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Our Lady of El Cisne

Virgen Del Cisne, Marian holy cards collection,
ML. 031 Box 22, circa 1675-2018. Marian Library, 
University of Dayton Libraries, Dayton, Ohio.




El Cisne, one of the most popular tourist sites in Ecuador is the home of a sanctuary devoted to Our Lady of El Cisne (“Our Lady of El Cisne Revisited). El Cisne gets its name from the Spanish soldiers when they came to Ecuador in 1550. They made a parish, and named it El Cisne, which means "swan," because of its high altitude. The  image of Our Lady of El Cisne was originally from Caceres, Spain. The image was made to resemble Our Lady of Guadalupe of Spain (Santora, 356). As seen in the above picture, Our Lady of El Cisne and the Christ child are both wearing a crown. The object in her right hand is a scepter. In the picture, she is also wearing a very elaborate dress. The picture was originally purchased by El Cisne natives, who traveled 500 miles to purchase the picture. Upon their arrival back to El Cisne, they placed the image into a small hut, and the small hut became the image’s first shrine (“Our Lady of El Cisne Revisited”).

In 1594 El Cisne faced a massive drought which resulted in rats ruining the last of their food. The natives of El Cisne were about to leave their homeland to find somewhere new to live (“Virgen Del Cisne, El Cisne, Loja, Ecuador”). As they were about to leave El Cisne, an apparition of the Virgin made them decide to stay in El Cisne.  The people then built a church that year for Our Lady of El Cisne (“Virgen Del Cisne, El Cisne, Loja, Ecuador”).  Every year on August 15, there is  celebration for Our Lady of El Cisne. Recently, there have been about 20,000 devotees at the celebration. Our Lady of Cisne is carried over three days to Loja. Our Lady of El Cisne stays there until December 1st, and then they begin their return back to El Cisne. (“Our Lady of El Cisne Revisited”)

“Our Lady of El Cisne Revisited.” STA, 10 Aug. 2008,

Santoro, Nicholas J. Mary in Our Life: Atlas of the Names and Titles of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and Their Place in Marian Devotion. IUniverse, 2011.

Researched by Michael H. Meade

Popular Devotions

Popular devotion: 6ft Cedar Statue in the Cathederal of El Cisne 

(See: “Our Lady of El Cisne Revisited”)

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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