March 1

Virgen de Loreto, Mutxamel, Alicante, Valencia, Spain

The Church of San Salvador in Mutxamel was built in 1511. In 1513 a painter came to town from Biar, some 30 miles north, with three works to sell for 28 cents apiece, a fair but hefty sum at that place and time. San Salvador Church still had no processional image, so the priest's father suggested that his son take up a collection to raise the 28 cents, offering to supply any lacking funds. But people contributed enough to buy the painting of the Virgin of Loreto plus 33 cents' worth of candles. In 1545, the region suffered a terrible drought. So the people of Mutxamel carried their image of the Virgin in procession to the monastery shrine of St. Veronica three miles south in Santa Faz. On the way back, near the town of San Juan, Father Lloréns Boix suddenly found the painting too heavy to carry. He stopped, and, lifting the protective veil to examine the image, saw a tear roll from the Virgin's left eye. Rain fell soon afterwards. Mutxamel celebrates the fiesta of La Llágrima, the Tear, annually on March 1. On September 9, the town holds its patronal festival in honor of the Virgin of Loreto, which includes a  "Moors and Christians" reenactment. During the Spanish Civil War, in 1936, the image was taken to Switzerland for safekeeping. In 1940, it returned to Mutxamel. (Information from Andrés de Sales Ferri Chulio, Guía para visitar los santuarios marianos de Valencia, Ediciones Encuentro, Madrid, 2000, and "Mutxamel. Fiesta de 'El Milagro de la Lágrima' 2009," 2/24/09, Information and picture from Juan José, 2007, "Las Vírgenes También Lloran (I): El Milagro De... ¿Mutxamel?"   

Also commemorated this date:

bulletVierge aux Raisins, Semur-en-Auxois, Côte-d'Or, Burgundy, France (Virgin with Grapes). Meals served to poor to commemorate 1191 arrival of Virgin's ring (now lost).
bulletMaria Himmelfahrt, Oggersheim, Ludwigshafen, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (Mary Assumption). Loreto chapel dedicated, 1733.
bulletMadonna "che ha aperto i ll'occhie," Latera, Viterbo, Latium, Italy (Madonna who opened her eyes). Parishioners saw the Madonna in a Nativity painting open her eyes, 1875. Miracle celebrated annually.
bulletMadonna delle Bombe, Rome, Italy. On March 1, 1944, the Piazza del S. Uffizio was bombed out, but the Madonna delle Grazie on the exterior of the Oratorio di San Pietro was unharmed.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly