Second Sunday before Advent (Sunday before feast of Christ the King)

Virgen del Carmen, Penco, Concepción, Biobío, Chile


Virgen del Carmen in procession (Source: noticias.iglesia.cl)
On this day some 20,000 people participate in a procession honoring Chile's patron, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, in the town of Penco on Concepción Bay. November, not May, is Mary's month here, and this annual event climaxes a nine-day preparation. Late-spring flowers garland arches over the route. Starting at the parish church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, floats depicting religious scenes, representing 14 communities, wend their way through the streets and back to the church, whose bells ring throughout the parade. On their shoulders teams of devotees carry statues of saints including Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, St. Therese, and the Virgin of the Boldo Tree.   

In 1550, conquistadors built the first shrine to Mary here, dedicated to the Spanish Virgin of Guadalupe but known as the Virgen de la Loma because of its hilltop location. During the Indian war in 1599, the Spanish easily regained this area; the native leader related that a young woman had appeared suddenly in a boldo tree near the shrine, temporarily blinding him when he attacked. In 1736 Trinitarian nuns came to the area, and in the chapel by the tree -- still standing --  is a statue of Mary wearing the cross of the Trinitarian order on her breast.


Virgen del Boldo (Source: Nelson Palma, penco-chile.blogspot.com)

Information from El Sur, www.elsur.cl, and other sources. 

Also commemorated this date:
bulletMadonna del Lume, Santa Venerina, Catania, Sicily, Italy, Linera district (Madonna of the Light)
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly