Each day of the month, a different shrine will lead the daily Rosary, according to local practice. The beginning and the end of the Rosary Marathon (May 1 and May 31) are led by Pope Francis. For today’s Rosary Relay, we will be at a place beloved by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Our Lady of Altötting in Germany.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Altötting, also known as the Chapel of Grace (German: Gnadenkapelle), is the national shrine of Bavaria. Benedict was born in a nearby town, and considers the shrine his “spiritual homeland.”
The octagonal chapel that houses the image of the Virgin is the oldest Marian shrine in Germany, dating back to 660. The image is also ancient, possibly from around 1330. It is one of the images known as a Black Madonna, because of the dark color of the figures’ faces and hands.
Since the 1500s, the images have been richly decorated with crowns and robes bedecked in jewels.
A miraculous recovery in 1489 further popularized the shrine. A young boy who had been drowned recovered, after his mother laid his body before the image and prayed for a miracle. Many other miracles are attributed to Our Lady of Altötting’s intercession." (Aletea)
It was moving to say the Rosary at the Shrine of Our Lady of Altötting, prayed and sung with such devotion, simplicity and beauty.