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Marianka Shrine

Marianka Shrine

Q: Who is Maria Tal Slovensko?

A: The stained glass window is that of the Slovakian Marian sanctuary of Marianka, also Mariatal or Mariathal. It is situated twelve km northwest of Bratislava, and close to the Austrian border. Marianka is the most important Marian pilgrimage in Slovakia, the oldest in the former kingdom of Hungary. The church is dedicated to the Birth of Mary, and was built in 1377. From the Gothic style of the original it became Baroque in the eighteenth century.

A monastery of the Order of St. Paul is connected to the sanctuary. The road to the church is flanked by six chapels commemorating scenes of Mary's life. They also link the church to the chapel of the well, or fountain, famous for the healing quality of its water.

According to legend, the (first) image of Our Lady carved by a hermit in 1030, was hidden in a hollow tree for centuries to avoid destruction by soldiers, and was eventually rediscovered together with the well in miraculous manner. It is surrounded by rays of light, suggesting the woman clothed with the sun which highlights the regal bearing and accoutrement of Mother and Child, their pyramid-shaped vestments, and split and crossed crowns. Mary holds the sphere. The mantles of the holy persons are strewn with decorations and jewels. Slovensko stands for Slovakia.

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