Traditionally, today in France, February 26, is the memorial of Our Lady of the Fields, also known as Notre-Dame des Champs. Instituted by St. Denis in the middle of the third century, this Marian title has withstood throughout the centuries, beginning in the early days of Catholicism in France.
Our Lady des Champs, during the ancient years, was dedicated to Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility, and motherly relations. During this time, St. Denis was Bishop of France. He had a great love and devotion to the Blessed Mother. According to tradition, St. Denis drove out the demons from the Temple of Ceres and then consecrated the building to Our Lady placing inside an image of the Madonna similar to the one after St. Luke’s painting (next week’s Mondays with Mary). Catholics in Paris have honored this image for centuries under the title – Our Lady of the Fields.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is a woman of simple beauty, approachable – always leading us closer to our Son, Jesus Christ. She is humble and holy. She is the defining woman of creation and her simple beauty gives honor to the Heavenly Kingdom, for she is our Mother. St. Denis knew this well. He placed her in the former temple and Parisians have been honoring her ever since.
A simple flower of the field is the lily. The white lilies (Madonna lilies) and their beautiful fragrance represent Mary’s perfect purity, love, and humility to God’s divine economy. They are often seen during the Easter season when they represent the Resurrection of Christ.
If you can read French, I encourage you to look at the parish website in the Archdiocese of France.
Our Lady of the Fields…Pray for Us
Source: Roman Catholic Saints – Our Lady of the Fields (website).
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