February 24

Virgen de Guía, Alcaracejos, Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain

Four Sierra Morena towns share the custody and patronage of the Virgin of Guidance: Fuente la Lancha, Villanueva del Duque, Hinojosa del Duque, and Alcaracejos. One legend says that a herder found the Virgin's statuette in the hollow of a holm oak whose acorns bore a similar image on their caps. Another says that the herder found it in the basin of a fountain near the present chapel in Villanueva, and, thinking it a doll, threw it into his bag to give to his daughter. But when he got home, the image was gone. The next day, he found it in the same place, and the same thing happened: the man tried again to take it home, but it mysteriously returned to the fountain. The original bronze statue was lost during the Civil War in 1936; the present image is a pine replica made in 1939. On February 24, the Brotherhood, dressed as Knights Templar, carries the statue from Villanueva to Alcaracejos to stay until Easter.   
Adelante Alcaracejos
si es preciso pelear;
que es la Virgen de la Guía
la patrona celestial.
Forward, Alcaracejos
if fight you must
since the Guiding Virgin
is your heavenly trust.
Information and lyric from www.alcaracejos.net. Photo by Manuel from "Picasa Web Albums," picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6_L9SILeW2pI99Ry1FrPDQ.

Also commemorated this date:

bulletSanta Maria della Steccata, Parma, Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (St. Mary of the Fence). Church consecrated, 1539.
bulletMadonna di Costantinopoli, Gimigliano, Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy (Madonna of Constantinople). French colonel sacked town, 1807, & stole icon, but returned it after seeing it glow in the dark. Feast Tuesday after Pentecost.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly