Divina Pastora is the "patrona" or the Image of the Virgin Mary in the city of Barquisimeto, Lara State, Venezuela. Her carrosa or "statue" is typically carried on the main streets of Barquisimeto on a procession each January 14 from the city of Santa Rosa in the outskirts of Barquisimeto until it reaches the cathedral of Barquisimeto which is about 5 mils away. This procession occurs due to the devotion the people of Barquisimeto have towards it as gratitude towards saving the city from a cholera outbreak that occurred in the city in the 19th century.
The Divina Pastora Venezuela The Divina Pastora (Divine Shepherdess), a statue of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus and a sheep, is one of the most important religious icons of Venezuela. It is the local representation of the Virgin and the patron saint of the city and of the Venezuelan National Militia The popular legend of the Divina Pastora in Venezuela dates from 1736, when the parish priest of the town of Santa Rosa commissioned a sculptor to make a statue of the Immaculate Conception. Unexpectedly, the figure that was delivered was of the Divina Pastora. The priest wanted to return it, but the packing crate could not be lifted. The whole town took this as a sign that the statue wanted to remain in Santa Rosa In 1855 the status of the Divina Pastora as the patron saint of the Venezuelan state of Lara was further established, when a cholera epidemic occurred, striking a great number of families in Barquisimeto. Desperate, they implored the Divina Pastora for help. It is said that Father Jose Macario Yépez, parish priest of the La Concepción church of Barquisimeto, offered himself before the Virgin, to be the last victim of the disease. Some accounts say that the priest died six months later and that the epidemic then left the city; others indicate that his supplications stopped the epidemic immediately.
Procession On January 14 of each year, there is in Lara state a procession in honor of the Divine Shepherdess, in which people move the image from the church in the village of Santa Rosa to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Barquisimeto, this route is a little more than 7.5 km. kicking off with the last Mass in the outskirts of the temple of Santa Rosa at 10:00 am. The Virgin pilgrimage begins at approximately 11:30 am; the procession lasts nearly 7 hours, taking the traditional stop at the square Macario Yepez. Culminating in the arrival Mass celebrated far and wide Avenida Venezuela, having different cultural and musical acts ending a day full of fervor and faith. Then the "Shepherdess" visits the 52 parishes of the city, 3 and 2 Churches Vicarías Subsidiaries, and then is taken back to their sanctuary, where it remains until the next January 14. This is the first major religious procession in Latin America.
This celebration is one of the most important religious icons of Venezuela, is one of the most followed in the country It is a festive occasion, with countless street vendors selling anything from food to liquor and small religious figurines along the route that snakes through the city. Every year the virgin is dressed differently by a local designer.
Miracles increase the faith
The earthquake of March 26, 1812 (which devastated the cities of Caracas, Barquisimeto, Mérida, Tocuyo and San Felipe), destroyed the temple where he worshiped the Divine Shepherdess, but she remained intact, reinforcing the belief of the Santa Rosa's faithful that the Virgin wanted to stay to protect them.
Another fact which strengthened the faith of devotees came in 1855 to break out in Venezuela a terrible cholera epidemic that decimated many families from Barquisimeto. The disease did not yield to medicine, laments or prayers, and the desperate people decided as a last resort out in procession through the streets of Barquisimeto to the Divina Pastora, to implore his mercy, which is supposed to have been granted, as from that same day, by all accounts, the epidemic ceased cólera.
Attack on images of the Divine Shepherdess On May 26, 2011, an unknown group of vandals destroyed part of the monument of the Divine Shepherdess, located in Santa Rosa distributor in Lara state. The heads of sheep were decapitated and the face of the Virgin was hit by bullet. Other image buttresses attacked with paint, was a mural on the square Macario Yepez, at the end of the race 19 with the start of the Lara avenue. In addition to other images in the Plaza of the Basilica of Our Lady of Coromoto on Avenida Libertador, was also completely destroyed. Murals in the Obelisk distributor also were stained with red paint.
References http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divina_Pastora_(Barquisimeto) 1.↑ Tres millones de fieles veneran a la Pastora. Diario La Verdad
2.↑ Francisco Aguilar Piñal: Historia de Sevilla, siglo XVIII, Universidad de Sevilla, 1989, ISBN 84-7405-430-3, pagina 335 3.↑ Diario critico de Venezuela, 15-1-2009, Procesión multitudinaria. Divina Pastora convocó a más de dos millones de fieles 4.↑ Fe y cultura en Venezuela. Memorias de la II jornadas de historia y religión, Caracas, 2002, ISBN 980-244-341-7, página 91 5.↑ Analítica.com, 27-5-2011, Atacaron otra imagen de la Divina Pastora 6.↑ La Verdad, 02-6-2011, Pintan de rojo imágenes de la Divina Pastora en Lara 7.↑ El Observador, 27-5-2011, n Yaracuy amaneció la imagen de la Virgen del Rosario pintada de rojo 8.↑ El Universal, 28-5-2011, En Lara y Yaracuy decapitan imágenes de El Venerable