Our Lady of Coromoto, Patrona

Photograph of the statue of Our Lady of Coromoto at Dominican Church in Havana, Cuba. Courtesy of Steve Holler. https://udayton.edu/imri/mary/p/prayer-to-our-lady-of-coromoto.php

Country

Venezuela

Description

The Virgin of Coromoto is named for the Coromoto tribe of Portuguesa. The Spanish city of Guanare was founded in 1591, having displaced the Coromoto tribe from their land forcing them to move towards the Tucupido River.  Fifty years later, the Coromoto tribe and the Spaniards still did not interact but lived near each other in peace.  Then, in 1651, the chief of the Coromoto tribe and his wife saw a beautiful lady wearing a loving expression carrying a small child in her arms in the ravine of the Tucupido River.  She called out to the chief and told him to leave the forest with his people, go to the white men and request they pour water on their heads so they might be able to enter heaven.

 

The chief obeyed and brought his tribe to the Spaniards to learn about the religion that they had brought with them, Christianity. The Coromoto tribe had trouble transitioning into the religion and new way of life and eventually returned to their village. The Virgin appeared again but this time the chief was uninterested and even threatened her. While he was berating her she disappeared leaving a card with her image on it in the chief’s hand.

 

The small image is made of parchment or tissue paper. The image was first drawn with a fine pen and then later sketched as a portrait with dots and dashes using India ink. The image shows The Virgin sitting on a throne and holding Baby Jesus, both wearing royal crowns and looking straight ahead. Now, hundreds of years later, the image of The Virgin of Coromoto is worn and the image of Jesus is almost completely gone. The relic is kept inside a richly adorned monstrance where it is presented for the veneration of the faithful.

 

Our Lady of Coromoto was declared Patroness of the Republic of Venezuela in 1944 by Pope Pius XII. Five years later the National Sanctuary of the Virgin of Coromoto, place of pilgrimage, was declared a Basilica by Pope Pius XII. Our Lady of Coromoto is celebrated by Venezuelans each year on three different occasions: The Feast of Our Lady of Coromoto is February 2 and September 8 and 11, dates associated with her appearances before the chief.

 

References:

Researched by Mariah N. Allen

Popular Devotions

Venezuelans celebrate Our Lady of Coromoto during three feasts each year: February 2nd and September 8th and 11th.

The National Sanctuary of the Virgin of Coromoto was declared a Basilica by Pope Pius XII on May 24, 1949.

Prayer:

Beautiful Lady Mary, Virgin Mother of the Redeemer, with you we praise and glorify the Father in the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ. We beseech you that, just as in Coromoto you guided the steps of the Indians towards the baptismal grace, you may now capture the heart of the Venezuelans, and bring them to the renewal of their faith.

Virgin of Coromoto, patron of Venezuela, bless the evangelistic action of the Church in our Country so that she might be fortress and defense of the faith of your children, and beginning of a renewal of the Christian customs.

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.

All content is used with permission 

of the Marian Library at the 

University of Dayton.