Fr Robbie illuminates the Order of Malta’s Devotion to Our Lady of Philermos
Report by Joseph Grogan.
On 23 October 2021, around fifty Order of Malta Members and Candidates shared the fourth spiritual formation session of “An Hour of Reflection with a Chaplain”. Fr Anthony Robbie, Conventual Chaplain Ad Honorem, illuminated the historical and spiritual depth of our Order’s Devotion to Our Lady of Philermos.
Fr Robbie expertly traced the journey of the Icon of Our Lady of Philermos, from its mythologised roots in the Holy Land to the Siege of Rhodes 1480. During the Icon’s presence in a sanctuary on Mount Phileremos, miracles were attributed to Our Lady’s Prayerful Intercession, further inspiring the Order’s defence of Rhodes from Ottoman incursion.
The Icon survived the Napoleonic invasion of Malta and was safeguarded across countries throughout the Russian Revolution, the World Wars and the Cold War.
Throughout this journey, Our Lady of Philermos remains a consoling image of the Patroness of our Order.
Copies of the Icon remain cherished around the globe. A Mosaic image of the Icon of Our Lady of Philermos now adorns the Vatican Gardens in Rome.
Fr Robbie encouraged us to meditate upon this image of Mother Mary, to both look into her eyes and to try to see the world through her eyes.
Having witnessed the suffering of her son Jesus Christ, Our Lady’s eyes convey her empathy for the pathos of people in need. May her compassion inspire our care for all whom we serve.
Celebrating the annual Feast of Our Lady of Philermos on September 8th reminds us to reflect with gratitude for Our Lady’s unwavering solace throughout the centuries and into the future.
All Members and Candidates are welcome to share the fifth session of this monthly spiritual formation series, “An Hour of Reflection with a Chaplain” of the Order of Malta.