This month: fairy tales from ancient Egypt!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Image of Mercy in the Larch Branch at Waldrast

Grimm's Saga No. 349

Christmas Goddesses and Saints Revealed to the Faithful

Copyright FairyTaleChannel.com
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In 1392 Our Lady in Heaven sent an angel to Tirol, at the place called Waldrast on Serlesberg. The angel stepped before a hollow larch tree and spoke to it in the name of God’s Mother: You, branch, shall bear fruit of the image of our Lady in Heaven!” 

The image grew into the branch and two pious shepherd boys, Hänsle and Peterle from Mizens village, first gazed upon it in the year 1407. In wonder, they ran down to the farmers in the valley below and told them: “Go up to the mountain, a wonderful image is revealed in the hollow wood. We hardly trust ourselves to touch it.” 

The holy image was now recognized and cut out of the branch with a saw and brought to the village of Matrey. There it stood until a separate church could be built for it at Waldrast. Our Lady entrusted the work to a poor woodcutter who lived near Matrey. 

One Pentecost when he was lying in his bed at night and slept, a voice came to him. It spoke three times and said: “Are you sleeping or are you awake?” And the third time he woke up and asked: “Who are you and what do you want?” The voice spoke: “You shall build a chapel to honor Our Lady at Waldrast.” The woodcutter replied: “I don’t want to do that.” But the voice returned the next Pentecost Eve and spoke to him in the same way as before. He replied “I am too poor to do it.” The voice returned on the Third Eve of Pentecost as he lay in his bed and spoke as before. For three nights he could not sleep for worry and so he finally answered the voice: “What do you mean that you will not leave me alone?” The voice replied “You shall do it!” He answered “I shall not do it!” It grabbed him and raised him in the air and said: “You shall do it and it would be good for you to reconsider!” 

He thought to himself: I am a poor man, how can I do the right thing? Finally he consented and said he would do it, if he only knew the correct site. The voice spoke “In the forest there is a green spot in the moss. Lay down and rest and the correct site will be revealed to you.” The woodcutter went out and lay down on the moss and rested (that is why the place is called the Resting Place in the Wood, or Waldrast). 

When he lay asleep, he heard two bells in his sleep. He awoke and looked up at the spot where the church now stands. A woman in white robes stood and had a babe on her arm but he saw only a glimpse. He thought to himself: Almighty God, this is certainly the right place! And he went to the spot where he had seen the picture and marked off where he meant to build Her church. The bells rang until he had finished marking the spot and then he did not hear them any more. 

He spoke: “Dear God, how can I accomplish this? I am poor and have no money to spend on such a building.” The voice spoke again: “Go to pious people; they will give you as much as you need. And when the time comes to bless the church, it will stand in peace for 36 years. After this, great signs will be revealed for all eternity.” And so, when he began construction of the chapel he went to his confessor and told him his intentions. The priest sent him to the Bishop of Brixen. He visited the Bishop in Brixen five times before he was allowed to start building the chapel. The bishop did this on the Tuesday before St. Pankratius in the year 1409. (St. Pankratius is a so-called Ice Saint and his feast day is May 12. Other Ice Saints include St. Servatius, St. Bonifatius (Boniface) and St. Sophie).

To read more legends of the virgin Mary:

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2008/12/three-legends-of-virgin-mary-singing.html

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2008/12/christmas-reading-series-legends-of.html

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