The Virgin of Montserrat is an essential representative of Catholicism in Spain, and to whom many miracles are attributed. In this article you will know everything that is intimately related to this virgin, from her history, her image, to the replicas that she has of her in various countries.
We have all grown up at some point in a society where miracles, faith and devotion to sacred images are of great importance. For example, in the Catholic community, religious images such as virgins are highly respected and acclaimed.
The Catholic religion is made up of beliefs and practices, which are predominant worldwide, being transmitted from generation to generation and it is of the utmost importance to know the stories of the virgins that today, we offer all our devotion.
In this sense, the Catalan community professes its faith to its patron saint, known as the Virgin of Montserrat, Our Lady of Montserrat or La Moreneta.
Likewise, this virgin is considered the patron saint of pregnant women, and it is believed that if you ask her with devotion you will enjoy fertility and pregnancy, it is also said that she is a guardian of children and this is attributed to her because of the little one she carries. on her lap.
The Virgin of Montserrat
This virgin is an icon of religiosity for the community of Catalonia, she is acclaimed as its patron saint and is also one of the Patron Saints of the Autonomous Communities of Spain, she is popularly known as La Moreneta.
In this sense, if we wanted to read her name in Catalan it would be more or less like this “Mare de Déu de Montserrat”. Her image is found in the Montserrat Monastery. This virgin has become a tourist attraction par excellence, being venerated by her community and all the visitors who meet at said Monastery.
In addition, Our Lady of Montserrat has a day for her festivity and it is on April 27 of each year. But it is important to know that on September 12, 1881 she was officially declared the patron saint of the dioceses of Catalonia and from that moment on Pope Leo XIII also granted her the honor of having her own mass and services.
A little history
The legend establishes that one night in the year 880, three shepherd children belonging to the town of Monistrol noticed a mysterious light that emanated from the sky and that was also reflected on the mountainside, they walked curiously following a soft melody , which increased as they approached.
When they realized that the sound came from inside a cave, these little shepherds decided to enter immediately, they found the Virgin of Montserrat . After that, these children were in charge of alerting the community of the finding, where all the curious went to certify the fact.
As soon as the parish priest of the town heard the news, he contacted Bishop Gotmar Vic, who at that time was his superior and he who appeared at the place accompanied by clerics and knights to attest to the miracle of the discovery.
Currently that place is known as Santa Córdova where there was a natural cave buried by rocks and inside it was the image, Virgin of Montsertta, which also gave off a pleasant aroma by the time it was found.
After this, the bishop ordered the transfer of the Virgin of Montserrat to the Manresa Cathedral, it is believed that it was on May 25, 880. However, there were many attempts to carry out said transfer by those appointed, but the operation it was impossible to do and in a certain sense all those who tried it, gave up.
The image of the Virgin of Montserrat was extremely heavy to be mobilized, being at that precise moment that the bishop interpreted that the Virgin wished to remain in that place, Later Gotmar Vic immediately ordered the construction of the hermitage of Santa María, being the origin of the Montserrat Monastery, where the image of the Virgin currently rests.
Since then, many miracles have been attributed to the Virgin of Montserrat, being shared by all its pilgrims, who mostly traveled through the roads of Santiago, so all these events were made known throughout the peninsula.
And, indeed, after a century and a half, Abbot Oliva established a fairly small monastic community next to the hermitage of Santa María and it was then that devotion was granted to the Blessed, which would later translate into a future expansion of faith and attraction of tourists.
It’s not just a legend
Regarding this, it should be said that it is not only a legend and can be certified by the inscription that is carved in a 13th century altarpiece, which was in the Gothic cloister promoted by Cardinal Giuliano della Rivere, and that it could also be perceived by all those who wished it.
At that time it was to the right of the main door, but was later moved to the highest bedroom, to avoid possible deterioration.
To certify this information, it can be verified in the text identified as “History of the Virgin of Montserrat (888-1258)” whose authorship is attributed to Benet Ribes i Calaf and he was the one who was in charge of immortalizing the discovery of the image. of Madonna Sancta Maria, in the year 880.
In a certain sense, the true origin of the statue is not known exactly, but according to various investigations and contributions of certain legends, it is considered that it was carved by Saint Luke with the tools of Saint Joseph, father of Jesus of Nazareth, being in that opportunity his source of inspiration the Mother of Christ, Mary and then moved his creation to the Iberian Peninsula, specifically to Barcelona.
In the course of this investigation, it was determined that the image remained exposed in a church of Sant Just, but motivated by the Arab invasion on April 22, 717, it had to be removed and hidden near Manresa, being in the eleventh century, specifically in the year 880 AD that was found by three shepherd children.
The carving of the Virgin of Montserrat
I will start by considering that the image belongs to a Romanesque carving from the 12th century and that it is perfectly made of white poplar and beech wood. She is represented with a child, who is believed to be Jesus as a child and he is sitting on her lap, approximately 95 centimeters tall and weighing 17 kilos.
At first glance, you can see that in his right hand he holds a sphere which symbolizes the entire universe and the child with his right hand raised creating the sign of blessing, while in his left hand he holds a fruit, specifically a pineapple that represents fertility and long life.
In another sense, it is important to note that the figure that the virgin possesses is slim, with a long face, since its sculptor was inspired by the Egyptian goddess Isis.
It should be noted that the face and head of the Child Jesus had to be retouched later and thanks to that it shows a naturalistic style, completely detaching itself from the Romanesque images.
Now, the Virgin of Montserrat is completely golden, except for the face and hands of the Blessed Virgin and the Child. Her skin was represented through the color popularly known as blackish or brown and for this reason she is known as La Moreneta.
At the same time, the Virgin of Montserrat has been attributed to the group of so-called Black Virgins, which was a movement that spread throughout Romanesque Europe and has been the subject of exhaustive studies. But it’s fair to mention that her color seems to be the result of the passing of time.
In Spain there are other virgins identified as black, among which are the Virgin of Guadalupe (Caceres), the Virgin of Lluc (Mallorca), the Virgin of the Head (Jaén), the Virgin of Argeme (Coria), the Virgin of the Velía (Bimenes, Asturias), among others.
In addition, the Virgin of Montserrat was the forerunner of Spain’s Marian image to receive the Canonical Coronation in 1881, later it was the turn of the Virgin of Mercy of Barcelona, the Virgin of Candelaria of Tenerife, the Virgin of the Kings of Seville, among others.
It should be concluded that in 1931, a monk of this order named Ansel Alvareda, assured that the Virgin of Montserrat was white and that her skin was not black, this was certified in 2001, after running various physical tests, analysis radiological, determining that the sculpture was white.
And, About her clothing, it was also possible to verify because she was originally dressed in blue, red or pink.
However, the point that creates the most suspicion is the smell of his skin, because once it was certified that he was originally white, many rumors were created around this to seek an explanation for that event, it was said that paint was used black, candle smoke among other stories, which do not make much sense to bring up.
Also, the only accurate explanation and which was certified is that the original paint with which the virgin was harmonized, had high levels of lead and that over time, precisely in the sixteenth century, it began to decompose becoming to a black color.
Later, the people who were in charge of her care took the initiative to paint her again, but this time they used a dark brown color. Then in the 19th century, it was painted with the color it currently has.
As is known, in 1808 the troops of France invaded part of Spain, during the War of Independence and on that occasion the Monastery of Montserrat was desecrated, so the image of the Virgin was moved as quickly as possible to Barcelona. to prevent it from being destroyed.
The image remained first in the cathedral and then moved to the Church of San Miguel. And in the year 1824, the government of the day allowed the transfer of the Virgin of Montserrat and carried out the reconstruction of the Monastery. But in another order of ideas, it is important to note that at that time there were many political conflicts, religious suppression and confiscations, which resulted in the virgin not being in her sanctuary until 1844.
It is often said that, since ancient times, the virgin was dressed in luxurious cloth mantles and spectacular crowns made of gold, however all these relics were stolen by republican militiamen during the aforementioned Spanish war, for this reason from that moment the virgin is presented in her Romanesque style, being stripped of her dresses and other accessories.
Replicas of the Virgin
The Virgin of Montserrat has replicas in various parts of the world, such as Spain, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, Guatemala, among others. And then we will indicate the exact places and essential characteristics that this virgin has in one of these countries.
It is specifically located in Galicia, it has a replica in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
Buenos Aires: An image is found in the Homonymous Parish, located at Av. Belgrano 1151. This parish is the oldest in Buenos Aires.
To know a little about the background of this chapel, it should be noted that a Catalan man named Juan Pedro Sierra requested a permit in 1755 to build a chapel in honor of the Virgin of Montserrat.
Later, in 1770, the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Montserrat had a much larger temple built to house the holiness of the Virgin.
San Miguel de Tucumán, province of Tucumán, which is northwest of the aforementioned country, in the same way is the parish of Our Lady of Montserrat, whose image is exactly the original, in fact it could be indicated that they do not have any type of difference and you might think that you are facing the original image. She has been venerated since 1957.
In relation to her arrival, the one who had the honor of receiving her was the priest Joaquín Cucala Boix, he was in charge of everything pertinent regarding the foundation of the temple, and in 1961 it was constituted as a school, where education was imparted. for children and youth. Currently it is called Our Lady of Montserrat.
Córdoba: If you get to visit this town, you can go to the capital of the province, which will be very easy to locate because it has the name of the Virgin, it is in the center of the town and inside the National College of Monserrat. This was because on the 300th anniversary of the educational center and they decided to make that gift, said gift, in honor of the Virgin.
Godoy Cruz: It is located in the church of Montserrat, on Joaquín V. González street at 2020, in the province of Mendoza.
According to Brazilian devotion, the Virgin of Montserrat or Santuário de Nossa Senhora do Monte Serrat is considered the patron saint of the City of Santos and they celebrate their festivity on September 8 of each year, it is located on the top of Monte Serrat in Santos. . In the same way you can find an image in Igreja da Ordem Terceira do Carmo.
On the other hand, in the city of Porto Alegre, in the Igreja da Ordem Terceira do Carmo parish, the neighborhood was identified with the name of the Blessed, and that parish was founded on land that was destined to be a Benedictine monastery.
In the capital of that country, there is a beautiful church called “Montserrate hermitage”, which is an imitation of the altarpiece of the original Montserrat Monastery, it is built in the Catalan of Havana, where appointments and religious gatherings.
Similarly, in that place there was a more modest hermitage, which was desecrated and almost completely destroyed during the Revolution.
In this sense, in the Colonia Montserrat community, there is a parish that bears the same name and who also join the original festival of the Virgin, which is on April 27.
It is currently in the state of Aragua, specifically in the town of Santa Cruz de Aragua, where it is the meeting place to venerate Our Lady of Montserrat, which is a common activity since 1782. This community has witnessed miraculous events, and they also relate some that arose through the transfer of the virgin in a box from Guaira to Valencia.
However, when they opened the box, in which the image was transferred, which in its destination should be sent was the Virgin of Perpetual Help, they realized that the virgin who was inside was Our Lady of Montserrat, and the fact was repeated later when they tried to return her, and they had to understand that the virgin wanted to stay in the state of Aragua.
For her part, she is venerated on September 8 of each year. She is adored and respected by her people and on that day the virgins of the parish go out to meet Montserrat.
In Santiago de Guatemala, there is a parish with the name of the Virgin of Montserrat, in her honor and her patron saint’s day is April 27, and on the closest Sunday they make a procession with the image through the streets of their neighborhood.
Hymn and current image of the Virgin of Montserrat
The hymn that is sung in honor of Our Lady of Montserrat is the Patron Saint of Catalonia, it is called Virolai which has its origin in the Middle Ages. And some of its stanzas are as follows:
“April rose, brunette from the Sierra
Virgen de Monserrat;
Light up your land,
guide us to heaven.
“April rose, brunette from the Sierra
Virgen de Monserrat;
Light up your land,
guide us to heaven.
This beautiful hymn conveys the devotion that its devotees have towards the virgin, which is made up of several verses that walk through the grandeur of the virgin and the firmness of the sinner before his salvation.
Likewise, she ratifies the protection that she offers to her people and the consolation that all her devotees seek in her and perceive her as a princess with a faithful soul. She, without a doubt, is a creation full of enough strength and that by singing it she provides tranquility for the soul of people and, here you can see an image of the Virgin of Montserrat that is in Spain.
Prayer to Our Lady of Montserrat
This powerful prayer gives you protection because Monserrat is a holy mother who with her venerable love will provide protection and mercy, you only have to ask for it through pleas and her children will always seek her imploring her intercession before Jesus, her son.
In addition, with this prayer you can make the request that your heart longs for, do it with faith and devotion so that she can perceive the humility of your soul, and grant everything you ask of her.
Keep in mind that his heart will always be ready for you, to take care of you, listen to you and his arms will warm you when you turn to them.
Also, you can ask him to protect all your loved ones, for the health of the sick or injured, ask him for light to guide your path, and may the peace of God be with you. Our Lady of Montserrat, pray for us!
Marian apparitions and miracles of Our Lady of Montserrat
The devotion and faith that Catholic followers have is immensely great and in various circumstances many of them have shared some testimonies where they claim to have run into a virgin, a saint or God himself.
In the same way, they have revealed many miracles that have freed sick people from death and that have protected certain people from all evil, and from that moment everything has changed for them, because their faith has increased considerably.
The truth is that, in many of these stories, there are no witnesses to certify the apparitions in the places where the faithful state that it happened and the most curious thing is that despite this, Catholicism is frequently used in those spaces, to venerate the religious manifestations that have taken place there.
And, all these events have given rise to the creation of cults or temples, where faith can be freely expressed, and this is the case of the Montserrat Monastery and the chamber where the Moreneta is protected.
At this point, it is necessary to evaluate and analyze that all the stories of the appearance of virgins are accompanied by innocence, and this is because in most cases it has been children who have discovered it, as recounted, for example, by the story of the Virgin of Fátima or as the story of the discovery of Our Lady of Montserrat, a topic that interests us on this occasion.
In most circumstances they assure that children have a fundamental role in these stories, because through the purity of their being, they can perceive all these events, because their life is directed through innocence and sincerity.
And, this could be the fundamental reason why children are always present in all those events where faith, devotion, purity and religiosity are present.
But the most important thing is to respect the faith and devotion of the people who believe in all these miracles, for that reason we will show you the best known miraculous events and which have been attributed to Our Lady of Montserrat.
The irrigation channel in Manresa
In the year 1339, the inhabitants of Manresa were suffering from a relentless drought and the only way to solve such a painful situation was to create an irrigation canal that extended from the Llobergat river to the Balseny, but the main drawback was that it would cross the extensions of land that belonged to Monsignor Galcera Sacosta, who at that time was the bishop of Vic.
This was translated as a conflict of interest because it would directly affect the extensions that belonged to this bishop, until a miracle occurred through the light of our lady of Montserrat, because he advocated for the town and convinced the Galcera about the multiple benefits that would bring the construction of that channel, to the town that was a victim of the drought.
This problem lasted approximately 6 years, until one day, exactly on February 21, 1345, at 7 in the afternoon, when the devotees gathered in the church of Carmen, three spheres of light appeared before them and They entered through the windows of the aforementioned church, surrounding the entire main nave until they were placed on the chapel of the Holy Trinity.
Undoubtedly, this fact stunned everyone present, and it is also said that these spheres came together, forming one to later ascend to the top of the enclosure and then went to the Virgin of Montserrat, ending the fact with the shocking sound of the bells, which gave away their melodies without being manipulated by anyone.
The girl who saved her father’s soul
Around the year 1658, Father Bernardo de Ontiveros and Abbot Don Milan de Mirando, were accompanied by their parishioners and were in the Monastery of Our Lady María de Montserrat in Spain, while giving some conferences. Among the attendees were a woman and her young daughter, who begged the Abbot to say Masses on behalf of her father, who had passed away.
These ladies claimed that the soul of their family member was trapped in purgatory, and that they were witnesses of how they were suffering in that place, and even on many occasions while the girl was present at mass, she stated that she could see his father surrounded by flames. However, Father Bernardo had some doubts about what she was saying.
But following his instinct, he asked the girl to indicate where she saw her father and she stated that he was next to the altar, perched on his knees and that he was surrounded by a blazing fire, but in any case the priest did not believe in him. story.
So, he asked her to take a handkerchief and take it to the place where she saw that her father was present. And to everyone’s surprise, the aforementioned handkerchief caught fire, and from that moment all those present praised the Blessed Virgin, as they had never done before.
The Miracle of Liberation
This event happened in Spain, specifically in Barcelona, and it begins with a man, an inhabitant of Murcia, who was quite wealthy, successful, wealthy, married and without heirs. He had invited his father, who lived in the bishopric of Barcelona, to come and live in his house, because he had enough space, he even asked her to come with his brother.
Both decided to go to live with the aforementioned Lord, during the journey they were surprised by bad weather, and the ship in which they were traveling had to deviate from its original path and the path was modified towards the coast of Berbia, which brought As a consequence, both were separated and put up for sale by Muslim merchants.
Subsequently, his destiny was marked by different paths. But this story focuses on the faith that both had and in this way they remained connected and calm, during their stormy captivity.
But, the days passed, each one being worse than the other. Little by little the uncertainty and pain became present, but despite the situation they did not stop constantly praying to Our Lady of Montserrat, evoking her help to overcome such an unjust situation.
After all of going through such difficult times, the day of the feast of the Virgin of Montserrat arrived and the father’s companion, who was a Christian, encouraged him to celebrate the aforementioned day, just at that moment he began to cry and pray with more devotion. . He was sure she could hear him and he knew her situation.
Late at night, he fell asleep after imploring the virgin for his freedom. And she appeared to him, accompanied by a beautiful light, and I asked him, “Have you called me?” exclaiming, “Well, here I am!” And then she disappeared.
Later, he woke up alarmed and trying to remember the dream, but a while later he realized that he was free, his ties were no longer there and he went to the door, it gave way without any problem, but he found a very high wall that just connected with the city, and which I try to jump, achieving it almost immediately.
The most impressive thing about the fact is that no one was aware of his presence, because he was covered with the mantle of the virgin at all times, because he entrusted himself to her at all times, in this way he managed to reach the beach.
After all his exploits, he glimpsed his son in the distance, the one who had been the reason for so many prayers, they both began to cry and together they came to the conclusion that everything had been possible due to the miraculous interception of the Virgin of Montserrat.
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