Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Las Lajas Sanctuary

This church in Colombia is of Gothic revival architecture and was built from January 1, 1916 to August 20, 1949, with donations from local churchgoers, replacing an old nineteenth-century chapel. The name Laja comes from the name of a type of flat sedimentary rocksimilar to floor tiles found in the Andes Mountains. There was a claim that an apparition of the Virgin Mary was seen. The a miraculous image on the stone is still visable today.

In 1754, a woman and her deaf-mute daughter were walking in the area when they got caught in a storm and took shelter in a nearby cave. Sometime that night, the Virgin Mary allegedly revealed herself to the daughter — and she began to speak for the very first time. Soon after, a chapel was erected here to honor her. The Gothic Revival–style Lajas Sanctuary was later built, between 1916 and 1949, to replace the 19th-century chapel. The pilgrims who continue to arrive to this day from Colombia, Ecuador, and beyond often leave behind personal plaques, which you’ll see lining the cliff walls, to thank the Virgin for miracles.

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