Pilgrim badge of Our Lady of Grace originating from Scheut (B)
In the Liber amicorum on the occasion of Jos Koldeweij’s retirement, Hanneke van Asperen wrote an article about this badge that she identifies as Scheut
In 1449, a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary in a place near Brussels, cast a bright light illuminating the entire area. A shepherd had planted a tree nearby not long before and he placed the statue there. After the light miracle pious people came to pray to the miraculous Virgin in the young tree. Soon the statue had to be moved from the young unstable tree to a sturdy tree trunk. A chapel and later a monastery were built. The place was called Scheut after the tree the shepherd had planted meaning shoot or sprout.
The rectangular badge with a pointed top, now missing, shows a crowned Virgin and Child standing in a niche on a tree trunk. They are flanked by two kneeling adorants, one male, the other female. Banderoles are placed on either side of the chapel reading: MARIA: VOL GRACIEN (Mary, full of Grace). The inscription on the bottom edge reads: ONS:VROUWE.TE.SCIETE (Our Lady of Sciete). A second badge has been found in Eindhoven (Kunera no. 16616), more in Brussels and a fragment of a corner has been found in Arnemuiden (Kunera no. 23658).
In Heilig en Profaan 3 (p. 193, fig. 2564 A and B), the badges were attributed to the town of Kappellebrug. However, the way the statue is depicted as well as the inscription point to Scheut. Scheut was also written ‘scote’ or ‘sciete’ in Middle Dutch. Also the inscription MARIA: VOL GRACIEN (Mary, full of Grace) refers to Scheut, because Mary had indicated in a vision that she wanted to be venerated with that name.
The statue is no longer in Scheut. In 1783 the monastery was closed, the monks expelled and the chapel sold. After wandering around, the statue ended up in the church of Sts Peter and Guido of Anderlecht, where it still is today.
Langbroek, collection Familie van Beuningen, inv.no. 3985, Kunera no. 16617