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Our Lady of Suyapa, also called Our Lady of the Conception of Suyapa, is the Patroness of Honduras and her story dates back to the 1700s.

Our Lady of SuyapaHistory:

The story of our Lady of Suyapa began on a Saturday in February of 1747. It is told that a local peasant, Alejandro Colindres, was on his way back to the village of Suyapa after a long day of gathering corn. As night fell, he decided to spend the night near a ravine about halfway to Suyapa. When he laid down on the ground, he felt a hard object, perhaps a stone, under him and tossed it far away.  Upon lying down again, however, he found that the object had returned.  He placed the object into his bag and discovered, in the morning, that the object that had returned to him was not a stone, but rather a small carved image of Our Lady.

Description:

The image of Our Lady of Suyapa is carved in cedar wood, and measures less than 7 centimeters in size. It is believed that the carving is very old, and possibly done as a devotional item by an unknown, amateur artist.  She has an oval face and straight, shoulder length hair.  Her hands are joined in prayer and she wears a light pink robe (though much of the color is no longer visible) covered by a cloak trimmed in stars and jewels. Her image rests on a solid silver sphere and is surrounded by silver rays.

Veneration:

The first shrine of our Lady of Suyapa was blessed in 1780. In 1796, the first notable attested miracle occurred.  Our Lady of Suyapa was declared the Patroness of Honduras by Pope Pius XI in 1925, and her feast day was set as February 3rd. The current sanctuary of Our Lady of Suyapa is located in a humble part of the city and has a large amount of space to allow for the multitude of pilgrims who visit the shrine throughout the year.


Source:  Photo, story and description from Zelada, Rogelio. Marian Titles in the Popular Religiosity of Latin America (Advocaciones Marianas en la Religiosidad Popular Latinoamericana) Miami, Southeast Regional Office for Hispanic Ministry, Inc (DBA SEPI) No Date. Print.

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

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