EINSIEDELN, OUR LADY OF. Marian shrine in the Benedictine Abbey chapel at Einsiedeln in Switzerland. A Brother Meinrad, in 840, retired from the Benedictine monastery at Reichenau to the forest of nearby, hoping to lead a more austere life. He took with him a small statue of Mary and her Son, and his cell became Our Lady's small chapel. This simple statue showed the Christ Child resting on his mother's left arm, while his little hand is raised in blessing. Twenty-three years later the old monk was murdered by bandits who thought he had hidden gold and treasure in his mountain hideout. Through the years the monk's former cell was the scene of many unusual favors and graces. It was enclosed later in a large church where it became a shrine to "Our Lady of the Hermits," as she was called. The statue is now enthroned in the abbey's splendid Chapel of Grace. Brother Meinrad has since been canonized.
The Feast Day of St. Meinrad is on 21 January.