On 9 July last, an image of the Virgin of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá was placed in the Vatican Gardens, on the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of her coronation as Queen and Patroness of Colombia. The mosaic, composed of more than 70,000 pieces of marble, stone and glass, and in which she appears accompanied by St. Andrew and St. Anthony, now stands among all the other Marian invocations of Latin America and the Caribbean in the so-called Bastion of the Master.
The ceremony was attended by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, President of the Governorate of Vatican City; Monsignor Mauricio Rueda Beltz, Undersecretary of the Third Section of the Secretariat of State; Jorge Mario Eastman Robledo, Ambassador of Colombia to the Holy See; fr Diego Orlando Serna Salazar, O.P., Prior Provincial of the Dominican Friars in Colombia; fr Carlos Mario Alzate Montes, O.P., rector of the National Marian Sanctuary, where the original canvas rests, as well as priests, religious men and women belonging to the Order of Preachers, Colombian citizens residing in Rome and special guests representing the Colombian people.
The image is a representation of Colombia in the most important place for Catholics and an opportunity to highlight the validity of a devotion that has accompanied the country for more than 400 years as a spiritual, cultural and symbolic icon.
“This mosaic of the Virgin of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá is, from this moment on, a little piece of Colombia in the heart of Christianity and a memorable symbol of what has been part of our national history, because just as it has happened to many of our fellow citizens, the Virgin’s canvas has also been discarded, trampled, forgotten and mistreated. It has suffered and accompanied the Colombian people in the pandemics and wars, in the struggles for independence and in the efforts to achieve peace, it was the object of the violence and dispossession that many of our brothers and sisters have also suffered”, said Bro Diego Orlando Serna.
The Virgin of Chiquinquirá is one of the most important religious figures in Colombia. Her protagonism in national life is so great that even historical figures from different periods have asked for her protection. Gustavo Rojas Pinilla decorated her with the Cross of Boyacá; Simón Bolívar entrusted her with the liberation campaign, and Marcos Fidel Suárez named her Queen of Colombia.