In a Chapel dedicated to Saint Anne in the Cathedral of Gyor in Hungary is enshrined a crowned image of Our Lady and the Child Jesus. It is known as the Irish Madonna. The image had once hung in the Cathedral of Clonfert.
It was saved from the maurading Cromwellian forces by Walter Lynch, Bishop of Clonfert, who had escaped from imprisonment on Innisboffin in 1649 and was able, three years later to flee into exile with the painting.
In his exile he met Bishop János Puski of Gyor who made him a member of his Cathedral Chapter in 1655, saving him from destitution. Bishop Lynch died in 1663, leaving the Madonna to Bishop Puski, who had it placed for the veneration of the faithful in the Cathedral.
The Irish Madonna of Gyor
On 17th March, 1697, the feast of Saint Patrick, the Madonna began to weep tears of blood from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. The picture was removed and the wall examined and found to be dry. The phenomenon was attested to by hundreds of people including Count Seigebert Hester, Captain General of the City, the Bishop, and even by Lutheran and Calvinist Ministers and a Jewish Rabbi. The Captain General and his wife had a shrine built for the Irish Madonna and established a fund to ensure Benediction and the Litany were celebrated before it every Saturday and Feast of Our Lady.
On the 250th Anniversary of the miraculous weeping the Bishops of Hungary came to venerate the Madonna and do so every years on 17th March. For the Marian Year in 1997 a Papal Legate was sent to the shrine, which was raised to the status of Minor Basilica. The Basilica also contains the tombs of St. Ladislaus I and Blessed Vilmos Apor. St. John Paul II prayed at the shrine of the Irish Madonna on his visit to Hungary. The Hungarians have spread devotion to the Irish Madonna of Gyor across the world, especially across the United States of America.