March 26

Nossa Senhora da Conceição, Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, Azores, Portugal

Around 1470, one of the first Portuguese settlers, Álvaro Martins Homem, built a chapel dedicated to the Immaculate Conception on Terceira Island in the Azores. On March 26, 1553, it was made a parish church. The statue of Our Lady by Joaquim Esteves Carvalho, installed in 1912, depicts the Immaculata in the traditional Iberian manner: in a white robe and blue mantle, standing on clouds peopled with cherub heads, hands together in prayer, eyes gazing upward. The parish celebrated its 450th anniversary in 2003, when on June 1 the statue was crowned. The sanctuary's patronal feast is December 8. (Source: Paróquia de Nossa Senhora da Conceição website.)

Also commemorated this date:

bulletNotre-Dame de Nantilly, Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire, France. Church dedication.
bulletSanta Maria di Monte Oliveto, Asciano, Siena, Tuscany, Italy. Monastery founded, 1319.
bulletBeata Vergine del Renaio, Colle Val d'Elsa, Siena, Tuscany, Italy. Virgin in fresco seen to move eyes and change expression, 1560.
bulletVirxe do Ermo de Carlín, Friol, Lugo, Galicia, Spain
bulletNuestra Señora del Espino, Santa Gadea del Cid, Burgos, Castile and Léon, Spain (Our Lady of the Thorn). Apparitions began, 1399.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly