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Mosaic of the Colombian patroness installed in the Vatican Gardens

J-P Mauro - published on 07/17/21

Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá came to the Vatican Gardens to honor 102nd anniversary of coronation as patroness of Colombia.

The Colombian Marian patron, Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá, has officially come to the Vatican. A mosaic replica of the culturally important oil painting was installed in the Vatican Gardens on July 9. 

Vatican News reports that the ceremony came as Colombia marked 102 years since the Blessed Mother was named Colombia’s patroness. The nation has upheld a strong devotion to the Virgin of Chiquinquirá for 435 years. 

The artwork features the Blessed Mother holding the Christ child, with crowns atop their heads. On either side of the Madonna and Child stand St. Andrew and St. Anthony, as they were posed in the original.

The mosaic was a gift to the Vatican from the Colombian government to honor the anniversary. Pope Francis had originally intended to attend the ceremony, but his recent hospitalization prevented his presence. Instead, the gift was accepted by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, President of the Government of the Vatican City State.

Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá

The painting the mosaic emulates remains an influential cultural icon in Colombia. According to Crux, the original oil painting, c. 1577-1586, was saved from obscurity by a devout woman named Maria Ramos. The painting was housed in a small chapel, but it became weathered and ruined over time. In fact, at one point the hole-laden cotton canvas was used as a wheat sifter. 

Ramos discovered the image and placed the ruined painting in a small chapel. It was then, as tradition holds, that the unexpected occurred; the image miraculously restored itself. Gradually, the damaged parts of the painting reformed and soon the image was brightly colored once more. The image has reportedly appeared to illuminate an additional three times since the 16th century.

Click here to learn more about Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá.

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