Virgin of Candelaria

In Copacabana, there is a statue that depicts the Virgin Mary, except she is dark skinned. This statue is called the Virgin of Candelaria because of the green candle it holds in one of it's hands. It is tradition that people pray to her for help with problems, and so their wildest dreams can be real and be turned into miracles for them and their families. In 1392, this statue was found on a beach in Chimisay. They determined that it was an elegant statue of Mary bearing a child in one hand and a green candle in the other. The people that discovered it were two ordinary shepherds.

There is a legend known today about this statue. This is the reason that people have come to it to pray for miracles and their/their families' well beings. The moment when the first shepherd chose to pick up a stone was the last movement he would ever make with that arm. He picked up a good sized rock, and attempted to throw it at the statue of the dark skinned, child bearing, Virgin Mary. Now, everyone knows not to mess with it, but then, they had no idea and would soon find out. The shepherd holding the rock tried to throw it directly at the statue. In an instant, his arm became paralyzed. The other shepherd was upset by this, and thought, if he can't do it, I surely can. He pulled a knife and ran at the statue. His attempt to stab it failed miserably and he stabbed himself instead of Mary.

After this incident, people near the scene of the crime had begun to get scared. Because of this, movers came and relocated the statue. It was taken to a cave in Chinguaro. People had stolen the statue to see it's magical powers that everyone was talking about. They had taken it to Lanzarote. In the statue's new "home", it began to cause many problems and gave fright to the Lanzarotes. It was later returned to Tenerife and is now there permanently. This legend was recorded by Alonso of Espinoso in 1594.


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