Saturday, May 12, 2012

Our Lady of the Forsaken

Patroness of the insane and abandoned.

Today is her feast day in some places, although in Spain it is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.  The devotion stems from Valencia (with a Castilian lisp, Valenthia - I know!  I'm so Spanish!).  But seriously, it is a lovely devotion, and instead of wrecking it for you with my narration, I'll cut and paste some of the details:
On February 24, 1409 the priest Father Jofré was going to the cathedral to deliver a sermon during Lent when he witnessed the lynching of a mentally ill man on a street near Santa Catalina Valencia (now Martin Mengod, formerly known as Silver). In response, he founded a hospice for the mentally ill.

The brotherhood was founded under the invocation of Sancta dels Folls Dona Nostra i Desamparats Innocents (Our Lady of the Insane and the Forsaken Innocents). The goal of the brotherhood was to help the mentally ill; however, due to a famine and the high rate of orphans during the plague, there were many homeless children on the streets of Valencia. The brotherhood was extended from a hospice to care for homeless and abandoned children.
Two years later the Virgin, as patron of the brotherhood that now cared for both mentally ill adults and homeless children, was renamed Our Lady of the Forsaken. In the year 1414 three young men dressed as pilgrims came to the brotherhood. They claimed that they could make an image of the Virgin within three days in exchange for a place to create the image and board. They were taken to a place known as The Hermitage and after four days without any sound from inside, the brothers forced the door and found the image of the Virgin Mary. The mysterious pilgrims had disappeared shortly healing the wife of a member of the brotherhood who was paralyzed and blind. The incident gave rise to the legend of "el feren els àngels" ("the angels did it").  On April 21, 1885 Pope Leo XIII granted a Papal Bull naming the Virgin of the Forsaken patroness of Valencia.

For many centuries those faithful to the Virgin have helped children, the elderly, the blind, and the mentally ill.  - Source
It is lovely and consoling to know that Our Lady cares so much for her children, no matter how forsaken, misshapen, mentally ill, abandoned, rejected, aborted or not, that she would never, ever turn her back on us.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day in the United States, and selfish, heartless, celebrity moms are calling for women to turn their backs on their children, and reject the celebration in support of reproductive rights throughout the world: in support of mothers murdering their children through abortion.  How completely insane is that?
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, May 11, 2012, ( – This Sunday, children of all ages will celebrate the role mothers play in their lives. But Vogue model Christy Turlington Burns and a host of female celebrities are encouraging mothers across the nation to ignore their children as part of “No Mother’s Day,” a sign of their support for reducing maternal mortality by supporting family planning and global access to abortion. - Read more

Our Lady of the forsaken and mentally ill, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death!  Pray for the most abandoned...
Though father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me. - Ps. 27

Thanks to SF for the reminder.


  1. In the Philippines, she is popularly known as Virgen de los Desamparados, patroness of Santa Ana, Manila and Marikina City.

  2. Thanks Fr. - I had seen that as well - thanks for letting our readers know. I love this devotion.

  3. Fr Richard12:08 PM

    what a beautful devotion to our Lady to help esp. the mentally ill who are so often maligned and misunderstood by most of society then and now. Thanks for bringing it to our attention Terry.

    As far as that sad note at the end on the celebrities turning their back on Mother's day to support aboortion and family planning worldwide- they are misguided souls who are blind to the truth in this area. That is sad to hear Christy Turlington is involved in this since I saw here a few years back interviewed by Charlie Rose and she really does seem like a sweet girl who has a good heart and who is trying to help women throughout the world who are abused and not given the medical treatment they should have, but unfortunately in the liberal high-end fashion crowd she travels in the right to abortion and contraception in all forms is seen as a self-evident right. Maybe by God's grace this backlash against this foolish idea, of turning away from Mother's Day, will cause her and others to reconsider how they go about the noble goal of truly helping women throughout the world. Lord have mercy on our spiritually blind world!


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