Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 26 July |
Saint of the Day: Sts Joachim and Anne
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

The humble story behind the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Copacabana

OUR LADY OF COPACABANA

Dennis Jarvis | CC BY-SA 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 09/15/17

The sculptor failed miserably before his statue of the Virgin Mary was accepted and enshrined for centuries to come.

Later this month a replica statue of the Virgin of Copacabana will be placed in the Vatican Gardens, making it the third Marian statue from South America to have a prominent place there — Our Lady of Aparecida, “Queen and Patroness of Brazil,” and Our Lady of Guadalupe are the other two.

But who is the Virgin of Copacabana?

Well, she had nothing to do with a hit song from 1978.

During the 16th century, in the town of Copacabana, Bolivia, a native amateur sculptor named Francisco Tito Yupanqui sought to honor the Blessed Mother with a statue. He worked on the piece for almost a year and created what he thought was a great image. However, the pastor of the local church disagreed, and so did his neighbors about town. In fact, they openly laughed at him.

Feeling thoroughly rejected, a depressed Francisco visited a local city known for its great sculptors. There he studied the superior craftsmanship and artistry all around him, and learned their secrets as he replicated what he saw. In time, Francisco created a new statue — Our Lady of Copacabana — that was considered a marvel to behold; the townspeople were especially pleased that the physical features of this Madonna reflected their own.

The statue was enshrined in a local church in February of 1583, making it one of the earliest Marian shrines in the Americas. Soon the people of the area became devoted to the Virgin of Copacabana and miracles occurred that were credited to her prayerful intercession.

Eventually, a basilica was dedicated to her honor. She is now honored as the Patroness of Bolivia.


OUR LADY OF CHIQUINQUIRA

Read more:
The miraculous image of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá

Tags:
ArtVirgin Mary
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
morning
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
2
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
3
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
4
ORGAN
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
5
MACHAERUS
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
6
ŁACINA
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.