November 11

Blanca Estrella del Mar, Olón, Santa Elena, Ecuador

In 1984, on a wild Pacific cliff near the fishing village of Olón, Swiss priest Othmar Staheli built a sanctuary in the shape of a sailing vessel, dedicated to Mary under the title White Star of the Sea. In the open-air gathering space on "deck" the Immaculata stands in a large shell-shaped grotto decorated with abalones and stars (left). In the nearby city of Manglaralto, Father Staheli started a nonprofit organization, Santa Maria del Fiat, which supports a school at the Sanctuary as well as hospitals, community stores, and social projects. On November 11, 1990, at the Sanctuary, a statue of the Rosa Mystica (right) wept blood for seven hours, a miracle commemorated there annually on this date.
On the Santa Maria del Fiat website,, is a lovely recording of a song about the phenomenon, "Lagrimas de Sangre" ("Your tears of blood are tears of love"). The province of Santa Elena celebrates the Virgen del Mar on the third Friday in June, and the big pilgrimage to Olón takes place on September 8, the Nativity of the Virgin. (Photo of the statue that wept from "Sanctuary of "Blanca Estrella de la Mar" Olón Ecuador," Father James Manjackal, Photo of statue in shell grotto from "Picasa Web Albums - Rodrigo - Viaje Chilenita,"  

Also celebrated this date:

bulletMaría Auxiliadora, Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina (Mary the Helper). Church dedicated Nov. 11, 2000; feast May 24.
bulletVirgen de las Mercedes, Latacunga, Cotopaxi, Ecuador. Fiesta de la Mama Negra, Sat. before town's independence day (Nov. 11)
bulletNotre-Dame de la Gare, Paris, France (Our Lady of the Station). Church consecrated, 1859.
bulletMadonna Incoronata, Mantua, Lombardy, Italy (Crowned Madonna). Festa Sun. after St. Martin's day (Nov. 11).
bulletMadonna della Salute, Verona, Italy. Statue crowned, 2005.
bulletMadonna del Belvedere, Città di Castello, Perugia, Umbria, Italy. Statue crowned, 1703. Festa Sunday of Corpus Christi.
bulletMaria, Madre della Divina Provvidenza, Rome, Italy. Painting crowned, 1888; feast Sat. before 3rd Sun. of Nov.
bulletVår Frue, Trondheim, Norway (Our Lady). Reopened as Lutheran church, 2007.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly