Our Lady of SHONGWENI, Pray for us!

Ntshongweni is about thirty kilometres from Durban in Natal, South Africa. The name Ntshongweni was taken from the mountain found there, it is surrounded by precipices and a thick forest. At the foot of the mountain curls Ntshongweni river which feeds the Ntshongweni Dam. The place and the river together with the dam are called Shongweni because many white people could not pronounce Ntshongweni. It is said that King Shaka used to sit on this mountain in order to view the land and the enemies.

The famous places and parishes around Ntshongweni are Ntshangwe which has a Catholic church, high school, clinic, and a school for the deaf called Kwa Thintwa; Hammarsdale township with an industrial area and Catholic parish.


The church of Ntshongweni was built in 1938. Father Wagner was parish priest when in 1939 he was called home by his French government to join their army for the second world war. Father Wagner said the war was very bad and in order to be safe he had to hide himself among the dead soldiers and pretend to be dead also. It was at this time that Father Wagner made his promise to Mary that if she could save him from that war he would thank her and her son Jesus by making this festival we now celebrate at Ntshongweni annually.

Somewhere around that time, the Church had established a day of honouring Our Lady for her thankful deed of having agreed to be the mother of Jesus through whom we are all saved. Father Wagner decided to have this magnificent festival on the same day. After the war, on the day of honouring Our Lady, it is said the faithful came from Hammarsdale in processional pilgrimage to Ntshongweni and returned in the same manner.



Our Lady of Shongweni, Pray for us

Father Wagner told the faithful about his promise to Our Lady and the desire he had about the pilgrimage of Ntshongweni. Father Wagner's Ntshongweni Pilgrimage promise was warmly and enthusiastically welcomed by the faithful who said the pilgrimage should not be delayed. Hence, the faithful of Hammarsdale started the processional pilgrimage from their church carrying the statue of Our Lady the Mediatrix of grace. Hence the faithful of Hammarsdale initiated the Ntshongweni Pilgrimage on the 31 May 1953.

It is said there were no roads at Ntshongweni at that time, Father Wagner rode either a horse or a bicycle. People who came from far afield used a train and ascended to Ntshongweni on foot. It was a long and strenuous walk. The effort to make a road to Ntshongweni took place in 1953 on the anniversary of the Ntshongweni Pilgrimage.


The girls high school presently at Ntshongweni which is also a boarding school was built by Father Wagner who also introduced a clinic whose doctor came from Mariannhill Hospital. The convent of the order of Mary Immaculate, Mediatrix of Grace is one of Father Wagner's initiatives.

 Father Wagner died and was buried at Ntshongweni in 1970.


To Puchase a video or DVD on Our Lady of Shongweni click here: Metanoia Media


Mary agreed to bear Jesus through whom we receive all we need and request from God. [John 15.7]

The Holy Spirit too comes to us through Jesus whom God gave to us through Mary the mother of Our Lord Jesus the Christ. [John 15:26-27]


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