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Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá
Reliquia con la imagen de Virgen de Chiquinquira.jpg
The painting by Alonso de Narváez (ca. 1562)
Location The Basilica of Chiquinquirá (Boyacá), Colombia
Date 26 December 1586
Witness María Ramos, Isabel (an Indian servant), Joana de Santana
Type Prodigious renovation and effulgence of the painting of the Virgin
Holy See approval Liturgical Feast granted 12 April, 1825, during the pontificate of Pope Leo XII ; proclamation by act dated 18 July 1829 of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá as Patron of Colombia, during the pontificate of Pope Pius VIII ; canonical coronation on 9 July 1919, during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI (following approval given on 9 January 1910 by Pope St Pius X)
Shrine The Basilica of Chiquinquirá (Boyacá), Colombia

Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá (in Spanish, Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá) is a title under which the Blessed Virgin Mary is particularly venerated in the South American countries of Colombia and Venezuela, through her association with a reputedly miraculous pictorial image.

The archetype of the image is a painting executed in tempera on cotton cloth in about 1562 in what is now Colombia by a Spanish silversmith and painter born near Seville, Spain, named Alonso de Narváez. This man is the first artist known by name to have been active in the Spanish colonial dominion later known as New Granada.[1] No other works by him are known.[2]

According to contemporary records, the painting was installed in a rustic chapel in Suta (present-day Sutamarchán)[3] for which it was commissioned. Twenty years later, adverse environmental conditions in the chapel (which was roofed over with straw thatch) had caused the image to degrade to such an extent that the local priest, Juan de Leguizamón, sent it to the widow of Antonio de Santana (the man who had commissioned it and who had died in 1582), she, by then, residing with her family in Chiquinquirá, where it was relegated to a store-room.[4] Although the image on it was faint, the painting was recovered in 1585 by María Ramos, de Santana's sister-in-law who had recently come out from Spain. She hung it on the wall of an oratory, above the altar, where she came to pray every day to the Virgin. In the first deposition taken for the purposes of an ecclesiastical inquiry into the reported prodigy, she stated that she had just completed her devotions on the morning of 26 December 1586 when the painting mysteriously fell from the wall to hover over the place where she had been kneeling. She testified that the Virgin's face shone with bright colours and that the painting emitted a dazzling light throughout the rest of that day.[5]

Since that time, the painting has been the continuous focus of prayer to, and veneration of, the Virgin Mary in Colombia through whom, under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá, miracles of healing were also reported. The prodigious luminescence of 1586 was repeated on two subsequent occasions, in 1588 and 1589 respectively.[6]

In 1709, a second image, substantially the same as that painted by Narváez, reportedly manifested itself in miraculous circumstances on a wooden panel in the town of Maracaibo in the state of Zulia in what is now Venezuela, causing the cult of the Virgin under the title of Chiquinquirá to spread to that country where the populace know her as “La Chinita”[7] and where she is the Patron of the city of Maracaibo, of the state of Zulia, and of the Armed Forces of Venezuela.[8]

Location of Chiquinquirá in the Department of Boyacá, Colombia
Interior of the Basilica at Chiquinquirá


The Commissioning of the Painting[edit]

In 1529, a knight adventurer from Spain, named Don Antonio de Santana, arrived at Santa Marta on the northern coast of South America in the company of Governor García de Lerma and a large group of Dominican friars.[9] He slowly made his way up-country, and in 1540 established himself in Tunja, founded as a Spanish city in 1539 the year after the founding of the city now known as Bogotá which later became the capital of the vast Spanish territory known as the New Kingdom of Granada, or New Granada. In 1560 Don Antonio obtained an encomienda of Chibcha-speaking Indians in the region of present-day Sutamarchán in the valley of Saquencipa. Pursuant to this grant, he employed the Indians in erecting, in addition to buildings for his own use, a rudely-built chapel at a place called Suta in and from which the Indians might be catechized and perform their devotions. Some time later, his encomienda was extended to Chiquinquirá where another chapel was built. He died in Tunja in 1582.[10]

Evangelization of the Indians in what became New Granada was first undertaken by Dominican friars who established a base at Santa Marta in 1536.[11] From there, they spread out west and south. By 1571 there are said to have been 176 Dominican mission stations (or doctrinas as they were called) in New Granada.[12] An important priory was founded at Tunja in 1551 from which base they erected doctrinas at, among other locations, Suta.[13] Although there is no historical justification for attributing it to Saint Dominic Guzmán himself, the practice of the Catholic Marian devotion known as the Rosary was particularly promoted by the order of mendicant friars he had founded, the Order of Preachers (or Dominicans as they are popularly known), including, from the start, in what became New Granada.[14]

In these circumstances, when Don Antonio sought in 1560 to commission a painting for the chapel at Suta, it would have been foreseeable that Fray Andrés de Jadraque, the Dominican priest charged with the spiritual care of the Indians there, would arrange, as he did, for the painting to depict Our Lady of the Rosary. Moreover, the painter Narváez who received the commission was, or became, a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary and, possibly, a Dominican tertiary for, in his will dated 12 October 1583, he requested to be interred in the Dominican habit.[15] Upon its completion, the painting, for which Don Antonio paid Narváez 20 gold pesos, was hung in the chapel of the doctrina of Suta.[16]

Since the painting had been executed in tempera on a cotton support,[17] and since the chapel was rudely-built and the roof of thatch leaked, years of exposure to bright sunlight and to high levels of humidity caused the organic pigments gradually to fade to such an extent that Juan Alemán de Leguizamón, a secular priest who had arrived at Suta in 1578, ordered its removal from its place of honour in the chapel. Aware of its origin, he sent it to Chiquinquirá where Don Antonio's widow, Catalina García de Irlos, had removed herself together with all her family.[18] Upon, or soon after, its arrival at the Santana residence in Chiquinquirá, it was relegated to a store-room.[19]

The Prodigious Renovation[edit]

Modern parish church of The Renovation, Chiquinquirá, built over the site of the original chapel

Although in some quarters the prodigious renovation of the painting on 26 December 1586 is said to have extended beyond the painted image to the cotton support (allegedly marred by rents and holes, or torn into pieces or used as a rag),[20] and although the term "renovation" when applied to a painting might be intentionally ambiguous as to the precise point or points of reference,[21] in this section, "renovation" applies to the appearance of the painted image and not to the condition of the cotton support, unless the context requires otherwise.

The existence of a extensive contemporary dossier compiled by the ecclesiastical authorities between January 1587 and the end of 1589 both permits and requires a cautious approach when describing the prodigious renovation. This dossier comprises the transcript of depositions by numerous protagonists and eye-witnesses taken down initially for the purposes of, and later in the course of, a proceso eclesiástico (or inquiry), instigated by the local bishop, Luis Zapata de Cárdenas, Archbishop of Santafé de Bogotá. An official inquiry of this sort was mandated by the Council of Trent in directives issued at its twenty fifth session, in 1563.[22] Although its contents were selectively diffused, interpreted and elaborated upon both through and in books published from the late 17th century onwards, a complete transcription of the proceso manuscript was first published only in 1950.[23]

María Ramos and the events of 26 December 1586[edit]

Maria Ramos, who was still alive in 1623,[24] was the wife of Pedro de Santana, the brother of Don Antonio. Following her husband, who had preceded her to the Americas, she had left Seville and arrived in Tunja in 1585. Estranged from her husband on account of his infidelity in Tunja, she then came with her two children to live in Chiquinquirá with her sister-in-law.[25]

It is stated in the depositions that Ramos and other eye-witnesses made in course of the proceso, that Ramos was a devotee of Our Lady of the Rosary from her childhood. She had recovered the painting from its obscure location and, despite its greatly faded condition, hung it up by a cord on the wall of the oratory of her sister-in-law's residence, just above the altar. She was accustomed to spend hours kneeling in front of it, praying to the Virgin. On the morning of 26 December 1586, she had been praying as usual for about two hours, and was on the point of leaving the oratory when an Indian woman named Isabel called out to her : "See! See, madam! Our Lady, the Mother of God is standing in your place!" Ramos looked back, saw the painting standing on end at the place where she habitually knelt for prayer, and exclaimed : "Mother of God, My Lady, how do I deserve that you would lower yourself to take my place!"

She called Isabel in to help her - for the painting was leaning back slightly, suspended above the ground without any visible support. The two of them were attempting to put it on the altar when a third person, Juana de Santana, alerted by the noise, came in to assist. They all particularly noticed that the cord was not frayed or broken. As the three of them were in process of laying the painting on the altar, they saw the colours renewed and shining resplendently. Throughout the rest of the day the painting continued to emit a dazzling light.[26]

The Ecclesiastical Inquiry[edit]

This occurred in three stages. The first, preliminary, stage took place in January 1587, fifteen days after the reported prodigy, on the initiative of the local priest, Juan de Figueredo. He took with him to Chiquinquirá Diego López de Castiblanco, an accredited notary, and took depositions on oath from the main eye-witnesses. The second stage was initiated by Luis Zapata de Cárdenas, OFM, the Archbishop of Bogotá, who commissioned Fr. Jerónimo de Sandoval, a priest of the town of Leiva, to attend at Chiquinquirá to take further depositions from the witnesses (again, with a notary - this time, one Andrés Rodríguez). These depositions were taken in September 1587. Finally, in 1588 the same Archbishop established a commission of distinguished ecclesiastics sitting at Tunja, who took depositions from, among others, that same Juan Alemán de Leguizamón who had been priest at Suta and who had removed the painting from its place above the altar in the chapel there and sent it to Chiquinquirá.[27]

Other miracles attributed to the Virgin at Chiquinquirá[edit]

The prodigious events of 26 December 1586 were not the only supernatural manifestation attributed to the intercession of the Virgin on behalf of those who venerate her before her image at Chiquinquirá.

Miracles of healing : numerous miracles of healing of mind and body were reported in the years 1587 onwards.[28]

Supernatural effulgence : apart from the renovation of 26 December 1586, other instances were reported of a miraculous effulgence emitted from the painting. On the morning of Saturday, 30 July 1588 at 8am the painting began to shine and the phenomenon lasted sufficiently long for all the inhabitants of the village to observe it. On 14 August of the same year the effulgence was repeated, this time in the presence of Archbishop de Cárdenas, several priests and numerous faithful. A third supernatural effulgence was reported for 5 January 1589 on which occasion it lasted from 8am until 5pm in the evening of the following day. Contemporary eye-witness accounts were taken of these events. Similar events continue to be recorded.[29]

The integrity of the cotton support : the mere survival of the painting after its numerous vicissitudes is taken as further confirmation of the Virgin's intercession by, among others, the 19th century Colombian historian Don José Manuel Groot (1800-1878). Writing in the middle of the 1850's he reported that the painting had been touched daily for at least 270 years by bundles of rosaries, bunches of herbs and other objects which, in his time, were attached to a hook on the end of a long pole which was then raised up and pressed on to its surface.[30]

Description and Location of the Painting[edit]


The painting by Alonso de Narváez (ca. 1562)

The oblong painting by Narváez is 119cm high by 125cm wide.[31] It was executed with organic pigments in tempera on a cotton cloth support said to have been (or formed part of) an Indian manta or oblong cape.[32] An ocular inspection and technical analysis conducted in 1986 by the art restorer Cecilia Alvarez White established (through radiographic and other means) that the paint was applied directly to the cotton support without any ground.[33]

The Virgin stands in the centre of the painting on a crescent moon. The Infant Jesus is on her left arm and she is flanked by two standing figures of more or less equal height with her : on her right is Saint Anthony of Padua (a 13th century Franciscan friar born in Portugal in 1195), [34] and stooping slightly on her left is Saint Andrew, the Apostle. Each saint is accompanied by his traditional iconographic attributes. [35]

The three standing figures occupy the whole of the pictorial space. Since the traditional place of honour is on the right hand, and since the Apostles are of higher rank than all other Saints except the Virgin and St Joseph, the iconography would be heterodox if it were not for the fact that an image of the Christ Child is one of St Anthony's attributes.[36] Nevertheless, following the explanation first offered by Tobar in 1694 (and affirmed by Zamora in 1701), the identity and arrangement of the supporting saints is generally ascribed to the fact that the figure in the place of honour is the patron saint of the man who commissioned and paid for the work, and the secondary place is given to the patron saint of the priest who acted as intermediary and arranged for the work to be done.[37]

The Infant Jesus gazes at a finch tied to a finger of His right hand. This bird is a symbol frequently associated with Him, especially in Italian Renaissance art, and is taken to represent, variously, the soul, sacrifice, death and redemption.[38]

At various stages in its history, the painting was embellished by the gilding of the hems of the clothes and halos of the two flanking saints,[39] and by the affixing of gilt, gold or other precious objects to the surface and frame.[40] Honorific medals and civil decorations are attached to the top margin of the painting, the whole of which is enclosed in glass by means of a magenta-coloured inner frame overlayed with a sequence of perforated silver hemi-discs interspersed with gilt stars. The painting and inner frame are enclosed in a massive silver outer frame to the top of which are affixed heraldic shields of the archdioceses and dioceses of Colombia.[41]

For very many years pilgrims and grateful devotees repeatedly pinned jewels and other votive objects to the painting. This pious practice was already a source of anxiety to the custodians of the painting in 1756, but it was not until 1897 when the painting was put behind protective glass that the danger it posed was finally eradicated. The existing jewels were removed at this time, leaving numerous small punctures in the cotton, visible to the naked eye.[42]

Within a very few years of the first reports of its prodigious renovation, copies and free versions of Narváez' painting began to be produced for private and public devotional purposes.[43] There are said to be hundreds of copies all over Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Central America.[44] Where securely dated, these enable scholars to trace the changing appearance of the original over the last four centuries.[45]


The reliquary above the high altar of the Basilica of Chiquinquirá, showing the decorations affixed to the frame
External view of the Basilica in its setting in Chiquinquirá

The painting is displayed in a neo-classical marble retable above the high altar of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá in the town of Chiquinquirá, the principal settlement in the Western Province of the civil political and administrative unit of the Department of Boyacá, the capital of which is Tunja.[46] Since 1977, Chiquinquirá has been a suffragan diocese in the ecclesiastical province of Tunja.[47] Chiquinquirá lies approximately 120 kms north-east of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia.[48]

Shortly after the first reports of the renovation of 1586, the local Indians had built a more ample chapel for the painting on the site but, having regard to the great processions of pilgrims coming to Chiquinquirá, Archbishop Cárdenas directed in 1597 that it be replaced by a larger building on the same site.

In 1636, the painting, the shrine, and the doctrina of Chiquinquirá were confided, by order of the then Archbishop of Santafé de Bogotá, Cristóbal de Torres, OP, to the custody of Dominican Friars, and in 1760, Archbishop José Javier de Arauz y Rojas of Bogotá elevated the doctrina to the status of parish under the title and patronage of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá.[49]

Dominican custody was interrupted between 1757 and 1764 (during which time the parish was transferred to secular priests), and more radically when, in the middle decades of the 19th century, successive anti-clerical governments suppressed religious orders such as the Dominicans, culminating, in 1861, in their expulsion from Colombia and the confiscation of all their property.[50]

High humidity caused by subterranean aquifers, the instability of the ground in the vicinity of the shrine (manifested when it was irreparably damaged in an earthquake in 1794, the epicentre of which was Quito, Ecuador), and the need for even larger premises, induced the Dominican custodians to build a new shrine on a new site. Work started in 1796 following plans drawn by the famous Spanish Capuchin architect, Fray Domingo Buix de Petrés, whose masterpiece it is considered to be.[51] An earthquake on 29 July, 1967 destroyed about a third of the buildings in Chiquinquirá, killed one person and injured 500. It caused serious damage to the basilica, particularly to its dome and towers which were rebuilt on a modified scale.[52]

The building was sufficiently complete for the painting to be installed in 1813. Consecration of the shrine-church (since 1928, a minor basilica) followed on 11 September 1823 when Bishop Rafael Lasso de la Vega (then bishop of Mérida in Venezuela, and at that time the only bishop in what had been New Granada) came to perform the ceremony.[53].

The basilica is the centrepiece of the National Marian Sanctuary of Colombia which also comprises Marian museums and the modern parish church of La Renovación built in place of the previous churches successively erected over the site of the reported prodigy and where the painting was kept until 1794.[54]

Diffusion and Approbation of the Cult, Veneration, and Public Honours[edit]


Our Lady of Chiquinquirá, by Baltasar Vargas de Figueroa 1629-1667 (attrib.)

As early as the late 16th century, a copy of the image was taken to Quito in Ecuador, and in the mid-17th century Chiquinquirá was described as a place notable for the numbers of persons who come from "all the parts of Perú and of the Kingdom of New Granada to visit the temple of the Mother of God where there is a miraculous portrait of her for them venerate".[55] Modern sources report that the cult is present in all of South America and that in Lima alone there are various churches with altars dedicated to her, with other images in the Peruvian town of Caraz (which celebrates her feast on 20 January) and in the mining settlement of Algamarca in Cajamba province.[56] Chiquinquirá itself is known variously as "the town of Mary", "the religious capital of Colombia", and "spiritually enchanting".[57] The diocese of Chiquinquirá proclaims itself the diocese of Mary".[58] Within Colombia generally, Our Lady of Chiquinquirá is venerated and honoured as the Queen and primary Patron.[59]. Apart from the Basilica in Chiquinquirá, the Virgin is honoured under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá by the dedication to her of three cathedrals in Colombia, namely at Garagoa, Santa Rosa de Osos, and Sonson, and of another basilica at La Estrella.[60]

Ecclesiastical Approbation[edit]

Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá by Antonio Acero de la Cruz (1643), detail showing the crowns

Acts and statements by successive popes from 1596 until 1986 pay particular honour to the Virgin of Chiquinquirá. The following can be adduced:-

  • In 1596, Pope Clement VIII granted a plenary indulgence to those who devotedly visited the image every year and prayed to the Virgin before it.[61]
  • In 1613, Pope Paul V granted indulgences to members of the Confraternity in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the parochial church of Chiquinquirá; and further indulgences were granted by Pope Urban VIII in 1644 and Pope Clement X in 1671.[62]
  • By act dated 12 April, 1825, Pope Leo XII granted a liturgical feast in honour of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá.[63]
  • By act dated 18 July 1829, Pope Pius VIII proclaimed Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá Patron of Colombia and authorised an Office of the Virgin and liturgical propers for her feast day which was inserted into the sanctoral cycle for 9 July.[64] The text of the relevant rescript of the Sacred Congregation of Rites and the note of papal approval, show that the cause was promoted at Rome by that same bishop of Mérida, Rafael Lasso de la Vega, who had consecrated the new church (later, a basilica) in Chiquinquirá in 1823.[65]
  • As early as 1908, the Dominicans, with the approval of the bishops of Colombia, had petitioned the pope to authorise the canonical coronation of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá. Approval was signified by Pope St Pius X by act dated 9 January 1910. On 9 July 1919, Mgr. Bernardo Herrera Restrepo, Archbishop of Bogotá, and Marco Fidel Suárez, President of Colombia, were present when Mgr. Eduardo Maldonado, Bishop of Tunja, crowned Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá as Queen of Colombia, for which purpose the painting had been taken to Bogotá. The coronation, carried out on Plaza de Bolívar, was effected by fixing gold crowns to the heads of the Virgin and of the Infant Jesus respectively. [66]
  • By act dated 18 August 1927, Pope Pius XI conceded to the shrine at Chiquinquirá the dignity of a minor basilica.[67] The relative Apostolic Brief was read out to a large crowd from the steps of the new basilica on 9 July 1928 by Mgr. Giobbe, Papal Nuncio to Colombia, in the presence of (among others) Mgr. Ismael Perdomo, Archbishop of Bogotá, and the President of the Republic.[68]
  • Pope Pius XII delivered a message by radio on 19 July, 1946 to participants of the Second Marian Congress of Colombia held in Bogotá in which he named various Marian sanctuaries in Colombia and said that Our Lady of Chiquinquirá reigned over them as the sun reigns over the stars.[69] He also delivered a radio message to participants of the Third Marian Congress held in Bogotá in December 1954 to mark the centenary of the solemn definition of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, in course of which he called Our Lady of Chiquinquirá "your most beloved Patron . . the favoured object of every Colombian heart".[70]
  • In the course of his Apostolic Journey to Colombia in 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the basilica on 3 July 1986 in order to honour Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá, and he consecrated the nation of Colombia to her; Belisario Betancur the President of Colombia attended the papal Mass celebrated in the basilica that day.[71]

Public Honours[edit]

These are of two types : the public occasions on which Colombian civil leaders themselves venerated the Virgin (or associated themselves in person with honours paid to her by others), and the conferring of national decorations or other honours on her. In the 19th and 20th centuries there have been at least six notable instances of the former, and three of the latter. In the 21st century, the Colombian Congress approved a law denominating La Estrella (Antioquia province) as a Shrine City. This was by way of commemorating the golden jubilee of the coronation of that image of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá which is located in that city's basilica. In 2010 the Constitutional Court struck down the law, by 6 votes to 3, on the grounds that it infringed article 19 of the Constitution of 1991 which guarantees freedom of religion and establishes Colombia as a non-confessional state.[72]

Visits by national civil leaders[edit]
View of the façade of the Basilica, dispaying image of Pope John Paul II with the statue of Simón Bolívar on a pedestal in front at left
  • Simón Bolívar, the famous leader of the revolutionary movement against Spanish colonial rule, visited the shrine three times. The first was on 2 January 1821, in thanksgiving for the help the cause of liberation had received from the Dominican custodians in 1815 when they donated not only cash but also the large quantity of gold and jewels which had adorned the painting.[73] Bolívar visited again between 6 and 8 September 1827, and yet again on 20 June 1828 when, so it is reported, he spent a long time on his knees praying to the Virgin.[74]
  • The events of 1919, during which Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá was solemnly crowned as Queen of Colombia (noted above under "Ecclesiastical Approbation") were jointly approved by the chief civil and ecclesiastical authorities of Colombia, who attended the ceremony in their official capacities. The President who participated was Marco Fidel Suárez.
  • A solemn ceremony was held on the steps of the Sanctuary in Chiquinquirá on 9 July 1928 when the Papal Nuncio to Colombia, Mgr. Pablo Giobbe, read out the papal decree elevating the shrine to the rank of minor basilica. This ceremony was attended by (among many other notables) Mgr. Ismael Perdomo Borrero, Archbishop of Bogotá, and Doctor Miguel Abadía Méndez, President of Colombia.
  • Belisario Betancur, as President of Colombia, attended ceremonies conducted at the basilica by Pope John Paul II on 3 July, 1986 during which he consecrated Colombia to the Virgin of Chiquinquirá.[75]
The conferring of national decorations and honours[edit]
  • Between 4 and 8 December 1954, the painting was taken to Bogotá as the centrepiece of the Third Marian Congress of Colombia. On the same occasion, General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, then President of Colombia, pinned to the image the Cross of Boyacá, first grade.[76] The decoration is attached to the top left-hand part of the painting.[77]
  • The Colombian Post Office (Correos de Colombia) issued a 5 centavo postage stamp (extra-rápido) on 23 May 1957 depicting the Virgin of Chiquinquirá under the title "Patrona de Colombia".[78]
  • On 9 July 1999, the painting was taken to Bogotá to preside over a national prayer campaign for peace, in course of which the Virgin was decorated with the Grand Cross of the Order of Congress (Orden del Congreso de Colombia, en el Grado de Gran Cruz Extraordinaria).[79]

Popular Veneration[edit]

View inside the Basilica, looking up into the dome as reconstructed after the earthquake of 1967

Pilgrimages and processions : As previously mentioned (see under "Location", above), pilgrimages to Chiquinquirá had already become significant enough by 1597 for Archbishop de Cárdenas to order the building of a larger church to house the painting. In time, Chiquinquirá became the site of the most important Marian shrine in the country[80] and remains one of the most enduring Catholic cults in Colombia.[81] These pilgrimages (or romerías as they are called) have always been occasions for joyful exuberance, where eating, drinking, singing and dancing are present along with prayer and religious devotions.[82] Since the end of the 16th century, pilgrimages to Chiquinquirá have been traditionally made between 22 and 30 December in order to commemorate the original prodigy of 26 December 1586, and during the colonial era devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá was attracting pilgrims from far beyond the immediate locality. In the pre-hispanic era the Chibcha-speaking Indians of the region were already accustomed to make pilgrimages over long distances, and in large numbers, in order to visit sites they held sacred (particularly those associated with water)[83] Pilgrimages of 10,000 to 12,000 people were reported.[84]

Suggestions of syncretism : A major offensive against sanctuaries dedicated to the practice of indigenous beliefs had been initiated in 1577, despite which, denunciations of idolatry were still being made against individuals in the 1630's.[85] Nevertheless, Catholic devotional practices continued to spread among the indigenous population, although more slowly than in México at this time.[86]Some anthropologists and other observers, noting the comparatively smooth transition of devout practices from a pre-Christian to a Christian focus, have speculated that the Indians who came on pilgrimage to Chiquinquirá might have been attracted to the site by virtue of its associations with their ancestral religion, experiencing, perhaps, an ambiguous cultic response. A temple to the god Fu on an island in the lake of Fúquene, not far from Chiquinquirá, was said to have had 100 priests ministering there in pre-colonial times. Proponents of these views have yet to address the fact that the devotion was never confined to the locality (as to which, see under "La Virgen peregrina" below).[87] The view has even been put forward that such beliefs have survived to the present day.[88] Some have suggested that the name Chiquinquirá itself testifies to a pre-Christian cult, but this is not universally accepted.[89]

Indulgences : The enthusiasm of the Indians for going on pilgrimage to Chiquinquirá was intensified by the grant of indulgences to those who devoutly made an annual visit to the shrine and prayed before the image of the Virgin. The first recorded indulgence of this nature was granted in 1596, and indulgences specific to members of the Confraternity of the Rosary were granted in 1613 and 1644.[90]

La Virgen peregrina : From the start of the cult, the painting of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá was, from time to time, taken from the shrine to places where some disaster threatened. This was notably the case during epidemics. The first of these transportations occurred in 1587 when the painting was taken to Tunja during an outbreak of smallpox. In 1633, during a plague, it was taken by way of Tunja to Bogotá where it remained until 1635. Another outbreak of smallpox in 1841 led to the painting being again taken from the shrine for almost four months during which time it was processed by crowds of up to 6,000 carrying candles who stopped to pray at every church en route to the capital.[91]

Centenaries : Elaborate celebrations marked the third and fourth centenaries of the initial prodigy. The celebrations of 1886 lasted two weeks, despite unusually heavy rainfall which deterred the Archbishop of Bogotá and the President of Colombia from attending.[92] The celebrations of 1986 were presided over by Pope John Paul II (as to which see above, under "Ecclesiastical Approbation").

Symbol of National Identity : With the motive of promoting the cult of the Virgin as a symbol of national identity, Colombian poets and writers have celebrated her. Marco Fidel Suárez (1855-1927)[93] invoked her as queen of the fatherland and queen of the world and of the ages ("¡Reina de nuestra patria y reina del mundo y las edades!") ; José Joaquín Ortiz (1814-1892)[94] praised the fervor of the innumerable pilgrims who arrive from the furthest parts of the Republic to venerate her ("innumerables peregrinos que desde las más remotas partes de la república acuden a rendirle culto") and, prostrate before her, pray all hours of the day ("a todas horas del día") ; for Antonio Gómez Restrepo (1869-1947)[95] she is the battlemented castle of the fatherland because she loves freedom, loves the Republic, and divested herself of her jewels to aid the cause of independence ("Almenado castillo de la patria [porque] Ella quiso la libertad, quiso la república; y se despojó de sus joyas para sostener la Independencia") ; Eduardo Caballero Calderón (1910-1993)[96] considers that she is the glue of the national spirit since, along the roads of Colombia, carried on the shoulders of pilgrims, she has been shaping popular music and national poetry from its birth ("el mayor aglutinante del espíritu nacional [pues] a lo largo de los caminos de Colombia, cargados en hombros de los peregrinos, se ha ido formando nuestra música popular y nuestra naciente poesía")[97]



  1. ^ See Rueda Acevedo, Orlando, OP, "Los dominicos y el arte en la evangelización del Nuevo Reino de Granada" in : Actas del IVº Congreso Internacional (1993), pp. 565-576, at p. 571
  2. ^ See the Colarte website, citing doctora Carmen Ortega Ricaurte, Diccionario de Artistas en Colombia, Eds. Tercer Mundo, Bogotá, 1965: accessed 8 December 2013. For Narváez as a silversmith, see Mendez Bernal (who calls him a "maestro platero" (master silversmith), and Vences Vidal (2008), pp. 39 and 41
  3. ^ See the official website of the municipality
  4. ^ Vences Vidal, p. 39
  5. ^ See the Colarte website quoting the official testimony of Ramos as contained in the documents of the ecclesiastical inquiry first published in: Ariza (1950), see at p.18
  6. ^ See the Colarte website quoting the official testimony of Ramos in: Ariza (1950), see at pp. 60-64
  7. ^ Maracaibo international Airport is called "La Chinita": see the official website of Bolivariana de Aeropuertos accessed 8 December 2013
  8. ^ See the (Spanish) website of the Misioneros Oblatos, or Missionary Oblates. For the decree dated 30 July 1980 of Pope John Paul II approving the Virgin as patron of the Venezuelan Armed Forces, see AAS 72 [1980] p. 806
  9. ^ See Mesanza's note (132) on p. 305 of vol. III of Zamora (1945). Cf. the Dominican Custodians' website which dates the arrival to December 1528 and does not mention de Santana. For the date 28 February 1529, see Acosta, p. 52.
  10. ^ See the articles | Tunja and | Sutamarchan in Spanish Wikipedia, and Vences Vidal (2008) at p. 36 and (for de Santana's death) p. 39.
  11. ^ See Plata Quezada, p. 282 citing Ariza, Alberto, OP, Los Dominicos en Colombia, vol. 1, Provincia de San Luis Bertrán de Colombia, Bogotá (1993)
  12. ^ See Plata Quezada, p.288
  13. ^ Vences Vidal (2008), p. 36 (and, for the date of the founding of the priory, p. 41). For the importance of the priory, see Júlian García del Castillo, OP, Dominicos en Colombia, a brief undated history available as a pdf download from the website of CIDALC (Conferencia Interprovincial de Dominicos de América Latina y el Caribe)
  14. ^ See articles in the Catholic Encyclopedia (1911) Rosary and Saint Dominic, both accessed 8 December 2013; Manuel Jesús Romero, OP, Los Dominicos en América Latina y el Caribe: Esbozo Histórico, p. 1, an undated article available as a pdf download from the website of CIDALC ; and Vences Vidal (2008) at pp. 34-36
  15. ^ Vences Vidal (2008), p. 38
  16. ^ Vences Vidal (2008) reporting the testimony of Pedro Hernández at the contemporary inquiry (the proceso) : regarding the price paid, see p. 38; and regarding the location of the painting as early as 1564, see p. 42.
  17. ^ Cotton was the main crop in Tunja province at this time and formed part of the tribute the Indians were obliged to hand over to their encomandiero; the production of cotton mantas was the most important indigenous manufacture and operated as a common barter-medium: see Colmenares, pp.8 and (via an example relating to Antonio Santana as encomendero of Suta) 133. See also Martínez Martín, p. 1 :- "Se intercambia coca por mantas, mantas por oro; miel y cera de abeja, loros y papagayos y yopo; cuentas de collar, cal, calabazos; leña, alfarería, algodón, caracoles y plantas medicinales; se intercambia tabaco, borrachero, trementina, tunjos, productos vegetales, pescado, piezas de caza, esmeraldas y sal. Los cronistas insisten en que los Muiscas disfrutan el comercio." ; and p. 2 :- "[los cronistas c]omentan la alta calidad de las mantas elaboradas por los muiscas, que le dieron nombre al Departamento de Boyacá y fueron uno de los principales artículos de tributo en la Colonia."
  18. ^ Vences Vidal (2008), p. 39 for the widow's place of residence, and p. 43 for Leguizamón. Some secondary sources place this event immediately upon Leguizamón's arrival at Suta in 1578 when Don Antonio was still alive, but at that time Don Antonio was probably living in the colonial city of Tunja (where he died in 1582) and not in Chiquinquirá - and all sources agree that the painting was sent there. Sastoque Poveda (p. 2) gives a typical account of the chronology. For Chiquinquirá as almost abandoned at that time : see Cepeda, p. 75. Between 1562 and 1602 the population of Chiquinquirá-Suta fell from 300 to 40 : see Colmenares, table 5, p. 71
  19. ^ Vences Vidal (2008), p. 45, quoting Fray Pedro de Tobar y Buendía who wrote in 1694 that Ramos found the painting in "el cuarto de aperos de la estancia" (in a tackle room on the farm)
  20. ^ See, for example, the treatment in English-language webpages such as Saints SQPN and Roman Catholic Saints, and Spanish-language webpages such as Vatican Radio (a posting dated 7 July 2010),, and EWTN Spanish Saints – all accessed on 8 December 2013
  21. ^ See, for example, remarks by Pope John Paul II in his (300th anniversary homily of 3 July 1986 during his Apostolic Journey to Colombia) where he adverts to the miracle of Chiquinquirá solely as the "renovation" of the painting
  22. ^ See Vences Vidal (2009), p. 109, and Cummins, p. 59 at footnote 12 – Trent., Sess. XXV, decretum de invocation, veneration et reliquiis Sanctorum, et sacris imaginibus in Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum, Herder, ed. 32 (1963), at 1820
  23. ^ For a review of the written sources both primary and secondary, see Vences Vidal (2008), pp. 30-34. The text of the proceso was first published by Alberto Ariza, OP, in his book Hagiografía de la milagrosa imagen de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá, Editorial Iqueima, Bogotá, 1950 – see Vences Vidal (2008), p. 30 (citing Ariza himself in his own work at p. 14)
  24. ^ In that year she received the habit of the Dominican Third Order : see Plata Quezada at p. 312, citing Alonso de Zamora, OP, Historia de la Provincia de San Antonino del Nuevo Reino de Granada, Editorial Sur América, Caracas, 1930 (1st edn., 1701), Book III, chap. 7
  25. ^ See Vences Vidal (2008) at p. 44, citing Ramos' own testimony at the proceso.
  26. ^ The Spanish text of the proceso (to a greater or lesser extent, but in no case is it complete) is available online (source generally unattributed) at, e.g., the Colarte website. For a non-continuous summary and paraphrase (with attributed quotes), see also Vences Vidal (2008), pp. 30-51. For a continuous summary of the inquiry, but only with the evidence of Juan de Leguizamón, see Sastoque Poveda, pp. 22-27
  27. ^ For a summary account of the various stages, see Cepeda, pp. 80f.
  28. ^ For an extensive account of them see Cepeda, pp. 84-93 who gives miracle accounts relating to :- Beatriz Sánchez, Catalina Gordillo, Alonso Ruiz Jurado (a resident of Quito in Ecuador), Juan de la Peña (a fourteen year-old boy), the fifteen month-old boy of Pedro Sánchez Claros, and Pedro, the 18 year-old son of Francisco Sánchez (brother of the Beatriz Sánchez named above) – all of whom Cepeda reports as having been cured through the intercession of the Virgin of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá in the year 1587. His examples mostly appear to have been taken from Tobar y Buendía's work, but he states (at p. 89) that a much fuller account of healings could be gathered in books, from paintings in the cloister of the convent at Chiquinquirá, and from unpublished documents in the convent library
  29. ^ See Sastoque Poveda, pp. 27f. describing the illuminations of 1588 and 1589, and reporting similar events in 1985 and 2001
  30. ^ On Groot's achievements, see the biographical article in the virtual library of the Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, a project of the Banco de la República of Colombia. On Groot's opinion of the miracle of conservation of the painting, see Cepeda at p. 94, and, at p. 96, quoting from Groot's Historia de Nueva Granada :- «Este milagro consiste en que, haciendo por lo menos doscientos setenta años que diariamente se están tocando en el lienzo de la Virgen mazos de rosarios, manojos de yerbas, panecillos de tierra blanca y otras mil cosas, el lienzo no ha sufrido nada, debiéndose haber destruido y acabado la tela en la parte que tales refregones sufre diariamente. Y es menester ver cómo se hace la aplicación de estos objetos al cuadro, para conocer el milagro de mantenerse sano. Como el cuadro está en alto tienen en la iglesia una vara larga con un garabato en la punta y engarzados en este garabato los objetos, los aplican al lienzo de manera que no quede duda de haberse tocado bien con la imagen. ¡Y en más de dos siglos y medio de maniobra diaria, el lienzo se mantiene bueno y sa- no!.... ¿Estará esto en el orden natural de las cosas?»
  31. ^ Vences Vidal (2008), p. 224
  32. ^ See Fandiño; and cf. Cummins, at pp. 66f.
  33. ^ Cecilia Alvarez, quoted in Vences Vidal (2008) at p. 147
  34. ^ See the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia (1911), accessed 8 December 2013
  35. ^ St Anthony holds in his right hand a palm branch, a symbol of virginity and chastity, and in his left hand he supports an under-sized naked Christ Child standing on a closed book with a globe in His left hand - Vences Vidal (2008), pp. 133, 136 ; St Andrew supports a decussated cross with his left hand and, less traditionally, is engrossed in a book which he holds open in his right hand – ibid., pp. 142f.
  36. ^ See Vences Vidal (2008), pp. 130, and 155f. where she discusses the iconography as depicting the mystery of the Incarnation of the Divine Logos
  37. ^ Tobar is quoted to this effect in Vences Vidal (2008) at pp. 39f. See Zamora, p. 25.
  38. ^ See The Goldfinch in Renaissance Art, and a page on the website of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England, Signs and Symbols, both accessed 8 December 2013; cf. Vences Vidal (2008), p. 152
  39. ^ See Vences Vidal (2008), p. 153
  40. ^ These comprise, as to the surface : (1) a sceptre in the Virgin's right hand (one formerly there in 1899 was replaced in 1944 – see Vences Vidal (2008), pp. 62 and 157) ; (2) an aureole of 12 stars, made of gold and emeralds, around her head ; (3) a crown (made of the same materials) fixed on her head in 1919 during the canonical coronation that year ; (4) two long rosaries with gold beads which hang down in front of her robe - one depending from her left hand and the other depending from the left hand of the Infant Jesus ; (5) a crescent moon (of gold and precious stones) affixed in 1969 at the Virgin's feet, commemorating the golden jubilee of the canonical coronation ; and (6) the hems of the Virgin's mantle and the edges of St. Anthony's book are trimmed with gold thread. All these items are detailed in Vences Vidal (2008) on p. 157
  41. ^ Vences Vidal (2008), p. 158
  42. ^ See Vences Vidal (2008), pp. 63, 149 ; for the puncture marks, see Cecilia Alvarez White's discussion of the x-ray images of the painting as quoted on a page of the Colarte website, accessed 8 December 2013 : " Los pequeños puntos blancos y fragmentos alargados, corresponden a restos de alfileres o pequeños clavos que sostuvieron joyas ya retiradas". For the removal of the jewels and the installation of a glass shield in 1897, see the timeline in Castaño Rueda, pp. 93f. and Vences Vidal (2008), p. 63 at marginal note 121 (where she cites Ariza (1964))
  43. ^ See, e.g., Vences Vidal (2008), plates 7 and 9-16
  44. ^ See González Aranda at p. 1278.
  45. ^ e.g., Vences Vidal (2008), chapter III, §3 passim
  46. ^ See the official website of the Departamento of Boyacá, accessed 8 December 2013. For a description of the retable (consecrated in 1908 by the Archbishop of Bogotá) see Londoño Botero, p. 88
  47. ^ Erected by act of Pope Paul VI in 1977. For the bull Qui Divino Consilio, see AAS 69 [1977], pp. 435f.; cf. the relevant page of accessed 8 December 2013
  48. ^ See the official website of Chiquinquirá accessed 8 December 2013
  49. ^ See: an article posted on 9 July 2012 on the collaborative website maintained by the Equipo Pregunta Santoral; and a chronicle on the website of the [ Dominican Custodians], both accessed 8 December 2013
  50. ^ For the termini of both dispossessions, see Mesanza's chronology in his note (132) to vol. III of Zamora (1945). For Mesanza's termini of 1835-1881, see also Fandiño, under Las convulsions del siglo XIX ; cf. Dussel, pp. 82, 98, 102 (implying termini of 1849-1886 for the 19th c. suppression). The culminating law was dated 9 September 1861, preceded by much harassment and restrictions on the activity of the religious congregations : see Hernández Martín, Ramón, OP, "Fuentes del Instituto Histórico Dominicano de Salamanca sobre América, y en particular sobre Colombia" in : Actas del IVº Congreso Internacional (1993), pp. 105-128, at p. 126. For the brief transfer of the parish in the 18th c., see Londoño Botero, pp. 86f.
  51. ^ See Londoño Botero, pp. 87f. For Petrés, see also the article Domingo de Petrés in Spanish wiki. For a description and assessment of the basilica, see Rueda Acevedo, Orlando, OP, "Los dominicos y el arte en la evangelización del Nuevo Reino de Granada" in : Actas del IVº Congreso Internacional (1993), pp. 565-576, at p. 570
  52. ^ See Rueda Acevedo, op. cit., and compare with modern photographs the photograph of the façade of the basilica in 1945 republished by the news outlet on the 46th anniversary of the disaster (accessed 11 December 2013)
  53. ^ See : the relative webpages at the Foros de la Virgen website ; the website of the [ Dominican Custodians] ; and Fandiño (under Las convulsions del siglo XIX); cf. the chronology in Castaño Rueda. For a schematic biography of Bishop Lasso de la Vega, see the relevant page of
  54. ^ See the relevant page of the website of the Dominican custodians, accessed 8 December 2013. The modern church is the parish church of the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá (Renovación), Chiquinquirá – as to which, see the relevant page of the website of Chiquinquirá diocese
  55. ^ Cummins, p. 63, quoting from Piedrahita, Lucas Fernández (1624-1688) in his Historia general de la conquista del Nuevo Reino de Granada
  56. ^ e.g., Fundiño, under "Irradiación de su culto"
  57. ^ See the official website of the [ Municipality] of Chiquinquirá ; the official website of the Departamento of Boyacá ; and the Colombian national tourist website - all accessed 8 December 2013
  58. ^ See the diocesan website accessed 8 December 2013
  59. ^ See below under the section "Ecclesiastical Approbation", events of 1908-1919, 1946, and 1986
  60. ^ See the gcatholic website accessed 8 December 2013 ; the decree dated 16 April, 1986 of Pope John Paul II, elevating the church at La Estrella to the rank of minor basilica, is at AAS 78 [1986], pp. 918f.
  61. ^ See the chronicles on the websites of the Cofradía and the Dominican custodians ; no more specific date is given there. Vences Vidal (2008), p. 52, gives the month of July, citing Téllez, p. 65
  62. ^ Téllez, as reported on the liturgia de las horas website
  63. ^ Vences Vidal (2009), p. 106
  64. ^ Vences Vidal (2009), p. 106 ; cf. Fundiño, under "Las convulsiones del siglo XIX. The relevant webpage of the Colombian national tourist website attributes the act, by error, to Pope Pius VII (who died in 1823)
  65. ^ The text is reproduced in Cepeda (at pp. 82-84). Lasso de la Vega is not named there, but he served as bishop of Mérida from 1816 until 1828 when he was translated to Quito : see the relevant page of
  66. ^ See the website of the Dominican Custodians under "Coronación çanónica de la Imagen". The crowns (an elaborate description of which is given by Sastoque Poveda at pp. 64f. quoting Manuel M. Madero as cited by Mesanza, A. Coronación de la Virgen..., pp. 87-88) were designed by Ricardo Acevedo Bernal. For the absence of a painted crown underneath the affixed crowns, see Alvarez apud Vences Vidal (2008) at p. 150
  67. ^ AAS 20 [1928], pp. 18f.
  68. ^ Sastoque Poveda, pp. 70-72, with the text of the Brief in Spanish
  69. ^ AAS 38 [1946], pp. 324-326 ; for 16 July as the date, see the text on the Vatican website accessed 8 December 2013
  70. ^ ". . vuestra amadísima Patrona, en el objeto predilecto de todo corazón colombiano, en Nuestra Señora de Chiquinquirá". See AAS 46 [1954], pp. 722-725 ; cf. the text on the Vatican website
  71. ^ As the papal homily delivered at the Mass records. See AAS 79 [1987], pp. 73-80 ; cf. the text on the Vatican website. For the text of the prayer in which the Pope consecrated Colombia to the Virgin ("Te consagro toda esta nación de Colombia de la que eres, Virgen de Chiquinquirá, Patrona y Reina"), see the Vatican website
  72. ^ See the decision (in Spanish) at Comunicado No. 47 dated 20 and 23 September 2010. The Senate passed the law – law no. 195/08 – in 2008, and the Chamber of Representatives passed it the following year – law No. 369/09. Not only did the law acclaim La Estrella as "Shrine City", but it provided (by article 5) for a 2 meter-high inscription in stone to be fixed on the wall of the basilica, reading:- "Congreso de Colombia, Senado de la República, Ley de Honores al Municipio La Estrella exaltándolo como Ciudad Santuario, como reconocimiento a la devoción y fe de sus ciudadanos durante más de tres siglos de existencia de la población y como homenaje a la Virgen del Rosario de Chiquinquirá" (Congress of Colombia, Senate of the Republic, Law of Honours for the Municipality of La Estrella elevating it as Shrine City in recognition of the devotion and faith of its citizens for more than three centuries of its existence, and in honour of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá). The Court majority took particular notice of the fact that "shrine" is defined in Canon Law (see Code of Canon Law, cann. 1230 and 1234 §1). An English translation of the Constitution (updated to 2005 is available at the Constitute Project website
  73. ^ The Cofradía chronicle under 1815 mentions "las joyas que habían donado los peregrinos a la Virgen, consistentes en collares, cadenas, cruces, cintos, rosario medallones, zarcillos y otros objetos de oro y esmeraldas" (jewellery which pilgrims had donated to the Virgin, consisting of necklaces, chains, crosses, belts, rosaries, earrings, and other objects of gold, and emeralds). Contemporary documents, quoted by Sastoque Poveda, at pp. 37f., identify cash in the sum of 1,233 gold pesos and a mass of jewels among which a sash of diamonds and emeralds sent by the Duchess of Alba was pre-eminent, being valued at 25,000 gold pesos. Compare the austere comment by Dussel, p.91: "The Dominican convent of Chiquinquirá —as hundreds of others in Latin America —decided to turn over to the revolutionary government all their properties, those held in common and individually, as well as the money and other objects of gold in order to aid the new State".
  74. ^ Cofradía chronicle
  75. ^ See the homily pronounced by Pope John Paul II during the Mass celebrated that day, AAS 79 [1987], pp.73-80; cf. the relevant page of the Vatican website
  76. ^ See the chronicle on the website of the Dominican custodians, under the section "El Título de Basílica" ; cf. the Cofradía chronicle. The fact of the decoration (without assigning a date, the name of the President who conferred it, or the rank of the decoration) is asserted in an article Las Mil y Una Cruces (the thousand and one crosses) dated 1 November 1993 appearing in the online edition of Semana magazine, a weekly review of analysis and opinion founded in 1982 which claims to be the most important in Colombia
  77. ^ See an Argentinian website ; Vences Vidal (2008), at p. 158, locates it in the centre, but that is not possible since the Virgin's crown and aureole reach to the top of the frame
  78. ^ See Castaño Rueda, chronology, p. 118. A Spanish commercial stamp catalogue dates the emission to 14 June that year. For an image of the stamp, see the same catalogue]
  79. ^ See Cofradía website, which does not state who conferred the honour
  80. ^ Plata Quezada, p. 338 (footnote 172)
  81. ^ See Londoño Botero, p. 84
  82. ^ See Ocampo :- "Duelos de copleros . . . son muy frecuentes en las romerías de Chiquinquirá, aun cuando a veces culminan en completas peleas cuando los atacantes mezclan coplas picarescas o de completo sabor político. En la romería de Chiquinquirá todo es devoción y alegría; sencillez y espontaneidad; el indio ríe y llora sobre las cuerdas del tiple. La jornada, la promesa postrados al pie de la sagrada imagen, la procesión con la Virgen, la fiesta popular, la compra de los objetos típicos y los dulces, presentan un sentido de la autenticidad popular que se recuerda allá en el rancho."
  83. ^ See Ocampo, chapter 7, "Las Romerías y el Folclor Religioso en Boyacá : (a) Las Romerías Boyacenses", including his citation of an anecdote reported by the 19th c. historian Joaquín Acosta. For every fresh-water spring as a place of worship by the Chibcha (or Muisca), see Adarve (2007) p. 435 :- "en general para los muiscas toda fuente de agua era un lugar de culto."
  84. ^ See Piedrahita, Libro I, cap. IV ("De otras ceremonias, y costumbres, que tenían los Mozcas, y de las processions que hazían"), at p. 24
  85. ^ For the crusade of 1577 (which had the collateral advantage of releasing large quantities of gold from sanctuaries to indigenous deities) and the persistence of idolatry, see Colmenares, pp. 10-15
  86. ^ See Plata Quezada, p. 295
  87. ^ For the lacustrine temple, see Adarve (2007) at p. 434 quoting Zamora quoting an earlier source. For syncretic speculations, see Adarve (2007) at p. 435 :- "Si los muiscas se acercan por voluntad propia y de manera espontánea, no por coacción, a esta imagen . . . no podemos concluir que la lectura del nativo era la misma del clero, pues los universos de representación simbólica eran muy distintos, a pesar de las décadas de violencia simbólica ejercida por los misioneros católicos." And at p. 441 :- "Era el encuentro de campesinos alrededor de una deidad sincrética. Encuentro en el que antaño le ofrendaban viejos tunjos ¿a la Virgen? ¿A la laguna? ¿A las dos? Todo ello es una larga historia de silencios y fragmentos de los que poco nos puede contar hoy el mestizo." Cf. idem, (2011) at pp. 11-13
  88. ^ e.g., Méndez Bernal (1987) : "Supervive la íntima convicción espiritual que llevaba ofrendas a Guatavita, sin esperanzas y con profunda certeza."
  89. ^ Wilmar Peña, p. 538, says "tierra de sacerdotes" as does Adarve (2007) p. 435 and (2011) p. 12. According to Cepeda, vol.2, p. 69, the name means "place of water and fogs" ; cf. Mendez Bernal to the same effect ("lugar de la niebla")
  90. ^ See Vences Vidal (2009) at p. 109
  91. ^ See Londoño Botero, pp. 89f. and Sastoque Poveda, pp. 40-53, with details of nine departures of the painting from Chiquinquirá between 1587 and 1999.
  92. ^ See Londoño Botero, pp. 90f.
  93. ^ President of Colombia. See the virtual library of Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango
  94. ^ See the virtual library of Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango and Ortiz
  95. ^ Spanish wiki
  96. ^ [ón Spanish wiki]
  97. ^ Londoño Botero, p. 92 (quoting Cornejo & Mesanza, pp. 77-86)


Primary sources[edit]

  • AAS, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, official organ of record of the Holy See, text (Latin, only) for each year from 1909 onwards, available as a pdf download from the Vatican website
  • Ariza, Alberto E., O.P., Hagiografía de Nuestra Señora de Chiquinquirá, Editorial Iqueima, Bogotá (1950) – containing a transcription of the text of the documents compiled in course of the contemporary ecclesiastical inquiry (el proceso eclesiástico) into the events ; republ. with "adiciones y correcciones", Editorial Veritas, Bogotá (1963)

Secondary Sources[edit]

  • Acosta Luna, "Las «Milagrosas Imágenes» Marianas y la Devoción Barroca en el Nuevo Reino de Granada", in Atas do IV Congresso Internacional do Barroco Íbero-Americano (2006), pp. 259-273 (later expanded as Milagrosas imágenes marianas en el Nuevo Reino de Granada, Editorial Iberoamericana Vervuert, Madrid (2011))
  • Actas del IVº Congreso Internacional (1993) = Barrado Barquilla, José (ed.), Los Dominicos y el Nuevo Mundo, siglos XVIII-XIX: actas del IVº Congreso Internacional, Santafé de Bogotá, 6-10 septiembre 1993, Editorial San Esteban, Salamanca, Spain (1995)
  • Adarve, Mauricio, "La Virgen de Chiquinquirá o la mimesis sacral" in Tejero, Clemencia (et al) edd., Creer y poder hoy, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Facultad de Ciencias Humanas (2007), pp. 421-450
---"La Virgen de Chiquinquirá: conflicto e identidad en la modernidad colombiana" [paper presented at Grupo de Trabajo 16 (religiosidad popular, peregrinaciones y apariciones) at the Conference XVI Jornadas sobre Alternativas Religiosas en América Latina] held 1-4 November, 2011 at Punta del Este, Uruguay available as a pdf download from webpage of Asociación de Cientistas Sociales de la Religión del Mercosur ACSRM
  • Alvárez White, Cecilia, Chiquinquirá arte y milagro, Presidencia de la República/Museo de arte sacro, Bogotá (1986)
  • Breve Historia de Chiquinquirá (down to 1944) from a Mexican website (in Spanish), comprising a chronicle of the town (down to 1944, with focus on its culture and architecture)
  • Castaño Rueda, Julio Ricardo, Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá, historia de una tradición, Fundación Editorial Epigrafe, Bogotá (2005)
  • Cepeda, Félix Alejandro, América Mariana ó sea historia compendiada de las imágenes más veneradas en el nuevo mundo, México-Barcelona (1905), vol. 2, chap. 2 (pp. 69-109)
  • Cofradía del Santo Sacrificio website (in Spanish) of a private association of Catholic faithful originating in Bucaramanga (Colombia), with a chronicle down to 2008 headed "Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá"
  • Colmenares, Germán, La provincia de Tunja en el Nuevo Reino de Granada – ensayo de historia social, 1539-1800, Universidad de los Andes, 1970 (3rd edn., Tercer Mundo Editores, Bogotá (1997))
  • Cummins, Tom, "On the Colonial Formation of Comparison: The Virgin of Chiquinquirá, The Virgin of Guadalupe and Cloth", Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, vol. XXI, núm. 75 (1999), pp. 51-77, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 
  • Diocese of Chiquinquira website; webpage with chronicle down to 2002 and a description of the parish of Chiquinquirá
  • Dominican custodians' website (Spanish) of the Santuario de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá, with articles on the history of the cult and on the architecture of the Sanctuary, and a chronicle of events down to 2008
  • Dussel, Emile, A History of the Church in Latin America: colonialism to liberation (1492-1979), Wm. B. Erdmans Publishing, 1981
  • Fandiño, Pablo Luis, undated article (in Spanish) posted on the Peruvian website Fatima under the title "Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá: Reina y patrona de Colombia" (citing Téllez – see below - as a source)
  • González Aranda, Beatriz, "Del Sombrero al Árbol. Relatos icónicos de la nación Colombiana", Arbor, Ciencia, Pensamiento y Cultura, CLXXXV 740 noviembre-diciembre (2009), pp. 1271-1282
  • Londoño Botero, Rocío, "La Virgen de Chiquinquirá: símbolo de identidad nacional", Revista Colombiana de Sociología,
 núm. 32, enero-junio del 2009, Departamento de Sociología | Facultad de Ciencias Humanas, National University of Colombia, Bogotá, at pp. 83-94
  • Martín Acosta, Emelina, "La Carrera Indiana de un Prohombre Burgales: García De Lerma", Boletín de la Institución Fernán González. Burgos. Año LXXIII, núm. 208 (1994/1), pp.39-52
  • Martínez Martín, Abel Fernando, "Entre risas y llantos. Una Mirada a las costumbres muiscas a través de los cronistas" (undated article, 2006 or later), available as a pdf download from the website "Colombia aprende"
  • Méndez Bernal, Rafael Mauricio, "El prodigio de Chiquinquirá", Boletín Cultural y Bibliográfico del Banco de la Republica, Núm. 12. Volumen XXIV (1987), available as a pdf download from the virtual library of the Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango (Spanish - a cultural project of the Banco de la República, Colombia)
  • Ocampo Lopez, Javier, El Pueblo Boyacense y su Folclor, Corporación de Promoción Cultural de Boyacá, Tunja (1997) available in multiple pdf downloads from the virtual library of Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango (see above, under Méndez Bernal)
  • Piedrahita, Lucas Fernández de (1624 Bogotá -1688 Panamá), Historia general de las Conquistas del Nuevo Reyno de Granada, Juan Baptista Verdussen, Antwerp (1688), facsimile in thumbnails at the website of the National Library of Colombia ; for a transcript of part of book 1, chapter 4, see Adarve (2007) at pp. 429f. (from a 1973 reprint) and Martínez Martín, pp. 11f.
  • Plata Quezada, William Elvis, "De evangelizador de indios a bastion de criollos. El convent dominicano de Nuestra Señora del Rosario y la sociedad colonial, Santafé de Bogotá, siglos XVI-XVIII", in: Grupo Interdisciplinario de Estudios de Religión, Sociedad y Política, Mirada pluridisciplinar al hecho religioso en Colombia, Universidad de San Buenaventura, Bogotá, 2008, pp. 281-346
  • Sastoque Poveda, OP, Luis Francisco, Historia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá, Universidad de Santo Tomás, Bogotá (n.d., but between ?2004 and 2009), available online as a pdf download (in Spanish) from a website of the distance-learning department of the University. Includes a chronicle of events down to 1999
  • Téllez G[arzón], O.P, Luis F[rancisco], Una luz en el camino: Santuario de la Virgen de Chiquinquirá, Sociedad Salesiana de Colombia (2005). A Spanish text excerpted online (with acknowledgement) at the website liturgia de las horas
  • Tobar y Buendía, Pedro de, OP, Verdadera histórica relación del origen, manifestación y prodigiosa renovación por sí misma y milagros de la imagen de la sacratísima virgen María: madre de Dios nuestra señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá, facsimile reprint by Instituto Caro y Cuervo, Bogotá (1986) of 1st edn. publ. 1694, Madrid [a continuous part of the text appears in Casas Rojas, Fidel, and Fajardo Páez, Orencio, "Homenaje a la Sma. Virgen del Rosario de Chiquinquirá en el tercer centenario de la renovación de su imagen", M. Rivas, Bogotá (1886), prólogo at pp. 4-24 (available as a pdf download from the virtual library of Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango (see above, under Méndez Bernal)
  • Vences Vidal, Magdalena, La Virgen de Chiquinquirá, Colombia: afirmación dogmatica y frente de identidad, coll=Estudios, núm. 2, Museo de la Basílica de Guadalupe, México (2008)
---"Manifestaciones de la religiosidad popular en torno a tres imágenes marianas originarias: la unidad del ritual y la diversidad formal", Latinoamérica 49, México (2009), pp. 97-126
  • Zamora, Alonso de, OP, Historia de San Antonino del Nuevo Reyno de Granada, Barcelona (1701), reprinted (with a prologue by Dr. Caracciolo Parra and annotated by Fray Andrés Mesanza, OP) by Biblioteca Popular de Cultura Colombiana, Bogotá (1945). This work is available as three pdf downloads from the virtual library of Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango (see above, under Méndez Bernal)

See also[edit]

  • Ariza, Alberto, OP, Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá patrona principal y reina de Colombia Bogotá (1964)
---"Apostillas a la Historia de 'Nuestra Señora de Chiquinquirá" in: Boletín de Historia y Antigüedades, Bogotá, vol. LVI, núm. 651-653, enero-marzo (1969)
  • Cornejo, Vincente María, OP, and Mesanza, Andrés, OP, Historia de la milagrosa imagen de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá, Escuela Tipográfica Salesiana Bogotá (1919)
  • Tobar y Buendía, Pedro de, OP, Verdadera histórica relación del origen, manifestación y prodigiosa renovación por sí misma y milagros de la imagen de la sacratísima virgen María: madre de Dios nuestra señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá, facsimile reprint by Instituto Caro y Cuervo, Bogotá (1986) of 1st edn. publ. 1694, Madrid
  • Zamora, Alonso de, OP, Historia de San Antonino del Nuevo Reyno de Granada, Barcelona (1701), reprinted by Biblioteca Popular de Cultura Colombiana, Bogotá (1945) available as three pdf downloads from the virtual library of Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, a cultural project of the Banco de la República - Colombia