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Guáitara Canyon, Columbia (1754)

   
History

Traditionally Approved

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Vatican Approved
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Apparitions to Saints
Unapproved Apparitions

Our Lady of Las Lajas

Heede

Summary

In 1754, Maria Mueses de Quinones, an Indian woman from the village of Potosi, Colombia and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa were caught in a very strong storm. They sought refuge in a canyon between the gigantic Lajas. To Maria's surprise, her mute daughter, Rosa exclaimed with her first words "the mestiza is calling me..." She did not see the figures of a woman and child that the girl described and fearfully ran back with her daughter to Ipiales and told the townspeople. After later returning to the spot, the woman saw an apparition of Our Lady and Child. Some months later, Rosa died and was returned to life when her mother prayed again at the cave. The townspeople came to see this place and encountered the miraculous image burned into the rocks.

Timeline

1754

Maria Mueses de Quinones, an Indian woman from the village of Potosi, Colombia and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa were caught in a very strong storm. They sought refuge in a canyon between the gigantic Lajas. To Maria's surprise, her mute daughter, Rosa exclaimed with her first words "the mestiza is calling me..." She did not see the figures of a woman and child that the girl described and fearfully ran back with her daughter to Ipiales and told the townspeople.

 

A few days later, the child Rosa disappeared from her home. After looking everywhere, Maria ran to Las Lajas and found her daughter in front of a noble Lady playing with a Child who had come down from His mother’s arms. Maria fell to her knees believing she had seen the Blessed Virgin and the Divine Infant. Fearful of further scorn, Maria stayed silent about the event but frequently returned to the cave to place wild flowers and candles in the cracks of the rocks.

 

Months later, Rosa fell ill and died. Maria decided to take her daughter’s body to Las Lajas to ask Our Lady to restore her daughter to life. Through the faith of her mother, Rosa regained her life and they returned home to crowds that had gathered to hear what had happened.

 

When everyone went to the cave, they discovered the marvelous picture of Our Lady on the rocks. The Child Jesus is in Our Lady’s arms. On one side of Our Lady is St. Francis; on the other is St. Dominic. The image represents a noble lady from an uncertain period, most probably 16th or 17th century Spain.

Sept 15, 1754

A mass was celebrated at the cave.

1756

The oldest miraculous event was recorded in the accounts of Fray Juan de Santa Gertrudis's journey through the southern region of the New Kingdom of Granada between 1756 and 1764. Without the benefit of sight, Fray Juan traveled through cities, fields and villages blind and on foot from Ecuador to Narino, Colombia begging people for money to build the Las Lajas 19th century chapel. At the completion of the chapel, Fray Juan miraculously regained his vision as a result of his deep faith in the Virgin Mary of Las Lajas.

1951

The Roman Catholic Church authorized the cult of Nuestra Señora de Las Lajas Virgin.

1954

The Roman Catholic Church declared the sanctuary a minor basilica.

Description of the Virgin

The image represents a noble and majestic Lady from an uncertain period, most probably 16th or 17th century Spain. The burgundy of her dress is a warm, rich red embroidered with a golden flower pattern. Her long dark hair flows freely. The two large metal crowns were later added by the faithful. The Madonna holds a rosary in her right hand that she presents to St. Dominic who is kneeling at her right. Jesus gives a cord to St Francis who kneels on the left of Our Lady. Rays of light encircle the Mother and Child, whose face is very amiable and is turned toward the observer.

Messages

There are no reported messages from the apparition at Las Lajas.


Miracles, Cures, and Signs

Months after the apparition, Rosa fell ill and died. Maria decided to take her daughter’s body to Las Lajas to ask Our Lady to restore her daughter to life. Through the faith of her mother, Rosa regained her life and they returned home to crowds that had gathered to hear what had happened.

The oldest miraculous event was recorded in the accounts of Fray Juan de Santa Gertrudis's journey through the southern region of the New Kingdom of Granada between 1756 and 1764. Without the benefit of sight, Fray Juan traveled through cities, fields and villages blind and on foot from Ecuador to Narino, Colombia begging people for money to build the Las Lajas 19th century chapel. At the completion of the chapel, Fray Juan miraculously regained his vision as a result of his deep faith in the Virgin Mary of Las Lajas.

The great lasting miracle is of course the inexplicable image on the walls of the cave. Testing has shown the image to be of indeterminate origin. Geologists from Germany bored core samples from several spots in the image. There is no paint, no dye, nor any other pigment on the surface of the rock. The colors are the colors of the rock itself and run uniformly to adepth of several feet.


Approval

In 1951 the Roman Catholic Church authorized the cult of the Nuestra Señora de Las Lajas Virgin, and it declared the sanctuary a minor basilica in 1954. With these clear signs of Vatican approval, the vision is one of several after the era of investigation of apparition claims (that is, after the investigations of Our Lady of Guadalupe apparitions in 1531) that have received the Church's traditional approval without having been formally investigated.



Links

THE SANCTUARY OF OUR LADY OF LAS LAJAS IN IPIALES, NARIÑO, COLOMBIA

 
   
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