May 7

Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Bogotá, Colombia

In 1655 a small church was built for the Carmelite nuns in Bogotá, founded in 1606 by a learned and pious widow, Elvira de Padilla. The old chapel was for two centuries the center of the city's devotion to the Virgin of Mt. Carmel. But in 1861 an anticlerical government expelled the nuns and the military took over their buildings. When the Carmelite nuns returned in 1874, they settled in a different part of town. In 1890, a more religious government invited Don Bosco's Salesian missionaries from Italy to Bogotá and gave them the old Carmelite property, where they established a college. Meanwhile, devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel remained lively in the city and needed a more adequate seat. In the 1920s, the director of the Salesian college together with the Archbishop undertook to built a new shrine to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in connection with college expansion. On November 10, 1927, the papal nuncio solemnly placed the first stone of the new church at an immense ceremony attended by the president, cabinet, governor, and many other luminaries national and local. Designed in red-and-white striped Florentine Gothic style by Salesian architect Giovanni Buscaglione, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was consecrated May 7, 1938, and opened for worship the next day. With the whole Catholic Church, Bogotá celebrates the Virgin of Mt. Carmel on July 16. (Information from "Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen," Arquidiocesis de Bogota,, and "Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Bogotá)," Wikipedia, Picture of mosaic over main altar from "Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señora del Carmen," Mantenimiento Locativo Control de Erosíon, Fachadas Interventoria Obras Civiles,   

Also commemorated this date:

bulletL'Immaculée Conception, Sées, Orne, Lower Normandy, France. Church consecrated, 1872.
bulletSanta Maria Regina dei Popoli, Preval, Gorizia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy (St. Mary Queen of the People)
bulletSanta Maria della Consolazione, Deliceto, Foggia, Apulia, Italy. Devotional procession.
bulletVirgen de la Laguna, Campeche, Yucatan, Mexico. Painting found, 1649, during plague.
bulletMolchensk Mother of God, Moscow, Russia. Copy of Molchensk icon found in 1600s by blind girl. 
bulletNuestra Señora de los Santos, Móstoles, Madrid, Spain (Our Lady of the Saints). Town patron. Chapel begun, 1602. Fiesta Sept. 12.
bulletNuestra Señora de la Oliva, Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz, Andalucia, Spain. Town patron. Romería. Fiesta Aug. 15.
bulletSantissima Virgen de la Soledad, Cartagena, Murcia, Spain. Statue crowned, 1995. Feast last Sunday in May.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly