“Our Lady of Combermere” is a title the people of the village of Combermere, Ontario have given to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Prayers for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary under this title began at Madonna House in the late 1940s.
The title also refers specifically to the beautiful life-sized bronze statue of Mary that Catherine Doherty had erected at a little shrine beside Madonna House in Combermere in 1960. The statue depicts the Mother of God running with open arms to embrace us, her children, and lead us to her Son, Jesus Christ.
Frequently we associate shrines with the miraculous or extraordinary. In Combermere, the miracle is that the events leading to the arrival of the statue and shrine were so simple, ordinary and unremarkable. This is the very essense of Our Lady of Combermere: she reveals herself deeply present in our ordinary life. The official recognition of this title by Rome and the creation of the shrine all began quite humbly and simply. Eddie Doherty wrote:
“It was no miracle that produced this shrine. There was no apparition. There was no spectacular occurrence of any kind. It was only the coming of a beautiful statue and the love of the people in and around Madonna House that caused it to become a place of devotion and of pilgrimage.”
Devotion to the Mother of God under the title of Our Lady of Combermere has grown over the years, not only in Canada and the U.S.A., but around the world.