Chiquinquira, Colombia In the Center of Colombia, in the department of Boyaca is the old city of Chiquinquira In the indigenous language, of the Muisca, Chiquinquira means “place of worship for the gods.” It has and continues to be considered the religious capitol of Colombia and a pilgrimage site.
1560 – Antonio de Santana was given an encomienda in that area of Colonial Colombia and the Dominican friars were given missions in the area. 1562 - Friar Andres Jadraque build a chapel and commissions Alonso Narvaez to paint a picture of el Virgin del Rosario 1574 - the friars abandoned the chapel. Moisture and deterioration ruined the painting and almost erased the image.
EL IMAGEN The image that wascommissioned was painted on acloth woven by the Indigenouscommunity. It is the picture of theVirgin of the Rosary flanked by St.Andrew on the left (Fr. Andres’spatron) and St. Anthony of Paduaon the right (Patron of Antonio deSantana)
El Milagro• 1585 - it was moved to a room in Chiquinquira that was used to dry grain and periodically as a chapel.• December 26,1586 – Isabel, an indigenous woman, and her son witness the painting glow brilliantly, as if on fire, and the image was miraculously restored.• They contact a devout spanish woman, Maria Ramos, who was married to Pedro de Santana, the brother of Antonio. The tell the news of the miracle and the devotion of the Virgin de Chiquinquira begins.• Archbishop Luis Zapata commissions an investigation, January 10, 1587 the miracle is confirmed and a temple is commissioned. Her feast day is July 9th.
LA PATRONA DEL PUEBLO In 1794 after an earthquake and a humid climate ruin the original temple, a Basilica was commissioned. May 5, 1816. During the war of independence. An infantry commander, Manuel Roergas de Servies, had his army take the Lady of Chiquinquira with his army under protest of the religious and local community. It is surmised that he took it to grant his army victory. In 1825 the Basilica is built and it becomes a national place of pilgrimages including viceroys, bishops and politicians such as Simon Bolivar. In 1916 the nation of Colombia enshrines the Virgin of Chiquinquira as the Patroness of Colombia.
Oraciones e Intercesiones Besides being a place of pilgrimages, Our Lady of Chiquinquira has been a patron for peace and success for both Colombia and the Church. As with the rest of Latin America Mary is given a special recognition of her protective, healing and intercessory power. In 1967 a Papal Nuncio places a lit candle below the imploring for the success of the Second Vatican Council. In 1986 Pope John Paul II prays at Chiquinquira for peace in Colombia and in 1999 the image is taken to Bogota for a national prayer for peace. Holy Week is celebrated with particular fervor in Chiquinquira.