The Passionists - Compassion

Mary in Christian Tradition

Europe as a Holy Land: 11th - 15th Centuries

The Muslim conquest of Palestine in the 7th century brought the holy places under non-Christian rule that became increasingly hostile towards Christian pilgrims. When the Turks threatened the ancient Christian shrines with destruction, the Christian nations of Europe sought to reconquer the Holy Land in the Crusades of the 11th century.

Chartres Cathedra

Notre Dame Cathedral at Chartres, France

During these disturbed times, the shrines and relics of Palestine were re-duplicated or transferred to the countries of Europe. In Spain, France, England, Italy, Germany and the Lowlands, great medieval shrines honoring Mary, like those in the Holy Land, arose in places like Chartres, Montserrat, Walsingham, and Loretto. This "European Holy Land" became the setting for the early medieval Christian's devotion to the Mother of God.


Medieval devotion to Mary