Nuestra Senora Purisima de lo Vazquez

On Display in the Marian Library

Country

Chile

Description

Virgin de Lo Vásquez means “Virgin of the Vásquez,” a city in Chile. Don Jose Ulloa raised money and built a small heritage in the garden in front of his house, and there placed an image of the Virgin. As time went on the number of visitors to the heritage increased, to the point where it became necessary to build a sanctuary around the Virgin. In 1850, Fray Jose Manuel Troncoso decided to move the Virgin about 100 meters north on the road to Valparaiso. The Leiva Vásquez family donated a piece of land that could be used to build an entire sanctuary, and this is why it’s located in Lo Vásquez.

 

On April 2nd, 1851, a terrible earthquake destroyed this chapel. Father Troncoso was able to raise funds, however, and the church was rebuilt.  In 1854, inauguration of the new chapel was approved.  Unfortunately, on August 16th, 1906, another earthquake struck and knocked down the third chapel of the Sanctuary of Lo Vásquez. However, two years later, on December 8, 1908, the parish priest of Casablanca, Don José Miguel Galaz, blessed and placed the first stone.  They would not build another chapel, but a large temple for the Virgin instead.

 

The festival of the Virgin de Lo Vásquez takes place on December 8th.  Thousands of people travel from the capital city to Lo Vásquez, arriving in the early morning.  Masses are said all day, beginning at 4:00 AM to accommodate all the faithful.  The sanctuary has been expanded over the years, with the addition of routes, new viewing areas, and reception areas constructed for the great number of those who pilgrimage towards this Marian shrine. People enter the shrine on their knees and sometimes women are carrying children to leave flowers and other things at the feet of the Virgin.

 

Of late, parties such as the Red Cross help with transportation and other things. It’s said that there is never any trouble in the area because it is known as a peaceful zone.  After everyone makes their offerings and the last Mass wraps up, a huge festival is held in the spaces around the temple. There is dancing, live music, and lots of food. The festival ends with the return of the image to the temple and a parting blessing from the Bishop of Valparaiso.

 

References:

Researched by Logan J. Rush

Popular Devotions

“This feast day had a very long and slow development. In the Eastern Church, the feast of the Nativity of Mary, September 8th, was celebrated as early as the late 6th century. In the early 7th century, the feast of the Mary's conception was observed in the East. In the West the feast of the Conception of Mary was introduced in Naples around 850 and in England around 1030. After the Norman conquest in 1066, it passed to Normandy, France, Spain, Germany and Belgium” (Udayton Lib, IMRI).

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. 

Amen.

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