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Nuestra Señora de Andacollo

ML.031 Marian Holy Card Collection, Box 22




Nuestra Senora de Andacollo is one of the oldest known Mary’s in South America. The first recorded devotion was in 1584, and since then Nuestra Senora de Andacollo has spread all around South America. Andacollo was a gold mining city and it is said that if this popular devotion didn’t arrive in Andacollo the town would be a ghost town. The image of Nuestra Senora de Andacollo comes from the merging of Spanish and Indigenous traditions. This Mary is very sacred to the Native America people and holds a special place in their hearts, due to its story dealing with the acceptance of the Indigenous people in the growing Spanish society. The statue shows a lot of resemblance to the Indigenous people, bearing a lighter brown color and facial features that are closely identified with 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. 

On December 20th the annual pilgrimage begins from neighboring cities to Andacollo to worship Nuestra Senora de Andacollo. It is also believed that the pilgrimage may begin the 23rd of December at the Basilica of Our Lady Anacollo. There is also another small festival that takes place on the first Sunday in October. Mary is also celebrated the day before and day following Christmas, with lots of dancing and singing in her honor. Lots of things are given to Nuesta Senora de Andacollo such as medals, prayer cards, flowers, and oil of the virgin 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. Proper devotion is said to start on December 26th, although some say that it is also the day before Christmas. Since 1884 devotions include dancing around the statue and playing instruments such as guitars, accordions, triangle, and bells to celebrate. 

Guillermo, Prado Ocaranza Juan. María en Chile: Fiestas Populares. Santiago de Chile: Editorial Biblioteca Americana, 2002.

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.


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