Monday, May 12, 2008
May: Fiesta de la Virgen de los Desamparados!
Virgen de los Desamparados de Marikina, Philippines
Virgen de los Desamparados de Sta. Ana, Manila, Philippines
Virgen de los Desamparados de Valencia, Spain
Today in Valencia, Spain, in Marikina and in Sta. Ana, Manila in the Philippines is the feast day of Our Lady of the Abandoned or Forsaken Ones (Ntra. Sra. de los Desamparados). This is also the day in 1958 when my late dad Diomedes Maturan known as "The Rose Tatoo" won in the Sta. Ana singing contest which catapulted him to the Music and Movie Industry with arround 30 o=movies to his credit, making him an historical figure, a pillar and institution in the said industry. In the 15th century, a confraternity was founded in Valencia to take care of abandoned children, under the invocation of Our Lady of the Abandoned Ones. The institute was established but lacked a statue to preside over it.
One day three extraordinarily handsome youths knocked on its door, asking for asylum. They offered to carve the needed statue in payment for shelter. They only asked that appropriate material be provided and that they be left alone and undisturbed in a room to work at ease for three days. The offer was accepted.
During the three days, the youths remained locked in the room. At the end of that time, the brothers went to inquire if they needed anything. The door was locked and no one responded to their requests to open it. Finally, they forced the door open and entered, but there was no sign of the three young men.
Instead, in the center of the room they found a majestic and protective statue of Our Lady that the young men had carved. This extraordinary fact was followed by countless miracles worked on behalf of the Virgen de los Desamparados. In 1885 Our Lady of the Abandoned Ones was proclaimed Patroness of Valencia.
If one observes the images of the Virgin Mary of Desampardos in Valencia and the Guadalupe in Mexico, facial features are so similar. Both images are archiopetas or images "not made by human hands".
The name Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados means "Our Lady of the Forsaken" or "Our Lady of the Homeless." She was originally the patron saint of a 15th-century society dedicated to the care of the homeless and mentally ill in Valencia. Some time after 1493 the society commissioned the santo seen at left and housed it in a small chapel, which was replaced in 1652 by a substantial basilica.
Over the years Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados came to be the object of general veneration in Valencia, and she is now the official patron saint of the city, with a major festival on the second Sunday of May. In March participants in the "Fallas" celebration bring her flowers.
Her title in Valencian is "Mare de Deu dels Desamparats."
In the 17th century a Valencian family in Lima, Peru, organized a society for the forsaken and gave it a chapel with a painting of the Valencian santo. Later in the century the painting was replaced with a full-size replica. Numerous other cities and villages in Spanish America and the Philippines have special relationships to the Virgin under this name.