"Consoler of the Afflicted"
Patroness of Luxembourg
"It is providential in this Jubilee Year, in which we are proclaiming with great fervor the Lord’s mercy, that we celebrate the 350th anniversary of the election of Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted, as Patroness of Luxembourg...this festive Jubilee fills us with hope to become partakers in salvation and grace". Pope Francis wrote these words in a message for the occasion of a pilgrimage of the Marian icon of the Cathedral of Luxembourg. On 16 October 1666, Mary, "Consoler of the Afflicted" was declared Patroness of Luxembourg when she was given symbolically the keys to the city. This marked the beginning of the "octave" tradition, an annual pilgrimage when the faithful venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary in Notre Dame Cathedral where there is a multi-colored, limewood statue of her, 73 cm tall and dating back to the late 16th century. The Archdiocese launched a special initiative taking place until October 2016 in which the Marian icon will be brought in pilgrimage to the parishes, religious communities and homes of the elderly as a way to give witness to the closeness of the "Consoler of the Afflicted" to all those who are unable to visit the Cathedral. The Philatelic and Numismatic Office will celebrate the occasion with the issue of a minisheet of four stamps, each valuing one euro, produced by artist Daniela Longo. The central representation shows the Cathedral altar, flanked by the stamps where the wooden statue is depicted symbolically in the midst of views of St. Peter’s Square in Rome and Notre Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg viewed from the Adolphe bridge, another symbol of the city.