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Christmas

Christmas

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Datum izida:11/15/1995 11:00:00 PM
Oblikovanje:Matjaž Učakar
Motiv:Mary of Succour
Tisk:DELO - TISKARNA d. d., Ljubljana
Izvedba:5-colour offset
Papir:Chancellor oba free L.S.PVA GMD 100g, gummed
Velikost:
Zobčanje:comb
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Christmas

<b>BREZJE MARY OF SUCCOUR</b><p><i>History of Brezje Pilgrimage Church</i></p><p>Brezje, a small village situated at the edge of Brezje fields, is well known to Slovenesand foreigners for its pilgrimage church and the image of Maryof Succour. Brezje has the highest reputation with the most visitorsamong Slovenian pilgrimage places. The village of Brezje was first mentioned in 1350. The settlement obtained the succursalchurch of St. Vitus in the 15th century, to which the chapel ofSt. Antony the Hermit in 1772 and the chapel of St. Mary in 1800were added. The latter was built by the priest Urban Ažbefrom Mošnje and painted by Leopold Layer in 1814. The chapelsoon became a popular place of meeting, especially in the timeof French domination when people sought for spiritual consolationin the image of Mary of Succour.<br>We can read in the letter of priest Ažbe, written at Easter time 1811 to his friendFranc Julijanij that the church accepted only the half of thepeople coming to mass from the neighbouring villages where even5 foreign priests were celebrating mass. Unusual health recoveriesin 1803 had big influence on pilgrimage. Although the local authoritiesin Radovljica prohibited the pilgrimage in 1866 due to the choleradanger, this did not stop the pilgrims. Following the plans ofRobert Mikowitz, a building contractor, and under the leadershipof architect Faleschini a new Renaissance church was being builtin the years 1889-1900 that incorporated the Mother of God chapel.Brezje became more famous in 1907 when Bishop Anton BonaventuraJeglič solemnly crowned the gracious image of St. Maryof Succour. Pope John Paul II promoted the church to basilicaon October 5, 1988.<p><i>The history of the image St. Mary of Succour in Brezje</i><br>The legend says that the image of St. Mary of Succour was painted as a vow of Leopold Layer(1752-1828) in jail where he was put by the French because ofmoney forgery. It is evident from the letter of priest Ažbethat St. Mary chapel in Brezje had already had the image of Maryof Succour honoured by pilgrims. Josip Dostal presumed that Layercould not paint in jail, but in 1800 while the chapel was beingbuilt because it is unbelievable that priest Ažbe could havechanged so honoured image with a new one. On the other hand itis true that Layer made a solemn promise in his trouble to paintthe chapel of St. Mary in Brezje when being released from jail.When the French left, Layer was released and he carried out hisvow that proves the sign on the vault&#58; &quot;Leopoldus Layer pinxitex voto (Leopold Layer painted under vow).<br>The image Mary of Succour in Brezje is not the original work of Leopold Layer (or maybehis brother Valentin Layer (1763-1810), a painter as well), butit is a copy of famous picture of Luka Cranach (1472-1553).<br>Priest Urban Ažbe studied theology in Innsbruck where he got his doctorate. He wasworking in Brixen diocese. He must have seen the Cranach imageof Mary of Succour there, he set his heart upon it and chose itfor his new chapel in Brezje.<p><i>Iconographic meaning</i><br>Different types of Mary images have their roots on East, from the iconographic point of view.Reports about real Mary images go back to the first centuries.By tradition even Luke painted Mary when she was still alive. There were many paintings and copies onEast that belonged to Luke.<br>The image of standing, sitting, a full-length and half-length picture of Mary, holdingChrist in her hands, pressing him to her cheeks as Christ embracesand caresses her is called Glykofilusa or Eleusa on East ( Greekmerciful, the one helping mercifully). The old legend says&#58; WhenHerod decided to murder innocent kids, an angel suggested St. Joseph that he should leave for Egypt. Mary was also reminded.While she was watching her baby sleeping, only a few weeks old,Christ woke up in her arms saying&#58; &quot;Help, Mother!&quot; Thename eleusa was not originally destined to this type of Maryimage, bit it