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La Conchita




La Conchita is another image of Mary that is specific to Granada, a city in Nicaragua. The image is located in a Catholic Church called the Granada Cathedral. In the cathedral, they display La Conchita on the main altar. The image is a wooden sculpture that has a smile on her face, with a child Jesus in the left arm, and a spear in the right hand resting on the head of a snake. Interestingly enough the spear is not the original spear used in the image, since the original piece had a piece of silver stolen.

The story of La Conchita begins in 1721 on December 7th. In the early morning of that day, women were down by the shores of Lake Cocibolca when they noticed a large object floating in the water, and up along the lake shore. They went to retrieve the wooden box, and it had an inscription on it that said “For the City of Granada”. Once they took it out of the water, the box opened without much difficulty. The image had the same configuration as it does now. Believing that the finding of this image was a miracle, the women took the image back into the town to show others what they just discovered. They called it the city’s Patron, and had a procession for the image. Following the procession, they placed the image in the chapel. 

The annual celebration of La Conchita is celebrated starting on November 28. During the Novena, the image will visit all the neighborhoods where those individuals will pray the rosary and floats are used during the night. It is a way to show its gratitude towards La Conchita.

In 1856 there was a devastating fire in the city of Granada that had completely damaged the church that the Conchita had been in. While the church was burned to ashes, La Conchita was completely intact. This is taken as further evidence of its sacredness. The image also has an interesting connection to the Army of Nicaragua. In 1856-1957 there was a National war of Nicaragua. Following the official end of the war in 1862, General Tomas Martinez had declared the Conchita the “General of the Armies of Nicaragua”. He had given the image this title because the Virgin played “a decisive role in the great battles against the filibusters”. So they felt that the Virgin had played a large role in keeping Nicaraguans safe and protecting them during this National War.

Grassiano, Ma Domenica. Con María toda para todos, como don Bosco: se llama María Romero Meneses, de Nicaragua. Roma: Instituto Hijas de María Auxiliadora, 1987.

Researched by Samuel D. White

Popular Devotions

A celebration starts on November 28 where family members will come together to celebrate and pay its respects to La Conchita. They pray the rosary and ride on floats.

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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