Our Lady of Quito

April 28: Our Lady of Quito, Ecuador (1534)

This miraculous image of Our Lady of Quito currently in the capital of Ecuador is said to date from the first Spanish settlement there in the year 1534. At the very least, it has certainly been venerated there for a long time, and is popularly called by the people of Quito Our Lady of the Earthquake. The painting represents the Sorrowful Mother, and in the early years of the twentieth century, devotion to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Quito was introduced into England by the Servite Friars in London. Pope Saint Pius X accorded them an indulgence for those who should pray before her picture, and the devotion was greatly promoted in England by the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus, Mother Cornelia Connelly’s congregation. The original image at Quito was solemnly crowned in 1918.

On April 20, 1906, thirty-six boys attending the boarding school of the Jesuit Fathers at Quito, Ecuador, together with Father Andrew Roesch, witnessed the first miracle of this famous picture of Our Lady. While in the refectory they all saw the Blessed Mother slowly open and shut her eyes. The same miracle occurred no less than seven times after that, in favor of the boys at the school, but this time in the chapel to which the picture had been taken.

Ecclesiastical authorities soon investigated these incidents and finally concluded by ordering the picture to be transferred in procession from the college to the church of the Jesuit Fathers. Once at the church the prodigy was repeated several times before large crowds, and many, many conversions took place because of these miracles. At one time the wonder continued for three consecutive days. At Riobamba, before a faithful reproduction of Our Lady of Quito, the same wonder was seen by more than 20 persons, including the president of the city. In Quito this picture is known as the Dolorosa del Colegie.

*from The Woman in Orbit

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