Our Lady of Africa
Title given to a miraculous bronze statue of Our Lady, housed in the Basilique Notre Dame d’Afrique in Algiers, Algeria
In the time of Constantine, northern Africa was Christianized along with the rest of the Roman Empire. St. Augustine was from this area. In time, this land fell under Muslim control and it wasn’t until the early 19th century when the French conquered Algeria that a bishop was sent into the area for the first time in centuries.
Bishop Dupuch found no church and a population hostile to the French. He went back to France to ask for assistance and was given a bronze statue of Our Lady of Grace to take back with him in 1840. He entrusted it into the care of the Trappist monks who’d also just arrived.
Ground would not be broken on a Cathedral until after Bishop Dupuch’s time in 1858. The statue was moved from the monks care and lived in a small chapel next to the construction site. The cathedral was dedicated in 1876 and Our Lady was moved into her permanent home where she was crowned.
Christian and Muslim pilgrims visited the church to ask for Our Lady’s intercession. Soon the walls around the statue were covered with votive offerings left by those in thanksgiving of miraculous cures and prayers answered. Today her feast is locally celebrated on April 30th.
Indulgenced prayer to Our Lady of Africa
Notre Dame d’Afrique priez pour nous et pour les Musulmans.
Our Lady of Africa, pray for us and for the Muslims.