Sunday, December 16, 2007

La Virgen de Coromoto

When the Spaniards arrived in the region of Guanare in Venezuela around 1591, a group of indians from the Coromoto tribe decided to abandon their village and flee towards the Tucupido River because they did not want to have anything to do with the white men. Fifty years later, the tribe of indians had not listened to the missionaries, and lived near the Spaniards in peace. One morning in the year 1651, the Coromoto chief & his wife were near the river when they experienced a celestial vision: floating above the water was a beautiful young woman smiling lovingly at them, carrying a small, equally beautiful child in her arms. She spoke in a sweet voice, and commanded that they "leave the forest with their people and go to the white men in order to receive the water on their heads so they would be able to enter heaven." Deeply impressed by the beautiful Lady, the chief and his tribe entered the Spanish village and were taught the Catholic faith. The chief, though, didn't like the new way of life, so he returned to his hut in the Coromoto village. The Lady appeared once again to the chief in his hut, surrounded by an aura that filled his hut with light. She smiled sweetly and asked him once more to go back to the missionaries to be converted, but the chief refused. Annoyed, he tried to throw the beautiful woman out of his hut, but did not succeed. He then threatened her, saying he would use his weapons on her. Still smiling more beautiful than ever, the Lady approached the chief, who stretched out his hands to catch her. Immediatly, the woman was gone. The chief rubbed his eyes and realized that something was in his hand. It was a small picture of the Lady and the Child she was holding, seated on a throne. And the beautiful smile was on her face. The Coromoto chief and his tribe were at once converted, and later realized that the beautiful woman was the Blessed Virgin, and that the child she was holding was the Infant Jesus. On October 7, 1944, Pope Pius XII declared Our Lady of Coromoto "Patroness of Venezuela." The small picture (which in reality is an ancient Holy Card) is still preserved to this day. She has three different feastdays: February 2nd & September 8 & 11th.
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Image from one of the Holy Cards in my collection.


Brian said...

There is an interesting story in the news today about how the Columbian President recently prayed to La Virgen de Coromoto to avert war between Columbia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

Anonymous said...

Colombia.. not Columbia