24 July 2010

Society's Patronal Feast Day of Our Lady of Oxford

Today - the Saturday before the fourth Sunday in July - is the feast of Our Lady of Oxford and is the patronal Feast Day of the Newman Society. The image of Our Lady of Oxford depicts the Madonna under the title Mater Miserecordiae ('Mother of Mercy') and is enshrined in a chapel at the Oxford Oratory.

The image was originally brought from Rome by the Newman Society's co-founder, Hartwell de la Garde Grissell (wikipedia article here), who housed it together with his vast collection of relics in a private chapel on the High Street. Upon his death Grissell left the image and relics in trust to the Archdiocese of Birmingham, with the proviso that they be enshrined in a special chapel at St. Aloysius' Church in Oxford. The church's former baptistery was hastily prepared to receive the collection and was opened to the public in 1908. A number of ex voto offerings, including several silver 'miracle hearts', are preserved in the parish and attest to miraculous favours attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Oxford.
The Newman Society was formally dedicated to Our Lady of Oxford by Cardinal George Pell on 7th March 2009. After a Mass said at Our Lady of Oxford's altar the Cardinal consecrated the society to her and placed its members under her special patronage. The photograph on the right shows His Eminence celebrating the Mass.
Click on the images of the prayer card below for information about the indulgences which Blessed Pius IX gave to Our Lady of Oxford and for the special prayer to her: O Blessed Virgin Mary, whom we venerate in this thy Sanctuary under the sweet title of Mother of Mercy: thou who wast of old so loved and honoured in this University and City ...

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