The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe – Patroness of Gibraltar

Shrine of Our Lady Europe Church, Gibraltar

Website of the Sanctuary

350 2007 1230

(October to June): Mondays to Thursdays: 10:00am to 1:00pm & 2.30pm to 6.00pm Fridays: 10.00am to 1.00pm only Saturdays: 11.00am to 1.00pm Sundays & Public Holidays: Closed or as pre-arranged with ourselves. (July to September) Summer hours Mornings only (Mon-Sat) - 10.00am to 1.00pm

The entire European continent was consecrated under the protection of Our Lady of Europe in the early 14th century from the Shrine in Gibraltar where devotion still continues to this day, over 700 years on.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe is a part of European Marian Network.

 History

Moslem troops, led by Tarik Ibn Zayid successfully captured this peninsular (known at the time as Calpe) in AD 710. In honour of his achievement, Calpe was renamed ‘Gibel Tarik’, from where we get the name ‘Gibraltar’: the Mountain of Tarik.

In keeping with their practices, and in thanksgiving to Allah, the Moslem troops built a fortress and constructed a mosque with a minaret at the southernmost part of Gibraltar, located just across from the North African coast.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe - Patroness of Gibraltar

Once consolidated here, they marched into mainland Europe, conquering most of the Iberian Peninsular.

Six hundred years later, in 1309, Spanish King Ferdinand IV captured Gibraltar and expelled the Moslem troops back to Africa.

The King converted the ancient mosque into a Christian Shrine where the first statue of Our Lady of Europe was venerated.

Conscious of its importance, the Moslems recaptured Gibraltar 24 years later in 1333 until Spanish King Henry IV, grandson of Ferdinand IV, recaptured Gibraltar in 1462 and restored the devotion to Our Lady of Europe initiated by Ferdinand, and once again transformed the ancient mosque into a Christian Shrine See more European Catholic Shrines and pilgrimages

There followed a period during which devotion to Our Lady of Europe spread throughout the Mediterranean.

Gibraltar was captured by Anglo-Dutch forces in 1704, during the War of Spanish Succession.

The Shrine was again plundered by the invading troops who stole all the valuables, mutilated the statue of Our Lady, severing her head and throwing the pieces over the cliff. These were later found and salvaged and taken to Algeciras. See top 15 Catholic shrines in the world

The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe - Patroness of Gibraltar

The Shrine remained in military hands until it was returned to the Church on 17th October 1961. The building was in a desperate state of disrepair, having been used as a store room, guard room and prison.

A long process of restoration was ahead, before the statue of Our Lady of Europe and her Shrine were to meet. In time, the Shrine became fully worthy of prayer services.

the eve of his departure to attend the Second Vatican Council in Rome, Bishop Healy, Bishop of Gibraltar at the time, celebrated the Holy Eucharist there. This Mass, celebrated on 28th September 1962, was the first one to be held there for two hundred and fifty eight years.

Bishop Rapallo, who succeeded Bishop Healy, consecrated the Shrine on 5th October 1980. He successfully petitioned Rome to establish Our Lady of Europe as Principal Patroness of Gibraltar, and later to have the feast day of Our Lady of Europe on the 5th May, the same day as the annual Europe Day.

In 1994, the Government of Gibraltar obtained European funding and partly financed the expansion and refurbishment of the Shrine. The Shrine’s simple architecture, though refurbished, maintains some Arabic “mosque” features.

Once works were completed, Bishop Bernard Devlin organised the Enthronement of Our Lady of Europe in her newly embellished Shrine. The Papal Envoy Cardinal Josef Tomko, presided over the outdoor concelebrated Mass and Enthronement ceremony, held on May 10, 1997.

In 2006, Bishop Charles Caruana, who succeeded Bishop Devlin, accepted a proposal that the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe be included in the European Marian Network.

In May 2009 during the 700th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations, Pope Benedict XVI presented the Shrine with the Golden Rose award.

New Statue of Our Lady of Europe

In 1462, Henry IV, grandson of Ferdinand IV, recaptured Gibraltar and restored the devotion initiated by Ferdinand to Our Lady of Europe in 1309.

Since the original stone statue could not be found, he commissioned a new one, this time depicting the Virgin sitting on a chair holding the Child Jesus. This statue was to be venerated at the Shrine.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe - Patroness of Gibraltar

The Shrine was ransacked by Barbarossa’s Turkish pirates in September 1540 and badly mutilated the statue of Our Lady of Europe. It was eventually restored in Seville and brought back to the Shrine.

In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, Anglo-Dutch troops captured Gibraltar. The civilian population, once again left Gibraltar, taking with them the statue of Our Lady which had once again been mutilated.

It was not until 1864 that the statue was returned to Gibraltar, thanks to the efforts of Bishop Scandella, after 160 years ‘in exile’ in Algeciras, Spain.

St. Bernard’s prayer to Our Lady

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary
that never was it known
that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thy intercession
was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To thee I come, before thee I stand,
sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Amen.
Our Lady of Europe, pray for us.
St.Bernard, pray for us.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe - Patroness of Gibraltar

Confraternity of Our Lady of Europe

A Confraternity of Our Lady of Europe was established in the sixteenth century with the objective of disseminating the devotion, raising funds and organising spiritual and social events around the celebrations of Our Lady. The Confraternity played a vital role in restoring the Shrine and the badly mutilated statue of Our Lady of Europe following plundering of the Shrine in the year 1540.

One of the last wishes of the late Bishop Charles Caruana was to see the Confraternity re-established, in line with other National Marian Shrines.

The Confraternity was re-launched in December 2010, by the Shrine’s Rector, Mgr Charles Azzoppardi, on the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

The main aims of the Confraternity are:

  • to promote true devotion to Our Lady (under the title of Our Lady of Europe)
  • to pray for the Continent of Europe
  • to pray for the work of the Shrine and to support the activities at the Shrine
  • to assist financially with the upkeep of the Shrine and its Marian apostolate.

Mass times 

  • Saturdays at midday (noon)
  • Wednesdays evening at 7.00pm

Source:  www.ourladyofeurope.net

Photo credits:

By Gibmetal77 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10354927
By Shrine_of_Our_Lady_of_Europe_in_Gibraltar_(2).jpg, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23263449

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

History

Moslem troops, led by Tarik Ibn Zayid successfully captured this peninsular (known at the time as Calpe) in AD 710. In honour of his achievement, Calpe was renamed ‘Gibel Tarik’, from where we get the name ‘Gibraltar’: the Mountain of Tarik.

In keeping with their practices, and in thanksgiving to Allah, the Moslem troops built a fortress and constructed a mosque with a minaret at the southernmost part of Gibraltar, located just across from the North African coast.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe - Patroness of Gibraltar

Once consolidated here, they marched into mainland Europe, conquering most of the Iberian Peninsular.

Six hundred years later, in 1309, Spanish King Ferdinand IV captured Gibraltar and expelled the Moslem troops back to Africa.

The King converted the ancient mosque into a Christian Shrine where the first statue of Our Lady of Europe was venerated.

Conscious of its importance, the Moslems recaptured Gibraltar 24 years later in 1333 until Spanish King Henry IV, grandson of Ferdinand IV, recaptured Gibraltar in 1462 and restored the devotion to Our Lady of Europe initiated by Ferdinand, and once again transformed the ancient mosque into a Christian Shrine See more European Catholic Shrines and pilgrimages

There followed a period during which devotion to Our Lady of Europe spread throughout the Mediterranean.

Gibraltar was captured by Anglo-Dutch forces in 1704, during the War of Spanish Succession.

The Shrine was again plundered by the invading troops who stole all the valuables, mutilated the statue of Our Lady, severing her head and throwing the pieces over the cliff. These were later found and salvaged and taken to Algeciras. See top 15 Catholic shrines in the world

The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe - Patroness of Gibraltar

The Shrine remained in military hands until it was returned to the Church on 17th October 1961. The building was in a desperate state of disrepair, having been used as a store room, guard room and prison.

A long process of restoration was ahead, before the statue of Our Lady of Europe and her Shrine were to meet. In time, the Shrine became fully worthy of prayer services.

the eve of his departure to attend the Second Vatican Council in Rome, Bishop Healy, Bishop of Gibraltar at the time, celebrated the Holy Eucharist there. This Mass, celebrated on 28th September 1962, was the first one to be held there for two hundred and fifty eight years.

Bishop Rapallo, who succeeded Bishop Healy, consecrated the Shrine on 5th October 1980. He successfully petitioned Rome to establish Our Lady of Europe as Principal Patroness of Gibraltar, and later to have the feast day of Our Lady of Europe on the 5th May, the same day as the annual Europe Day.

In 1994, the Government of Gibraltar obtained European funding and partly financed the expansion and refurbishment of the Shrine. The Shrine’s simple architecture, though refurbished, maintains some Arabic “mosque” features.

Once works were completed, Bishop Bernard Devlin organised the Enthronement of Our Lady of Europe in her newly embellished Shrine. The Papal Envoy Cardinal Josef Tomko, presided over the outdoor concelebrated Mass and Enthronement ceremony, held on May 10, 1997.

In 2006, Bishop Charles Caruana, who succeeded Bishop Devlin, accepted a proposal that the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe be included in the European Marian Network.

In May 2009 during the 700th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations, Pope Benedict XVI presented the Shrine with the Golden Rose award.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Posted in Europe and Gibraltar

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