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Our Lady of the Rosary Day in Guatemala

Our Lady of the Rosary Day in Guatemala

The cult of the Virgin Mary of the Rosary in Guatemala began to spread after the consolidation of the Dominicans in Almolonga city. On November 1, 1559 the first Brotherhood of the Rosary was founded, the leader of which was the Bishop Francisco Marroquin. In the colonial era, this brotherhood was one of the greatest in Guatemala. In December of 1592, on the order of the brother-Dominican Lope de Montoya, the sculpture of the Virgin of the Rosary was made of wood and silver, but the name of the author of this piece, unfortunately, did not survive. The sculpture is still considered the most beautiful in the whole of America and depicts the Virgin with a large rosary in her right hand and her baby sleeping in the left. Among people a belief is spread that the Virgin was walking across America and, when reached Guatemala, her son fell asleep. Believers also claim that the sculpture’s face changes color from pale pink to more pale as a sign that there will be difficulties for the country.

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The Virgin, a statue of which then was stored in Antigua, was always asked for help during the eruptions of the volcano Fuego. The same happened on the night of September 29, 1717. After fill the first tremors, the believers rushed to the temple, where the statue of the Virgin was located. They wanted to enter, but in a hurry could not find the keys, and when they wanted to retreat, the city was got by terrible earthquake that destroyed the temple. Imagine the surprise of believers, when they found the statue of the Virgin absolutely intact! In honor of such miracle the sumptuous feasts were organized, which allowed to the residents of the city temporarily forget about their troubles.

But a statue of the Virgin suffered from the earthquake of 1773, and the believers decided to restore it. All the works were produced by a silversmith Cornelio de Lara.

On January 1, 1776, with the formation of the Dominican Order in New Guatemala, now the capital of the country, a statue of the Virgin of the Rosary was moved to the church of Santo Domingo, where is conserved to this day. Taking into account the cases of miraculous protection from earthquakes, the Dominican brotherhood declared the Virgin of the Rosary as a protector of the city from this power.

In 1821 the leaders of the struggle for independence have chosen the Virgin of the Rosary as their patroness, when they decided to release the land of Central America from the Spanish crown. In 1833 she was declared a "Queen of Guatemala" and on November 28, 1934 was canonically crowned by the Archbishop of Guatemala, Monsignor Luis Durou, on the order of Pope Pius XI. In 1995, the Virgin again was crowned by Pope John Paul II, during his second visit to the country.

October in Guatemala is completely dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary. Solemn processions are arranged in her honor, many pilgrims visit the temple of Santo Domingo. The temple at this time is open from 5:00 to 21:00. On October 7 a lush liturgy is held here; its tradition is to buy candles that are lit by believers with good intentions and the desire of his heart. After the liturgy, there is a long line of believers who want to access the statue of the Virgin with the most cherished.

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In October, all over the country the traditional fairs are organized, where you can buy handicrafts, religious purpose goods and to taste local specialties: chuchitos, bunuelos (similar donuts) garnachas, papalinas (potato chips), tasty corn Athol, chicken broth, sweets of Amatitlan.

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