medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Dear list,
Hoping this is not unacceptably post-medieval, I offer – in the spirit of our saints of the day – a brief account of a St Patrick's Day (i.e. today, 17 March) miracle.  It happened in Hungary, in the Cathedral of Györ, yet the story is predictably Irish in character.  When Oliver Cromwell invaded Ireland in 1649, many Catholic churchmen were imprisoned, including Walter Lynch, the bishop of Clonfert.  In 1652 he managed to escape and went to Belgium, taking with him an image of the Virgin and Child that had long hung in Clonfert Cathedral.  The rather popular source I'm taking this from is unclear about whether it was already, at that time, considered a miraculous image, but if not, it was soon to be so considered.  Bishop Lynch's wanderings with his holy picture took him to Portugal, and finally to Hungary, to Györ, where the bishop of Györ appointed him his vicar general.  On his death, Lynch bequeathed the image of the Virgin to the bishop of Györ.  My source seems to imply, though, that it had already been displayed for a long time in the cathedral, where it remains to this day, known, apparently, as the Irish Madonna of Hungary.  In 1697, the sufferings of Irish Catholics worsened when Parliament passed an edict ordering the expulsion of all priests from Ireland and the British Isles, and the establishment of the National Ireland Church.  The Irish Madonna of Hungary must have been taking note, for on 17 March 1697, St Patrick's Day, the eyes of the Virgin in the picture began to weep bloodstained tears.  There were many witnesses, and priests took turns wiping the face of the Madonna with a linen cloth.  Among the witnesses, in fact, who testified that they saw this miracle were Catholics, Calvinists, Lutherans and a Jewish rabbi!  Both the image and a blood-stained cloth that was used to wipe away her tears are still preserved in the Cathedral of Györ. 
Jim Bugslag
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