May 11

Virgen de la Candelaria, Cayma, Arequipa, Peru

In 1544, Dominican friars founded a monastery overlooking Arequipa, the White City, in the Andes Mountains of southern Peru. Not many years later, according to tradition, Emperor Charles V of Spain sent a statue of the Virgin as a gift to the region. The Indians carrying it heard a voice ordering them to go "no further" ("caiman" in Quechua, hence the town's name), and though they tried to continue their march, were unable to move the image and so built a chapel for it there.   

Candelaria is Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, celebrated in the Catholic Church on February 2 with blessing of candles in commemoration of Mary's ritual visit to the temple 40 days after the birth of Jesus. The Virgin of Candelaria of Cayma holds a candle, as does her Child. She has seen the region through many disasters. Four years after the massive eruption of Huaynaputina 43 miles east, a cholera epidemic hit Arequipa. The dead were buried in mass graves. Desperate for divine help, people brought the statue of the Virgin down from Cayma, and as the procession went through the city on August 28, 1604, the mortality ended. In thanksgiving, the statue was carried from the chapel to the town annually on that date for 300 years. The many ex votos in the chapel attest to further miracles and blessings over the centuries. 

On May 11, 1947, the Virgin of Cayma returned again to the White City, where Juan Cardinal Gualberto Guevara, Archbishop of Lima and Primate of Peru, crowned her statue at a splendid ceremony in the Plaza de Armas.

(Picture and information from "La Virgen Candelaria de Cayma, Arequipa," El Perú necesita de Fátima, www.fatima.org.pe/seccion-verarticulo-61.html.)

Also commemorated this date:

Notre-Dame de Fatima, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, France. Monumental marble statue blessed, 1958.
Madonna di Provvidenza, Cussanio, Fossano, Cuneo, Piedmont, Italy. Apparition, 1521, to deaf-mute shepherd Bartolomeo Coppa.
Beata Vergine della Caravina, Valsolda, Como, Lombardy, Italy. Pietà painting wept, 1562; commemorated annually. Festa Sept. 8.
Santa Maria della Misericordia, Castelleone, Cremona, Lombardy, Italy (St. Mary of Mercy)
Madonna della Salute, Macerata, Marche, Italy (Madonna of Health). 1666 painting by Sassoferrato crowned, 1749.
Santissima Annunziata, Gaeta, Latina, Latium, Italy. Church consecrated, 1354.
Nostra Signora Regina della Pace, Belpasso, Catania, Sicily, Italy (Our Lady Queen of Peace). Apparition, 1986, to Rosario Toscano, 14.
Madonna dello Scoglio, Placanica, Reggio Calabria, Calabria, Italy (Madonna of the Rock). Apparition, 1968, to Cosimo Fragomeni, 14.
Mêdónne du Tremelizze, Molfetta, Bari, Puglia, Italy. Thanksgiving procession for help during earthquake of May 11, 1560.
St. Mary, Esk Valley, Canterbury, New Zealand. Anglican church consecrated, 1880.
Immaculate Conception, Castries, Saint Lucia. Church blessed, 1899; elevated to the status of a Minor Basilica, 1999.
Virgen de la Cabeza, Rute, Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain (Virgin of the Head). Fiestas.
Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, Vélez Málaga, Málaga, Andalucia, Spain. Statue crowned, 2002. Procession 2nd Sun. Nov.
Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God, L'viv, Ukraine. Icon donated to the Church of St George, 1182 (Apr. 28 old style).
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly