October 19

Virgen del Camino, Valverde de la Virgen, León, Castile and León, Spain

On July 2, 1505, while watching his sheep, Alvar Simón Fernández saw the Virgin, radiant with light, and heard her say: "Go to the city; tell the bishop to come to this place and install in a decent place this image my Son wishes to appear here, for the good of this land." The shepherd answered, "Señora, how will they believe it was you who sent me?" She asked for his slingshot, and with it launched a small stone, saying, "When the bishop sees this stone it will be so large that he will know I have sent you, and where you find the stone is where my Son and I want you to put the image." The miraculously-located shrine was outside the city of León on the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrim road to Compostela, hence the title Virgin of the Road. The Virgen del Camino was declared Patron of the León region in 1914. The statue is a 33" wooden Pietà, which the basilica's website dates to 1514. Its coronation, which Pope Benedict XI authorized  in 1917, was carried out on October 19, 1930. The large, modern sanctuary completed in 1961 houses the statue in its retablo of the 1700s. The Virgin of the Road is honored on September 15, feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. (Information and picture from the sanctuary's site, virgendelcamino.dominicos.es/webvirgen.)  

Also commemorated this date:
bulletMadre della Divina Provvidenza, San Gimignano, Siena, Tuscany, Italy. Germans destroyed 1670 church in 1944; 1400s painting intact; rebuilt church consecrated Oct. 19, 1949. Festa Sept. 8.
bulletMaria Santissima delle Grazie, Lacco Ameno, Napoli, Campania, Italy. Statue crowned, 1988.
bulletOur Lady of Lourdes, Paraparaumu, Kapiti Coast, New Zealand. Monumental statue blessed, 1958.


Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly