November 19

Nuestra Señora de la Divina Providencia, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Toward the end of his term as bishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Gil Esteve y Tomás ordered a statue of Our Lady of Divine Providence from a sculptor in Barcelona, Spain, where he had served as vicar before being ordained bishop. On January 2, 1853, the image was installed in the cathedral, and for many years Puerto Ricans celebrated the feast of the Mother of Divine Providence on January 2. The statue was canonically crowned November 19, 1950. When Pope Paul VI proclaimed her patron of the island in 1970, he moved her local feast to November 19 to coincide with Puerto Rican Discovery Day. San Juan's beloved image bears only a vague resemblance to that of the Mother of Divine Providence that spread from Rome around the world after 1752. The Roman work is a painting which depicts a half-length Madonna in her traditional red robe gazing down at the child she holds against her breast. He looks up at her, holding her left hand in his. The full-figure statue in San Juan shows Mary holding her son's left hand in both of hers while he reclines on her ivory-robed lap (photo by Miguel E. Gallardo, www.flickr.com, 2007). 

Also commemorated this date:

bulletVirgen de Soledad de El Calvario, Guatemala City, Guatemala. Statue consecrated, 1989.
bulletSt. Mary, Botahtaung, Yangon, Myanmar. Foundation stone blessed, 1899.
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly