leaving the cross before him and touching his cancerous leg. When Peregrine awakened from his trance-like prayer state the wound on his leg had healed and was cancer free.

Peregrine went on to live another 20 years in which he continued his ministry to the poor and suffering. He died on May 1, 1345 at the age of 80. He was canonized a Saint nearly 400 years later on December 27, 1726. St. Peregrine is the Patron Saint of those who suffer from cancer and the Patron Saint of Forli, Italy.

The Shrine of St. Peregrinesperegrine

Resurrection of Our Lord maintains a Shrine to St. Peregrine in its upper Church. It is located on the south transept to the right of the St. Joseph altar. The statue was donated by parishioners Marion and Edward McNicholas in the late 1950s. Edward’s sister had died in December 1955 from cancer. She bore a great devotion to St. Peregrine. Then in 1956, Edward and Marion’s son, Edward, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma – a malignant tumor affecting nerves in his leg – when he was merely one and a half years old. Following an operation, Edward’s parents were informed that the tumor was too large and that his death would only be a matter of time.

The McNicholas’ sought out a second pediatric surgeon who agreed to operate again on their son. He warned both parents that Edward would only have a one percent chance of surviving the surgery and if he did, he would most likely never walk again.

The McNicholas’ decided to proceed with the surgery. After visiting their son at the hospital one Sunday, they stopped at the Carmelite Monastery to ask the cloistered nuns to pray for their son. Their son went on to not only survive the surgery, but retained his ability to walk. While Edward was recovering and improving, his father spoke with then pastor, Father Curran, and asked if he could donate a statue of St. Peregrine to the Church. Father Curran agreed and so our parish Shrine of St. Peregrine was created. Today Edward is the proud father of three sons of his own.

Click here, for Prayers and Devotions to St. Peregrine viewable in Adobe Acrobat.

The Order of Friar Servants of Mary maintain the National Shrine of St. Peregrine. Prayer cards and novenas to St. Peregrine may be ordered through the National Shrine. Prayers and petitions may be sent to the National Shrine which will be remembered in a weekly Mass. For more details visit the link above.


The Shrine of Our Lady of Happy Delivery

In 1936, under the auspices of the Pious Union of Christian Mothers, a beautiful statue was presented to Resurrection of Our Lord Church, known as Our Lady of Happy Delivery. A shrine was created for the statue in the original Church and was dedicated on the feast of the Immaculate Conception that same year. Rev. Msgr. Francis X. Wastl, rector of St. John the Evangelist in South Philadelphia, officiated the dedication. The shrine remained a permanent fixture in the former Church until it was relocated in 1958 to the newly built Church. It now finds its home in the lower Church.
OLHD-1webThe Pious Union of Christian Mothers, a third class sodality organization, was established at Lille, France in 1850. It was composed of Catholic mothers who dedicated themselves to bring up their children according to the will of God and under the direction of the Church. It had its seat in Our Lady of Sion Church (Notre Dame des Champs), located in Paris. In 1863 a confraternity was founded in Rome in the Church of St. Augustine. Fr. Thomas J. F. Ryan affiliated Resurrection of Our Lord’s Sodality with the confraternity in Rome in the late 1930s.

Aside from the connection with the Confraternity of Christian Mothers in Rome, very little is known about the origin of the statue. It would seem that that information has been lost to time. However, it is common knowledge among parishioners that there are only two such statues in existence. Whether there are only two such statues in the United States or the World is a matter of debate. Many thought that the second statue was that of Our Lady of Happy Delivery & Plentiful Milk, more commonly known as Our Lady of La Leche, found in St. Augustine, FL. Our Lady of La Leche Shrine in St. Augustine dates back to the late 16th Century when the Spaniards arrived in Florida. The Shrine in St. Augustine bears the honored distinction of being the oldest Marian Shrine in the United States. However, there is no connection between our shrine and that of Our Lady of La Leche in St. Augustine.

Our Lady of La Leche depicts Mary nursing the infant Jesus. The Shrine receives the prayerful devotions of expectant mothers from around the world. As you can see from the picture depicting our shrine, Mary bears a more regal stature and Jesus is depicted as a child, not as a nursing infant. The mistaken association is most likely due to some rather odd coincidences. As mentioned earlier, the statue was presented by the Pious Union of Christian Mothers, who were affiliated with St. Augustine Church in Rome. One can see how a mistaken connection could be made to the shrine in St. Augustine, FL, that is associated with motherhood.

Adding to the mystery is the fact that St. Augustine Church in Rome bears an equally venerated and ancient statue known as the Madonna del Parto, i.e., the Madonna of the Delivery. The statue was sculpted in 1518 by Jacopo Tatti, more commonly known as Jacopo Sansovino. The church also bears the relics of St. Monica, patroness of the Confraternity of Christian Mothers. It has been suggested that our statue is a unique piece based upon the shrine in St. Augustine, Rome. There are also several shrines in France. Among them are the Notre Dame de Deliverance and Notre Dame de Bonne Deliverance, just to name a few, that bear similar features to our shrine, yet they too are remarkably different.

The one thing the Madonna del Parto, the shrines in France, and our shrine have in common is that the “Delivery” deals with delivery from travails, worry, trouble, evil, persecution, etc. as opposed to safe delivery in childbirth, and motherhood. Our statue is truly a remarkable shrine to behold, as it is a life-sized rendition of Mary and the child Jesus. As for the second statue…the search continues. Hopefully its location will one day be found and the mystery as to the origin of our shrine will be solved.

Prayer to of Our Lady of Happy Delivery

Most holy Virgin, Mother of the Incarnate Word,
dispenser of graces and refuge of us
miserable sinners, we have recourse with lively
faith to thy maternal love, and ask of thee the
grace always to do the will of God and thy will.
We place our hearts in thy most holy hands,
and request of thee health of soul and of body.
Firmly trusting that thou, our most loving Mother,
will hear us, with lively faith we say:Thou who wast a Virgin before thy delivery, pray for us.Hail Mary, etc.

Thou who wast a Virgin in thy delivery, pray for us.

Hail Mary, etc.

Thou who wast a Virgin after thy delivery, pray for us.

Hail Mary, etc.

(100 days once a day to those reciting the above Invocations and Hail Mary’s
S. C. of Indulgences, May 20, 1893)
Nihil obstat: Rev. Joseph A. M. Quigley, J.C.D., Censor
Imprimatur: Dennis Cardinal Dougherty, Archbishop of Philadelphia


The Story of Our Lady of Lourdes

bernadette1The story of Our Lady of Lourdes begins with a 14-year-old peasant girl by the name of Marie-Bernarde Soubirous, more commonly known as Bernadette. One day while out with friends in search of some firewood, Bernadette came to a natural grotto in Massabielle Rock, located in Lourdes. It was there, on February 11, 1858, that she had her first of 18 visions of the Blessed Mother. Bernadette’s visions caused quite a stir among the local populace. Many began to accompany her to the grotto as word spread. By the sixth time Our Lady had appeared to Bernadette, there were upwards of a hundred people accompanying her to the grotto hoping to catch a glimpse of what Bernadette would describe as a “woman lovelier than any I have ever seen.” Unfortunately, Bernadette was the only one privy to the visions. Naturally this created some skepticism regarding her claims, especially from the local clergy.

 

During the third appearance of Our Lady to Bernadette on February 18, Bernadette had been told by the local clergy to obtain the woman’s name. When asked, the beautiful “Lady in White” refused saying, “that is not necessary.” Our Lady then asked Bernadette to come to the grotto every day “for a fortnight” and in return Bernadette would was promised happiness in her next life.

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During the ninth apparition on February 25, the Lady told Bernadette to “Go and rink from the spring and wash yourself in it.” The only thing was there was no spring. Bernadette then began to dig at the ground in the grotto and there water began to pour forth filling the hole she had dug. She managed to swallow some of the muddy water and wash her face as she had been directed to do by Our Lady. The water produced from the hole Bernadette had dug would eventually produce clear flowing water; water which remains flowing to this day.

The spring is noted for its curative properties. The very first miracle cure attributed to the spring occurred on March 1, 1858, a mere four days after the spring came into existence. A local woman by the name of Catherine Latapie recovered the use of her paralyzed had after washing it in the waters of the spring. It has been estimated that over 4000 cures had been obtained at Lourdes within the first 50 years of the spring’s existence. Today, the Bureau des Constatations Medicales, in Lourdes is responsible for documenting reported cures attributed to the spring.
bernadette3On March 2, following the twelfth apparition, Bernadette went to see the local parish priest, Father Peyramale, with a message from Our Lady. “Let the people come in procession and let a chapel be built here.” Father Peyramale refused, as he did not believe in the visions. Bernadette remained persistent in her request and so Father Peyramale bid Bernadette to obtain the woman’s name. Again the Lady did not reveal her name, but Bernadette continued to plea the Lady’s request for a chapel. Father Peyramale remained just as persistent in his demand that the Lady reveal her name. In fact, he went as far as to demand that the Lady make the rosebush as the grotto bloom as proof that the visions were real. It was not until March 25, during the sixteenth appearance of Our Lady to Bernadette, that she finally revealed her name. Bernadette awoke early that morning feeling compelled to visit the grotto at five in the morning. The Lady revealed her name after Bernadette asked her the third time during her visit that morning. Bernadette immediately reported to Father Peyramale what she had heard, “Que soy ere Immaculada Councepciou” – “I am the Immaculate Conception.” It was then that Father Peyramale became a believer for Pope Pius IX had just declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception four years earlier and there was no way that Bernadette would have been exposed to knowledge of such dogma given her lack of education. When asked by Father Peyramale if she knew what her name meant, Bernadette replied, “No, but I kept saying the name to myself all the way here” so that she would not forget.bernadette2

By now, the grotto was drawing nearly 8000 pilgrims and the local authorities were worried about the seer volume of people so they boarded up the grotto. When Our Lady made her final appearance to Bernadette on July 16, 1858, Bernadette had to go to the opposite bank of the river that boarders the grotto where she met Our Lady for the last time.

Bernadette would later go on to join Saint Gildard’s Covent in Nevers on July 7, 1866. There she dedicated herself to her duties with great tenacity and humility. Despite battling several serious and life threatening illnesses and being treated twice as hard as other novices by the convent’s mistress of novices, Bernadette would go on to profess her vows on October 30, 1867. She remained at the convent serving primarily as a nurse in the infirmary until ill health rendered her bedridden for the last two years of her life. She died on April 16, 1879. On September 9, 1909, Pope Pius X, as part of the procedure for canonization to sainthood, had Bernadette’s body exhumed where it was found preserved intact. Bernadette would go on to be canonized a saint by the Church in 1933. Her feast day is April 16.
As for Our Lady…Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and Mass in commemoration of the apparition making the appearance a local feast day. In 1907, Pope Pius X would elevate the observance of this feast day to the entire Church. The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is now celebrated throughout the world on February 11. Millions of pilgrims travel each year to the Basilica and Church that were built at Massabielle where the grotto is located, as per Our Lady’s request.


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Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine

Pictured to the left is our parish shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes, featuring Our Lady, Bernadette, and the infamous spring in the grotto. The statues are slightly smaller than life-size. It is located in our lower church in the south transept.