Our Lady Of Suyapa
Our Lady Of Suyapa is a public holiday and feast day in Honduras. It’s a day that’s celebrated on February 3rd and venerates the Virgin of Suyapa—the Virgin Mother of Jesus and the Patroness of Honduras.
Even though this feast day is celebrated in churches all over the country, many people undertake a pilgrimage to visit the Basilica of the Virgin of Suyapa—where an 18th-century cedar-wood statue of the Blessed Virgin is kept. This statue is so revered, that people all over the world will make the pilgrimage to visit the statue on this day—a day that commemorates when it was found in 1747.
The History Of Our Lady Of Suyapa
Tracing the history of how the Virgin of Suyapa was discovered is not an easy task because there are several competing origin stories. One of the most widely believed ones is that the statue was discovered in early February of 1747 by Alejandro Colindres—a laborer that was sent by his mother to clean cornfields northeast of Tegucigalpa on Piliguin Mountain.
After working for the day, he decided to sleep outside, and sometime that night he was awakened by a pain in his side. He had discovered that he was laying on a small statue of the Virgin Mary. He would then take it home and put it on his family’s altar. For two decades it stayed there until a chapel was constructed for the statue. It was then blessed.
Observing Our Lady Of Suyapa
This holiday is observed with pilgrimages to the Basilica of the Virgin of Suyapa by people from all across not only Honduras but also the world. A festival is also held on this day and during the festival, the statue leaves the chapel to travel across Honduras.
When this is done, a special order of male caretakers known as the Orden de Los Caballeros de Suyapa accompany it and are responsible for its safe travel.