Mary of the Nettles

Q: Could you explain the feast and image of Mary of the Nettles?

A: The title and veneration of the image date back to the middle of the fifteenth century. The legend tells that a pious couple found the image in Heilbronn in a bed of stinging nettles. As they made the attempt to remove the picture from this unworthy spot, a voice was heard: "Leave me in this spot! You will not be able to carry me away; here, divine power will prove itself through many signs of might and miracles of healing on behalf of mortal beings."

The image drew an ever-growing number of pilgrims so that in 1444 the city of Heilbronn built a pilgrimage church and entrusted its care to the Carmelites. Due to the reformation, the church was destroyed and the picture of grace was taken to a different church. In 1661, the image was again placed into a church of the Carmelites, this time in Straubing, diocese of Regensburg. In 1703 the people of Straubing, following the example of Duke Maximilian, entrusted themselves to the "Mother of Nettles".

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