Our Lady of Antigua, Spain (Almunecar)
Friday, August 15, at 7 p.m., Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Jacksonville
Main Celebrant: Father Manuel Puga

Virgin of Antiquity or Virgen de la Antigua

The beautiful image of the Our Lady of Antigua shows the Blessed Mother standing and holding baby Jesus in her left arm, and a rose in her right. Above her head, are two angels poised to place a crown on the Virgin’s head.

When the Muslim’s invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century, the Christians of Seville, Spain, built a façade before the image to keep the Moors from defacing it. Nonetheless, the church was defaced and turned into a mosque. For many centuries, the existence and location of the image was not determined.

Then during the siege of Seville, the Virgin appeared to Saint Fernando III of Castile in the year 1248, and said to him she would protect him always: “You have a constant in my image of the Antigua that you love so much and which is in Seville.” Then, Our Lady encouraged him to continue the siege, promising him the victory.

Overwhelmed by this, St. Fernando continued to venerate the image and was guided through the city and into mosque where the image lay hidden and untouched behind a wall.

When the Spanish knights crossed the ocean and came to the New World, they also brought their devotion to Our Lady under the image of the Virgen de la Antiqua. One of these images has been displayed at the Cathedral of Mexico since the year 1652.

The beautiful image of the Our Lady of Antigua shows the Blessed Mother standing and holding baby Jesus in her left arm, and a rose in her right. Above her head, are two angels poised to place a crown on the Virgin’s head.

When the Muslim’s invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century, the Christians of Seville, Spain, built a façade before the image to keep the Moors from defacing it. Nonetheless, the church was defaced and turned into a mosque. For many centuries, the existence and location of the image was not determined.

Then during the siege of Seville, the Virgin appeared to Saint Fernando III of Castile in the year 1248, and said to him she would protect him always: “You have a constant in my image of the Antigua that you love so much and which is in Seville.” Then, Our Lady encouraged him to continue the siege, promising him the victory.

Overwhelmed by this, St. Fernando continued to venerate the image and was guided through the city and into mosque where the image lay hidden and untouched behind a wall.

When the Spanish knights crossed the ocean and came to the New World, they also brought their devotion to Our Lady under the image of the Virgen de la Antiqua. One of these images has been displayed at the Cathedral of Mexico since the year 1652.