December 19

Virgen del Carmen, Santiago, Chile

Although Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was not declared patron of Chile until 1923, devotion to her has been strongly tied to Chilean nationalism ever since the liberators of Chile, San Martin and O'Higgins, credited their 1818 victory to her. So in the capital, Santiago, the Virgin's celebration was moved in 1971 from its traditional date of July 16 to the last Sunday in September, when a Day of Prayer for Chile follows the national holiday of September 18. Her wooden statue, imported from France in 1822, resides in Chile’s first parish church, El Sagrario, adjacent to the Cathedral. It was canonically crowned December 19, 1926. On the last Sunday of September it processes through the packed streets with great splendor. In September 2008 a substitute image was used for the occasion, as the original was still undergoing restoration after burning the previous April, when a homeless man knocked over a candle. (Information and image from the Archdiocese's site, www.iglesiadesantiago.cl.)  

Also commemorated this date:

bulletNuestra Señora del Rosario, Rosario de la Paz, La Paz, El Salvador (Dec. 11-19)
bulletOur Lady of Hope, Candolim, North Goa, Goa, India
bulletMadonna di Jesu, Bocchigliero, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy. Shrine made a diocesan sanctuary, 1954. Feast August 5.
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly