September 9

Santa María la Antigua, Panama City, Panama

In 1510 Martín Fernández de Enciso and Vasco Nuñez de Balboa founded a town in Chief Cémaco's territory on the west shore of the Gulf of Urabá, initially named La Guardia and a few months later renamed Santa María la Antigua, fulfilling a vow they made to the Virgin if they emerged alive from the confrontation with the natives. Chief Cémaco's house was converted into a chapel in honor of St. Mary the Ancient, named for the Madonna in the cathedral in Fernández de Enciso's home town of Seville, Spain. A Christian community developed there composed of native converts and Spaniards. On September 9, 1513, Pope Leo X created the first mainland diocese with the bull "Pastoralis Officii Debitum," transforming the little chapel of St. Mary the Ancient into a cathedral under the Archdiocese of Seville. Later the see moved to the newer city of Panama, whose cathedral was dedicated to Santa María la Antigua on April 4, 1796. In 2001 the Vatican confirmed St. Mary the Ancient as patron of the Republic of Panama, setting September 9 as her feast day for the country. (Information from Conferencia Episcopal Panameña, Picture from Hispanic Heritage Plaza 2003,

Also celebrated this date:
bulletNuestra Señora de Aránzazu, San Fernando, Buenos Aires, Argentina
bulletNotre-Dame de Chèvremont, Chaudfontaine, Liège, Wallonia, Belgium. Statue crowned, 1923.

bulletNotre Dame de l'Assomption, Ecouis, l'Eure, Normandy, France. Church consecrated, 1313.
bulletNotre Dame de Benoîte-Vaux, Rambluzin et Benoîte-Vaux, Meuse, Lorraine, France
bulletMaria Bambina, Milan, Italy. Festa del miracolo celebrates nun's healing, 1884. Main feast day Sept. 8.
bulletNatività della Beata Vergine Maria, Bondone, Trento, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. Votive procession.
bulletMadonna delle Grazie, San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Apulia, Italy. Mass, procession, fireworks, music.
bulletMadonna del Monte Saraceno, Calvello, Potenza, Basilicata, Italy. Statue crowned Sept. 9, 1947 returns from mountain sanctuary.
bulletMadonna di Lourdes, Moliterno, Potenza, Basilicata, Italy. Festa shared with St. Roch; not Catholic feast day of either.
bulletNotre-Dame de Zahlé et de la Békaa, Zahlé, Beqaa, Lebanon. Sanctuary inaugurated, 1968.
bulletNuestra Senora de Aranzazu, San Mateo, Rizal, Philippines
bulletTheotokos, Perrelos, Carcar, Cebu, Philippines. Statue blessed & miracle of the sun, 1992.
bulletMatka Boża Okulicka, Okulice, Bochnia, Małopolska, Poland (Mother of God of Okulice). 1500s icon crowned, 1962.
bulletMatka Boża Opieki, Zamość, Lublin, Poland. Icon in cathedral crowned, 2000; feasts 2nd Sun. after Easter & Sept. 8.
bulletVirgen de la Armada, Celanova, Orense, Galicia, Spain. Romería. Invoked for illness of the head.
bulletNuestra Señora de la Caridad, Ruiloba, Occidente, Cantabria, Spain (Our Lady of Charity)
bulletArantzazuko Ama, Oñati, Guipúzcoa, Basque Country, Spain (Mother of Arantzazu)
bulletArantzazuko Ama, Zizurkil, Guipúzcoa, Basque Country, Spain, Elbarrena district
bulletMare de Déu de la Serra, Montblanc, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain (Mother of God of the Mountains). Statue crowned, 1906.
bulletNuestra Señora del Valle, Écija, Sevilla, Andalucia, Spain. Statue crowned, 1999. Patron and Perpetual Mayor of Écija. Fiesta Sept. 8.
bulletOur Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Society approved, 1994.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly