Nuestra Señora de Andacollo

ML.031 Marian Holy Card Collection, Box 22




Nuestra Señora de Andacollo is one of the oldest known Marian images in South America. The first recorded devotion was in 1584, and since then devotion to Nuestra Señora de Andacollo has spread all over South America. Andacollo was a gold mining city, and it is said that if this popular devotion had not manifested in Andacollo the town would now be a ghost town.


The image of Nuestra Señora de Andacollo comes from the merging of Spanish and Indigenous traditions. This Mary is very sacred to the Native American people of the region, and holds a special place in their hearts due to a story about the image involving the acceptance of the Indigenous people in the growing Spanish society. The Virgin of Andacollo resembles Indigenous people, with her skin brown in color and facial features that are closely identified with the Native Americans. The statue itself is about a meter tall and is made out of Cedar wood.


Four churches are said to have been built for this Mary. The first one was built in the 16th century and the second one in the 17th century. During the 18th century a new church was built, although it underwent multiple renovations due to earthquake damage. This church is where the statue usually resides. A fourth church was built during 1873-1893 and was declared a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II. This new church was the largest wooden church in South America and stood at 70m by 30m in the shape of a cross. It was 50m high with a dome on top that was 40m in height.


The annual pilgrimage starts out from neighboring cities as well as from the Basilica of Our Lady of Andacollo on the 23rd of December and kicks off a festival that lasts five days. There is also another small festival that takes place on the first Sunday in October. Mary is also celebrated the day before and day after Christmas, with lots of dancing and singing in her honor. Lots of things are given to Nuesta Señora de Andacollo such as medals, prayer cards, flowers.  Among the things sold is an unction which is said to have curing properties. Also pictures of people who may have experienced injury or illness are laid before this Mary in hope and thankfulness that she will see to their care.



Researched by Logan J. Rush

Popular Devotions

Particular song sang in 1885:

“Mis companeros de baile

al verme en tal situacion,

decian que si moria 

dejaban tu devocion

Mandas todos te ofrecian

confiados en tu grandeza

y todos en este dia 

tambien pagan su promesa”

Hail Mary

Dios te salve, María. Llena eres de gracia: El Señor es contigo. 

Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres. 

Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre: Jesús. 

Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores, 

ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte.


All content is used with permission 

of the Marian Library at the 

University of Dayton.