October 27

Virgen de la Puerta, Otuzco, La Libertad, Peru

The Augustinian Fathers founded the highland city of Otuzco in 1560, dedicating both town and church to the Immaculate Conception. On the church's main altar was a statue of the Virgin from Spain, carried in procession once annually on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8. Gradually, the octave of the feast assumed public importance, and since it was not considered proper for the altar statue to leave its post more than once, parishioners ordered a second processional statue for use on December 15 and other occasions, from a workshop in Venezuela, and installed it in a side altar. Then in 1670, word came that freebooters had plundered towns to the north and were on their way to Otuzco. Townspeople took the processional Immaculata out to the road where the attackers would come, and remained there three days in prayer. When the freebooters failed to appear, the thankful people joyfully returned to the town. Unwilling to return the statue of the saving Virgin to the side altar, they enshrined it above the church door. Devotion to the Virgin of the Door continued through the centuries. Soon after the statue's crowning on October 27, 1943, a Brotherhood of the Virgin of the Door was established, which began planning a new sanctuary for their patron. The coronation anniversary has been celebrated ever since with a procession recalling the statue's trip to the city of Trujillo for the occasion. On October 27, 1983, the Virgen de la Puerta moved to a shrine above the door of the new church. The Virgin of the Door is now patron of northern Peru, and her celebration on December 15 also draws crowds from near and far. (Information from Inmaculada Virgen de la Puerta de Otuzco, www.virgendelapuertaotuzco.com. Picture from Eduard Lozano, "Gracias por fortalecer mi fe en Dios..." prensavirtual.blogspot.com/2007_12_16_archive.html, December 17, 2007.)   

Also commemorated this date:

bulletGua Maria Marganingsih, Bayat, Klaten, Central Java, Indonesia. Grotto dedicated, 2002.
bulletMadonna del Piave, Moriago della Battaglia, Treviso, Veneto, Italy. Church on Isola dei Morti honors World War I dead ferried across the Piave River on the night of October 26-27, 1918.
bulletYakhrom Icon of the Mother of God, Yakhroma, Dmitrovsky, Moscow, Russia (October 14 Julian)

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly