November 18

La Chinita, Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela

In the early 1600s, Royal Treasury official Juan de Andrade relocated from Colombia to Venezuela, bringing with him an image of the miraculous Virgin of Colombia, Our Lady of Chiquinquirá. This pious man decided to restore the dilapidated chapel of St. John of God in Maracaibo and enshrine there his image of the Virgin. Over a century later, another story furthered devotion to La Chinita, the Virgin of Maracaibo. It was said that a woman brought home a piece of wood from the lake where she went to wash clothes, thinking it would make a good lid for a water vessel. The next morning a knocking sound awoke her to behold a radiant image of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá on the board. When local authorities tried to take the miraculous portrait to the parish church of Sts. Peter and Paul, it suddenly became too heavy to move, until someone suggested taking it to the church of St. John of God. However it got there, it has become the object of centuries of devotion. At dawn on November 18, the Amanecer Gaitero (Bagpipe Sunrise), the people of Maracaibo gather in the plaza in front of what is now the Basilica of Our Lady, to sing "Las Mañanitas," the morning serenade often used for birthdays. (Information from Mónica Domínguez, "Artistic Dis/Placement in Colonial Maracaibo," Delaware Review of Latin American Studies, Vol. 6 No. 1, June 30, 2005, Picture from Mi Maracaibo,   

Also celebrated this date:

bulletNotre-Dame de la Médaille Miraculeuse, Paris, France. Start of novena preceding commemoration of apparition November 27.
bulletMaria van Schiedam, Schiedam, South Holland, Netherlands. Apparition to St. Lidwina, 1428, and miraculous crowning of statue.
bulletNotre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur, Seleute, Porrentruy, Jura, Switzerland. Sanctuary and statue consecrated, 1889.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly