CLICK TO WATCH THE VIDEO
Throughout Church history, the Blessed Mother has been appearing to the faithful, demonstrating her motherly care for souls. Church Militant's Martina Moyski talks about one Marian miracle — a set of miracles really — that happened almost 700 years ago in Italy and which continues to this day.
In the winter of 1336, a young woman late in her pregnancy was walking down a lonely road at dusk in northern Italy. Two men began to follow and threaten her, so she ran for protection toward a roadside pillar painted with a picture of Our Lady and the Child Jesus.
"Holy Virgin Mary, help me," the woman prayed.
Fr. Paul John Kalchik, veteran priest: "In our reciting of the Memorare, we put ourselves at the intercession of Our Blessed Mother ... to take care of our needs."
A sudden light shone from the pillar, and Our Lady appeared, waving off the assailants. The trauma of the events brought on the immediate delivery of her child, in the shelter of a patch of blackthorn bushes.
Upon the birth of her child, the new mother experienced yet another sign from Our Lady — the blackthorn bushes circling the area were bursting into bloom in the dead of winter!
Fr. Kalchik: "It's one of those spectacular miracles that just keeps playing out year after year, century after century, in the Church."
Running home with her newborn, she told everyone what happened, and people immediately began making visits to the holy site.
The Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Flowers now stands in this place. The blackthorn bushes still bloom each winter, attracting pilgrims from all over the world who — like the young mother centuries ago — bring their urgent pleas to Our Lady.
The blackthorn blossoms continue to miraculously bloom each year at the site — near the city of Bra — between Dec. 25 and Jan. 15. Botanists and scholars have been unable to explain the phenomenon.