First Thursday in August
Virgen del Mar, Encinacorba, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain
The story goes that sometime between 1515 and 1522, when the Ottoman
Empire conquered Rhodes, some Knights Hospitaller sailing from Rhodes to
Spain met with a terrible storm three days out. They prayed for help to
Mary, Star of the Sea, and suddenly a statue of her appeared among the huge
waves, going before them on a path of calm water, which they followed into
port. (Recent sources posit that the image was aboard ship all along and
became an object of devotion when the storm stopped after the knights prayed
to Mary.) The knights drew lots for the statue, and the winner was Jorge de
Sena, commander of the Order's fief at Encinacorba in Aragon. To house the
image, the stone church of Santa Maria was built there, in massive but
gracefully ornamented Mudejar style. The 22" Gothic statue, probably of the
1300s, is of alabaster (some say agate). With her right hand Mary holds an
open book and with her left the Child, who holds a bird.
The fiesta of the Virgin of the Sea is celebrated on the first Thursday
in August. Festivities begin the day before and last until Monday. In
addition to the procession of the Virgin down flower-decked streets, there
are soccer games, a rodeo, and other amusements.
|Chusé María Cebrián Muñoz, "Cuadernos 2 La Virgen del
Mar," Cuadernos de Encinacorba, enzinacorba.blogspot.com|
|"Virgen del Mar de Encinacorba, España,"
|Eduardo Torra De Arana, Guía para visitar los
santuarios marianos de Aragón, Ediciones Encuentro, Madrid, 1996|