Saturday after Easter

Virgen del Prado, Talavera de la Reina, Toledo, Castile-La Mancha, Spain

According to local tradition, Visigothic King Liuva II gave the Virgin's statue to the town of Talavera in the year 602. Historians agree that in any case the Black Virgin of Talavera is quite old, possibly from the 900s. The 9" poplarwood statue resides in a church that started out as a humble ermita or hermitage chapel outside of town, transformed over the centuries into an architectural treasure, particularly known for its tilework of the 1500s and 1600s. The Virgin of the Meadow is the patron of Talavera, whose newborns pass under her mantle to receive her protection. On May 30, 1957, the statue was canonically crowned by decree of Pius XII. In 1989, Pope John Paul II designated the church a Basilica Minor. The feast of the Virgin of the Meadow takes place on St. Mary's birthday, September 8. But on the Saturday after Easter, an ancient seasonal rite, Las Mondas, celebrated in pre-Christian times in honor of Ceres, draws pilgrims to the Virgin's sanctuary. During the morning, masked figures run through the city streets. In the afternoon, representatives of surrounding towns join the Mayor in procession from the Plaza del Pan to the Prado Basilica, accompanied by floats and people in local costumes bearing candles, flowers, and other gifts. A cart drawn by two goats, representing the district of Gamonal, wraps up the parade. Inside the Basilica, the Mayor presents an offering and the city scepter to the Virgin. The ceremony concludes with the hymn to the Virgin of the Meadow. Sources: es.wikipedia.org; www.basilicavirgendelprado.es (picture).   

Also commemorated this date:

bulletOur Lady of Lourdes, Villianur, Pondicherry, India. Flag hoisting.
bulletSanta Maria della Nova, Rocca Imperiale, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy. Icon processes from sanctuary to town church to stay until July 2 festa.
bulletVirgen de la Salud, Esparragalejo, Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain (Virgin of Health). Patronal fiestas. Romería first Sunday in May.
bulletMare de Déu del Castell, Cullera, Valencia, Valencia, Spain
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly