Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 2: A Virgin a Day

One of the virgin images
found in Guanajuato, Mexico
is that of Our Lady of Guanajuato,
patron saint of the city.

Her statue resides in the basilica
built between 1671 and 1696.
This antique figure was a gift from
King Charles I of Spain and his son,
Phillip II of Spain during the colonial period.

Image © 2010 Meri Arnett-Kremian

It is thought to be the earliest piece of European
religious art to arrive in the New World.

Each year on August 9, there is a ceremony
commemorating the statue's arrival
 in Guanajuato in 1557.  
The statue is placed on a huge, lavishly decorated 
lighted bier for closer inspection.
A special Mass and Rosary are said. 
Then men of the parish carry the statue outside
for waiting throngs to see.
Hymns are written for the ceremony
and Aztec dancers perform.
In the evening there are three hours of prayer, music
and general adoration, culminating in a fireworks display.

The next day an embroidered velvet mantilla is draped
on the statue. Townspeople walk under it to ensure
the blessings and protection of their patron saint.

There is also a painting of her in the small
basilica museum.

Image © 2010 Meri Arnett-Kremian


deb did it said...

Meri...thank you for typing so much info about this...I usually just snapped away, and relied upon my visual memories.

foxysue said...

I love the blue/lilac haze surrounding the Virgin with the luxurious gold on the fabric of her statue, and thank you for the info.

Sue x

turquoise cro said...

We carry Mary every September in the Italian Festival!!! This statue is BEAUTY FULL!!!Thank YOU!

Paula Scott said...

That painting is quite moving. It is hard sometimes to stop and focus in on the moment to capture images like this. But, I am so glad that you did! It is a wonderful example of how we are all connected by the traditions that we share unknowingly. Makes the world a smaller and more familiar place.

Noelle Renee said...

It is an amazing history and celebration that has been generated from the arrival of this beautiful madonna and child, almost as incredible a celebration as the first and real arrival. I too love the lilac haze and the incredible sheen on the skin that you have captured. The statue has a tranquillity about it that is hard to describe. A lovely post, Meri!

Anonymous said...

I had not heard of this before, so thanks for the images and for the information.