Our Lady of Chiquinquira occupies an extremely important place in the faith lives of many Catholics, especially those in Colombia, much like Our Lady of Guadalupe inspires many in Mexico.
The Virgin of Chiquinquira refers to a miraculous occurrence involving a 16th-century painting of the Virgin Mary.
It’s been a source of inspiration for Catholics for nearly 500 years.
Learn all about Our Lady of Chiquinquira and join Taliana Vargas in praying the Our Lady of Chiquinquira novena on Hallow today,
History of the Virgin of Chiquinquira
Spanish missionaries, including Dominican friars, arrived in Colombia early in the 16th century and began to spread the Catholic faith.
As the faith spread, so did the popularity of Mary. In 1562, a man named Antonio de Santana commissioned the painting of a portrait of the Virgin Mary with the help of Dominican Fray Andrés Jadraque.
Painter Alonso de Narváez completed the painting, which was 44 inches tall and 26 inches wide. He took advantage of the wide space by adding St. Anthony of Padua (in honor of Antonio de Santana) to the left of Mary–holding baby Jesus–and St. Andrew (in honor of Andrés Jadraque) to her right.
By 1574, as the Dominicans moved around and Andrés was reassigned, the painting was eventually left in a chapel, where it sustained damage from a leaky roof. Two years later, a man named Juan Alemán de Leguizamón found the painting in such poor condition that his wife used it in the kitchen to dry wheat.
When she died, the painting was lost until 1585.
María Ramos, who was married to Antonio de Santana’s brother, arrived in the Tunja area of Colombia before eventually staying with her sister-in-law, Catalina de Irlos, in Chiquinquira, where she discovered the badly damaged, partially destroyed painting.
Ramos, as Pope Francis described during a 2017 visit to Colombia, “had the courage and faith to put this blurred and torn fabric in a special place, restoring its lost dignity” by bringing it to a chapel at which she frequently prayed.
On December 25, 1586, as Ramos was about to leave the chapel, a 5-year-old indigenous boy named Miguel saw the painting shining brightly on the ground where Ramos had been praying. He cried out to his mother, Isabel, “Mother, look! The Mother of God is on the ground!”
Isabel stopped Ramos from leaving the church by telling her, “Look, look señora! Our Lady, the Mother of God, is standing up in your seat!”
The dilapidated painting, which previously hung in the chapel, was completely restored with beautiful, radiant color. It stood in the chapel, “reclining slightly in the air without anyone or anything supporting it.”
Word spread about the miraculous restoration of the painting, and local church authorities investigated the miracle. During this time, the “celestial light” that the painting emitted as a sign of the Virgin Mary’s patronage of the area.
Patroness of Colombia and Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquira
The story of what happened at Chiquinquira spread over the next 300 years.
In 1801, construction began on the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquira. A few decades later, in 1829, Pope Pius VII declared Our Lady of Chiquinquira the patroness of Colombia.
Pope Pius X canonically crowned the image of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquira on July 9, 1919. In 2019, a jubilee year of celebration marked the 100-year anniversary of the Coronation of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá
The painting continues to be held at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquira. It is removed from the Basilica rarely for special occasions, including most recently on the occasion of Pope Francis’s 2017 visit to Colombia.
Prayer: Rosary of Chiquinquira
Ask for Mary’s intercession through this beautiful prayer associated with the Rosary of Chiquinquira:
Oh incomparable Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá!
Mother of God, Queen of angels,
advocate of sinners,
refuge and comfort of the afflicted and troubled.
Holy Virgin, full of power and goodness,
Look down on us favorably
so that we are helped by you
in all the needs in which we find ourselves.
Remember, O Most Clement Lady of the Rosary!
that it was never heard that someone who has resorted to you,
invoked your most holy name,
and implored your singular protection,
I was abandoned by you.
Encouraged by this confidence, we turn to You.
We take you from today and forever for our Mother,
our protector, comfort and guide,
hope and light at the hour of death.
Free us from everything that can offend you
and your Most Holy Son, Jesus.
Protect us from all dangers of soul and body;
direct us in all spiritual and temporal affairs;
deliver us from the temptation of the devil,
so that walking on the path of virtue,
we may one day see you and love you in eternal glory,
for ever and ever.
Feast of Our Lady of Chiquinquira: Celebrate with Hallow and Taliana Vargas
We are excited to offer the Novena to Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquira inside the Hallow app.
Colombia actress Taliana Vargas will lead the novena, beginning on Friday, June 30, and continuing through July 8, ahead of the Feast of Our Lady of Chiquinquira on July 9.
Like many Colombians, Taliana shares a special devotion to Our Lady of Chiquinquira and was present in 2017 when Pope Francis visited Our Lady of Chiquinquira in Bogota.
Join Taliana in praying for nine days before the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquira.
Frequently Asked Questions about Our Lady of Chiquinquira
The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquira takes place on July 9. Venezuelans celebrate the day on November 18.
A badly damaged painting of the Virgin Mary was miraculously restored and stood up straight on its own inside a small chapel in Chiquinquira, Boyacá, Colombia.
Pope Pius VII declared the Virgin of Chiquinquira the patroness of Colombia in 1829.