marian feasts     november

November 23

Nuestra Señora de Concepción, Granada, Granada, Nicaragua

Legend relates that in 1721, women washing clothes in Lake Nicaragua saw a chest floating in, but every time it drew near, waves pulled it back out. The women went to tell the Franciscan friars about it; when they arrived and waded in, the chest floated right to their hands. On top were the words, "For the city of Granada." Inside were two images of the Virgin. That of Mary Immaculate remained in Granada; the other went to the city of Masaya. Founded in 1524, both Granada and its devotion to the Immaculate Conception had been in place a long time when American freebooter William Walker invaded and proclaimed himself president of Nicaragua. When he began losing his private war on Central America, he left Granada, ordering on the way out the fire that destroyed the city almost completely on November 23, 1856. Among the few items recovered in good condition was the sacred image of Our Lady of Conception, now in Granada's Catholic cathedral. The 5' Virgin is shown slaying a dragon with a spear, which fits the title given her in 1862, "General of the Nicaraguan Army." The Army Band plays in her honor on November 28, the eve of the novena leading up to the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. (Information from "La Purísima en las calles de Granada," La Prensa, December 3, 2004,, and other sources; picture from   

Also celebrated this date:

Nuestra Señora de la Consolación, Sumampa, Santiago del Estero, Argentina. Fiesta.
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Cathedral blessed, 1913.
Madonna della Comuna, Ostiglia, Mantova, Lombardy, Italy. Festa commemorates statue's crowning Nov. 23, 1920.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly