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Miraculous Icons (1300 - 1399 A.D.)

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ca. 1300

Mount Phileremos (Greece)

Title: Our Lady of Phileremos (icon)
Visionary: rich man

When the Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem were driven from the Holy Land by the Muslims, they eventually emigrated to the island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean in the early 14th century. There they found, on Mount Phileremos, a chapel dedicated to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Phileremos. Within the chapel was an ancient icon said to have painted by St. Luke the Evangelist. The founder of the chapel had been a rich man, who climbed up the hill to a place where the ancient Phoenicians had built a temple to one of their solar divinities, which lay in ruins. For reasons unknown to us, he climbed the hill to commit suicide. There, on this hill he was ready to kill himself when "a Lady, all bathed in white light," appeared to him; and by the gentleness of her smile and the imparting of heavenly grace, the man had a complete change of heart. Converted and repentant, he chose to live on the spot where Our Lady appeared to him. And here it was that he built a chapel in her honor and enthroned in a place of veneration the icon of Our Lady that he had brought from Jerusalem.

Veneration of the icon spread quickly over the island and the population used to visit it piously. Its fame as a wonder-working image became well known all over the Aegean. As soon as the Knights arrived, they became very devoted to Our Lady of Phileremos, whose name became their war cry. They built a large monastery next to the chapel and two new chapels were added to the sanctuary by Grand Master, Pierre D’Aubusson after the siege of 1480, in thanksgiving to Our Lady of Phileremos from preserving them from the Muslim attackers. When, at length, they were finally forced off the island by the Muslims, they took their "most precious possession" with them. When the departing fleet got under way, with only a few surviving Knights aboard, no standard was hung, except one banner on the ship of the Grand Master, the banner of Our Lady of Phileremos, with these simple words: "In my misfortune, you are my hope."



Laurignano (Italy)

Visionary: Simone Adami, a blind beggar

The blind Simone Adami, sleeping near a spring, had heard these words of the Virgin Mary in a dream: "Wash in the fount and see." He woke up, washed and was able to see. Later, in the nearby grove, located between the walls of an ancient Byzantine chapel that she wanted to see rebuilt. He found a picture of the Madonna resembling that seen in the dream.The building was built, then later destroyed by earthquake.

See also Laurignano 1831.

Sources: Dictionary of the Apparitions of the Virgin Mary; Gamba 199, 387.


Brabant (Belgium)

Title: Our Lady of Sichem (Palestine) / Our Lady of Montaigu (Belgium) (statue)
Feast Day: January 3rd

The shrine in Brabant in the duchy of Louvain, is a replacement of the one below Mount Garizim, Israel. Hadrian restored the temple on Mount Garizim and dedicated it to Jupiter. A small Christian community settled there; and on several occasions they suffered greatly at the hands of the Samaritians. In 474 the emperor, to avenge an unjust attack on the sect, gave Mount Garizim to the Christians, who built on it a church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. After the Mohammedan conquest, Christianity practically disappeared from the district. The French made amends by erecting a shrine to Mary in the duchy of Louvain. The ancient statue of Our Lady of Sichem, or as Our Lady of 'Montaigu', which is the title more commonly used today, has been venerated in Belgium from very early times. The Mother of God rewarded the faithful magnanimously for their pious attention. According to legend, a shepherd boy originally found the statue of Our Lady after it had apparently fallen from a niche cut in an old oak tree. The statue was mysteriously too heavy for him to lift alone, so he ran to find his master, and have him return to help him replace the statue in its place in the old oak.

It is said that in 1306 the Blessed Virgin Mary moved the hearts of the people by causing four drops of blood to flow from the eyes of the statue dedicated to her. This revived the faith of the people and increased their fervor. A small chapel was built beneath the tree, which was rebuilt in 1602, and the dedication of Our Lady of Sichem took place in the year 1604 by the Archbishop of Mechlin, Mathias Hovius. From that time forward there were many miracles as Our Lady seemed to demonstrate her appreciation by granting many favors. The statue was soon venerated as miraculous, and there have been many pilgrimages to the site during the centuries, continuing even until this day.

Source: Roman Catholic Saints


Maria-Thal (Czechoslovakia)

Visionary: A blind beggar (statue)

A blind beggar, who prayed in the woods of Thal in 1313, heard a voice coming from the sky, from which he could learn that an ancient statue of the Madonna could be found in the nearby spring. The voice promised healing as soon as he had washed eyes in the spring. The beggar went to the spot, washed his eyes and soon regained his sight, then pulled the statue from the spring and placed it on a wooden stand where it was venerated by many of the faithful.

Later we learned the origin of the statue: a fellow hermit St. Gerard, who was the first bishop of Csanad (one of the first bishoprics created around the year one thousand - currently in Romania - at that time still under the reign of King Stephen), was carved in lime wood this statue of Mary. It had long been a cult object and then was hidden from persecution in the spring. King Louis built in 1377 a convent and the church where he had placed this statue of the Madonna in a shrine. Under the reign of Joseph II (1786) the Order was dissolved and pilgrimages remained active. The church was run by secular priests. In 1930, during the celebration of the 900th anniversary of the statue of Blessed Virgin Mary, the bishop of Thyrnau celebrated its coronation.



Montserrat (Spain)

Visionary: A mother
Title: Our Lady of Montserrat

A mother whose son had been imprisoned by the Muslims went on pilgrimage to Our Lady of Montserrat. Then, according to legend, Mary appeared and said: "Stop complaining and crying! You will see your son soon." Indeed, after a few days, the child returned and told his mother the Virgin Mary had appeared, had miraculously dissolved chains and sent him on his way. The tradition of pilgrimage to Montserrat dates back to ancient times: from the eighth century, many hermits on this mountain had withdrawn to lead an ascetic life, and since the ninth century, pilgrims have visited the ancient chapel. Around 1000, Abbot Oliva founded a monastery adjoining the church, convent currently primarily Spanish Benedictine Province. The multi-colored wooden statue of the Black Virgin, patron saint of Castile, was created in the twelfth century and every year is the object of devotion by more than half a million pilgrims.

Source: Ernst 1989, 36 and Gamba 1999, 288


Cáceres (Spain)

Title: Our Lady of Guadalupe
Visionary: Gil Cordero (shepherd)

Legend says that in 1326, near the Guadalupe river in Cacerces, Spain, cowherd Gil Cordero experienced an apparition of the Virgin Mary who directed him to a miraculous buried statue given to Spain from Pope Gregory the Great 600 years prior.

More about this apparition >>


Leon (Spain)

Visionary: Canon Regular
Title: Nuestra Senora de Regla (statue)

According to the legend, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a Canon Regular and ordered him to uncover a statue buried five hundred years, which would was carved by St. Augustine and carried by Hippolytus in Spain. The wooden statue Madonna then found by Canon, was venerated under the name Nuestra Senora de Regla.



Estremoz (Portugal)

Visionary: St. Elizabeth of Portugal (1270-1336)

St. Elizabeth of Portugal (1270-1336), daughter of Pedro of Aragon and granddaughter of St. Elizabeth of Thuringia, married King Denis of Portugal. Widowed in 1325, she entered the Franciscan convent of Santa Clara at Coimbra, and worked fervently for the next years on the founding of convents, churches and hospitals for children and poor also tried to restore peace between her son and the king of Castile.

Shortly before his death, she saw Mary as the wonderful "Queen of Heaven", and then asked "Mother of mercy" to be prepared for a holy death. Elizabeth was beatified in 1516 and canonized in 1625.


Pistoia (Tuscany)

Visionary: a sick girl

The Holy Virgin Mary appeared to a sick girl and requested that she go to the Augustinian priest to tell him of the apparition and spread her message in his Lenten sermons. The Mother of God left her and to provide proof of this apparition, her image was imprinted on the wall in the room. The girl recovered and performed her task. In 1348 a chapel was built to venerate this image.

May 15, 1345

Montenero-Leghorn (Levora), Italy

crippled shepherd boy

At Montenero-Leghorn (Levora), just south of Pisa in the Tuscany region of Italy, Our Lady is venerated for the miraculous appearance of her image to a crippled shepherd boy on the side of the mountain on May 15, 1345.* A voice asked him to take the picture to the top of the mountain. Because of his physical condition, he wavered but was told not to worry. He struggled to fulfill his mission, and when he reached the top he stopped to gather his strength. It was at that point that he felt a strange tingling in his leg. He rose as a new person and ran to tell his parents carrying the crutch he no longer needed.
There are many wondrous stories of Our Lady of Montenero and many miraculous events attributed to her. Tradition also says that it was through her intercession that the city was saved from the devastation of an earthquake on January 27, 1472. Then there was the miraculous wind that saved the city from invasion launched by Emperor Maximilian I in 1496 and her deliverance of the city from a plague in 1720. In thanksgiving for the latter, all the Leghorn Bills of Health down through the year 1859 bore the image of the Madonna of Montenero. She is also credited with saving St. Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionists, whose ship was floundering off the coast as he made his way to Pisa in 1750.
The shrine of Our Lady atop the mountain looking down on Leghorn is a very popular pilgrimage destination. Especially attracted to the shine are young, unmarried women who, on the eves of Marian feast days, cast garlands of flowers before her solitarily unique and engrossing image. The painting depicts the Blessed Mother seated with the Jesus on her left knee. A small bird rests on her right forearm singing. (Also see the title Virgin with Garland.)

Source: Santoro, Nicholas. Mary In Our Life, Atlas of the Names and Titles of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and Their Place In Mar…



Visionary: Ludwig I, King of Hungary (1342-1382)

Ludwig I, King of Hungary (1342-1382), was a fervent devotee of Mary. In 1363, the Kingdom of Hungary was seriously threatened by an army of two hundred thousand Tatars. Louis, feeling lost in front of the imminent danger, turned to a portrait of the Madonna and prayed constantly to help his kingdom, then suddenly fell into a deep sleep where he dreamed that Mary took the portrait from the table and placed it on his chest. Upon awakening, Louis, finding himself with the image of Mary on his chest, realized that the dream was to reality.

Also in this dream, the Blessed Virgin had made a recommendation to erect a chapel in her devotion in Styria (Austria). Inspired by this vision, King Louis fought strongly and fearlessly against the mighty Tartar army. It reported a wonderful and incredible victory, then attributed the miraculous intervention of Madonna.

In gratitude for the narrow escape, Louis went on pilgrimage among Styrian mountains to fulfill a vow. Next to an old church, where a statue of Mary was venerated, he built an exquisite chapel to Mary. The church was built in ancient Roman style in 1200 by King Henry Vladislav of Moravia in gratitude for healing from a serious illness; it was placed inside the Our Lady of linden wood carved by Magnus Monaco. From building the chapel, gift of King Louis, "Mary Help of Christians (Mariazell Styria) before invoked as "Mother of the Slav peoples," was considered by Hungarian as their sanctuary and became a national goal of imposing pilgrimages. To commemorate this most memorable victory, King Louis erected right on the spot where the Mother of God appeared to him in Slovakia the church of "Mary Help of Christians." This church contains a copy of the statue of Mariazell.

See also: Mariazell (1157)



Kosslarn (Germany)

Visionary: The Count of Ortenberg (statue)

The Count of Ortenberg encountered a swamp and reached that point where his horse would not go any further. The count went down to examine his horse and discovered a wooden statue of Mary. The carved statuette displayed miraculous properties and soon attracted many sick people that went before it in prayer for healing. Around 1400, a chapel was built where it was placed miraculous statue.


Czestechowa (Poland)

Miraculous image

Title: Jasna Gora

A image of the 8th century, of the type of the paitning ofthe Virgin by St. Luke, that was transported from Jerusalem to Byzantium by Emperor Constantine, was offered to a Pauline monk at a local monastery, a place called Jasna Gora ("clear the hill" or "light"), where he lived for two years. In 1430, the Hussites sacked the shrine and scarred the icon, which broke into three pieces. In 1523, after a restoration attempt failed due to reactions between the paints, a new work was made, cut at the same places to preserve the memory of the accident. Pilgrims venerate this current copy. In 1764, the Polish Diet decreed eternal gratitude of Poland to the Virgin Mary. Experts think that the original icon of Byzantine origin, dates back to a period between sixth and ninth century (Aucremanne 134). And the shrine of Czestochowa, Poland's national pilgrimage. In 1994 more than four million people from many countries went to view the icon. At that time, 2,610 miraculous interventions were attributed to the Virgin at that place. John Paul II visited six times.

Source: Dictionary of Apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Laurentin p. 193;


Segovia (Spain)

Visionary: shepherd

Mary appeared to a shepherd and asked him to ask the local bishop to dig up an icon. The bishop listened to the shepherd and the portrait was found. Indeed, in the place indicated by the shepherd, had been buried in ancient times a original first-century Christian wooden portrait of Mother of God on the throne. Queen Catherine of Castile erected a shrine that is maintained by the Dominicans.

Source: Dictionary of Apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Laurentin p. 703; Ernst, 1989, 41, Gamba, 1999, 293.


Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)

Visionary: shepherd
Title: Virgen de la Candelaria
Feast Day: February 2

According to tradition, the Virgin appeared in 1392 to two aboriginal Guanches who shepherded his flock, who, on reaching the mouth of a gully, they noticed that the cattle did not advance, as if something from going through. To see what was the matter, one of the pastors came forward and saw a rock atop a wooden image about a meter high of a woman. Porta a candle in his left hand and carrying a child on his right arm. The boy had in his hands a golden bird.

The history of this title is linked intimately to the history of the Canary Islands , especially the island of its appearance, Tenerife . No agreement on the year of the appearance, but the majority opinion is that it appeared in the mouth of the ravine Chimisay, municipality canary of Guimaras , 95 years before the conquest of Tenerife , ie appear from 1392 to 1401 . It is therefore the first Marian apparition in the Canaries. Fray Alonso de Espinosa described the history in 1594 .

According to the legend told by Fray Alonso de Espinosa, were two pastors Guanches to enclose their cattle to the caves when they noticed that the cattle were swirling and would not go. Seeking the cause looked toward the mouth of the Barranco de Chimisay and saw on a rock, almost to the sea, the figure of a woman who believed animated. As men were forbidden to speak or approach women in the wilderness, they made signs to withdraw in order to pass the cattle. But want to execute the action, the arm is stiff and motionless stood. The other pastor wanted to hurt her with his knife. But instead of hurting her, was wounded the same. Frightened, the two pastors fled Chinguaro , cave-palace mencey Acaymo to refer what happened. The mencey came with their counselors. She did not answer but no one dared to touch her. The mencey decided that these two pastors were injured and those who collect for transport to the palace. They, in contact with the image, they were healed. The mencey realized that this woman with a child in her arms was something supernatural. The same king then wanted to take it in his arms, but after a stretch, by weight, needed to call for help. Thus, in place of the apparition's now a cross and where the relief requested mencey, a shrine to Nuestra. Señora del Socorro.

Staging of the apparition of the Virgin in El Socorro beach, Guimaras. She was taken to a cave near the king's palace now converted into a chapel . Later a young man named Anton, who had been taken into slavery by the Spaniards and had managed to escape and return to their island, recognized in the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary . He, having been baptized he told the court mencey faith and his Christian that he was holding. Just came to know Mary as "Mother of the Sustainer of heaven and earth" ( Guanche : Achoron Guayaxerax Axmayex Achaman or Chaxiraxi ) and transferred to the Cave of Achbinico (behind the present Basilica of Candelaria ) for public veneration.

Source: Wikipedia

Eve of the Ascension 1395

Garaballa (Spain)

Visionary: shepherd

A young shepherd saw a bright light illuminating a tree. As he approached he found a statue of Mary among the branches.

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