(Jan) 3. Our Lady of Sichem, near Louvain, in the duchy of Brabant. This image is said to have sweated four drops of blood in the year 1306. (Just.
Lips. in hist. Sichem., cap. 5.)
it to enlarge): 19th c., brass wall plaque with Catholic Monarchs Archduke Albert & Isabella of Austria, praying before the miraculous statue of Our
Lady of Sichem, of which they were magnanimous patrons.
"This pilgrimage of Our Lady of Sichem or (also known as Our Lady of Montaigu) traditionally has been very dear to the devout inhabitants of the Low Countries. The miraculous statue had
been originally found on an oak tree, which, growing in the form of a rude cross, had been availingly used as a place of prayer for the sick who obtained relief under its shelter from their pains and evils. The illustrious Catholic
Monarchs, Albert and Isabella, had already built a stone chapel there in place of the old wooden oratory which had protected the statue, and just at this time Sichem was attracting greater crowds even than ever, for the Archdukes
in gratitude for the many favours they obtained there, had begun to build a magnificent church, which was itself to form the shrine, and of which the first stone
was laid in 1609. Abundant miracles and graces were then obtained by the pilgrims to Our Lady of Sichem, nor are they less numerous at the present day. Among the frequent worshippers there at the time of which we write are to be numbered the holy youth, Blessed [now Saint] John Berchmans, whose favourite place of devotion it was in his early years, and the Archdukes themselves. (Source: Adapted from the book, "The Life of Mary Ward in Two Volumes" Vol I, Burns and Oates, 1882 A.D.)
Related Link: Click here to view a circa., early 1900's picture of Catholic pilgrims in procession to the Basilica of Sichem.
Source: "Historical Calendar of the Feasts of the Blessed Virgin,
With the Foundations and Churches Dedicated to Her", from Abbé Orsini's work, "Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God", Imprimatur 1858 A.D.