Pope Francis has asked that a copy of the image of the Holy Patroness of Colombia, the Virgin of Chiquinquirá, accompany him on his flight to Colombia, which he is scheduled to visit from September 6-10 of this year.
The Pontiff will visit Bogota Cathedral on September 7 to pray in front of the Virgin and, for the occasion, the original image will be transported by air from Chiquinquirá, a city where it is normally guarded, to the Colombian capital.
The organizers of the apostolic tour are working to make the pope’s request — to carry a reproduction of the canvas of “La Milagrosa” (the Miraculous One) in the papal flights to Bogota, Medellín, Cartagena and Villavicencio — a reality.
According to Caracol Radio, the image of the Virgin will also be painted on the outside of the papal plane, next to the Vatican City logo.
The mayor of Chiquinquirá, Cesar Carrillo, revealed to the Colombian radio station that he has already prepared arrangements to transfer the Virgin from the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary to the Cathedral of Bogota.
“That will be an honor for the Colombians, that the patroness and queen of the country is so visible in this tour of Pope Francis,” said Mayor Carrillo.
Pope Francis will become the third pontiff to visit Colombia after Paul VI and John Paul II.
In the program, Francis will have a moment of prayer in front of the picture of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá, as did John Paul II on July 3, 1986.
Due to the short time of his stay, the pope will not be able to visit Chiquinquirá, a city located in the department of Boyacá, to the north of Bogota. Therefore, the canvas will be transferred to the Cathedral of the Colombian capital.
Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá is one of the invocations with which the Virgin Mary is venerated, and the image rests in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of the homonymous city, where thousands of pilgrims from all over the country come for their patron saint’s feast on July 9.
The painting was last taken to Bogotá on July 9, 1999, on the occasion of the country’s prayer for peace.
Aleteia’s Spanish edition.