December 5

Inmaculada Concepción, Guatemala City, Guatemala

In 1600, Fray Antonio Tineo traveled to Spain to ask King Felipe III for supplies for Franciscan churches in Guatemala. For the church of San Francisco in Guatemala City, Padre Tineo brought back a new statue of the Immaculate Conception from Queen Margarita's private chapel. Often called the Virgen de los Reyes (Virgin of the Kings), the beloved image has suffered the excesses of devotion with amazing grace. Repeatedly damaged by fireworks and other hazards of popular enthusiasm, the old body has had nine different heads in its 400 years. But like Mary herself, who is seldom depicted in art as old because of a tradition that her Immaculate Conception spared her the curse of Adam, the aged statue remains attractive between its jeweled crown and silver crescent footrest. The image was canonically crowned on December 5, 1954 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. An annual Rezado or prayer procession with the statue takes place on December 8. (Picture from "Solemne Procesión de Velas, San Francisco, 2007," Information from Celso Lara, "Los Rezados de la Virgen de Concepción en Guatemala," La Hora, Lunes, 08 de Diciembre de 2008,; and other sources.)   

Also commemorated this date:

Sodality of Our Lady, College of the Society of Jesus, Rome. Pope Gregory XIII made it an archsodality, 1584; celebrated as founding.
Our Lady of Bethlehem, Tsheseng, Natal, South Africa. New statue blessed, 1993.
Nuestra Señora de la Concepción Coronada, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Statue crowned Dec. 5, 1954. Fiesta Dec. 8.
Notre-Dame de l'Assomption, Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Church consecrated, 1937.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly