Histories of Our Lady Of Altotting
» Altotting, Bavaria, Germany (680) The highlands between the Alps and the Danube were controlled in the seventh century by the heathen Marcomannic tribe. A portion of this territory was placed under the control of Otto, one of their pagan chiefs, who was soon to come under the influence of St. Rupert (d. about 718). The Saint was successful in converting Otto in the year 680, together with many of his followers. A heathen temple with seven sides, which is thought to have been the place used by those who were devoted to the cultus of the Seven Planets, was converted into a Christian church for the baptismal ceremony. This chapel is today the seat of Our lady’s greatest sanctuary in Bavaria. The statue, of wood, is 26 inches tall. The original statue given to the chapel by St. Rupert is believed to have been lost; the present statue is said to have originated in the thirteenth century. The Blessed Virgin carries the Christ Child on her left arm. Two features are of particular interest; the over-sized hand of the Christ Child is said to symbolize the large number of graces He wishes to dispense; the other feature is the overlay large head of the Virgin, which is disproportionate to the rest of the figure. She smiles gently at her Son, who holds a ball in His right hand. An important visitor to the shrine was Pope Pius VI, in 1782. Another visitor was Joseph II, the Emperor of Austria, who came in 1814 to thank Our Lady of Altotting for his victory against Napoleon. Other important visitors are the many pilgrims who visit the shrine each year to plead their needs before the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Altotting.
Our Lady Of Altotting