Sunday, October 12, 2008

Basilica facade

This is the front facade of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Cartago, near San Jose. I posted a photo of the angel on the top of the church the day before yesterday. The site on which this church was built is considered holy for two reasons, the first is the story I will tell below, and the second is a spring with waters that people consider to have the power to cure diseases.
In 1635, an indigenous peasant girl named Juana Pereira found a small dark skinned Virgin Mary on a rock. Twice the virgin was removed and twice it miraculously returned to the rock where it was found. A church was built built on the site of the rock in 1635. The virgin is preserved in a case above the altar, which I will show in my post on the day after tomorrow.
Does the above story sound familiar? Anyone who has been to Mexico City will find parallels to the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe, whose image appeared to a peasant on a cloth in 1531 and is preserved in a basilica built at the spot of the revelation, which is now the second most visited Roman Catholic shrine in the world.
The church in the photo above was built in 1929, replacing an earlier church that was destroyed in an earthquake in 1926. The stone facade was built in a Byzantine style, with Moorish arches.


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