Virgin of Guadalupe

Mary, mother of Jesus

Mary's name in the original manuscripts of the New Testament was based on her original Aramaic name מרים, transliterated as Maryam or Mariam. The English name Mary comes from the Greek Μαρία, a shortened form of the name Μαριάμ. Both Μαρία and Μαριάμ appear in the New Testament. 

Mary was a first-century Jewish woman of Nazareth, the wife of Joseph and the mother of Jesus. She is a central figure of Christianity, venerated under various titles such as virgin or queen, many of them mentioned in the Litany of Loreto. The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Church of the East, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches believe that Mary, as the mother of Jesus, is the Mother of God. Other Protestant views on Mary vary, with some holding her to have considerably lesser status.

The New Testament describes Mary as a young virgin who God chose to conceive Jesus through the Holy Spirit. After giving birth to Jesus in Bethlehem, she raised him in Nazareth in Galilee. She was in Jerusalem at his crucifixion and with the apostles after his ascension. Although her later life is not accounted in the Bible, Catholic and Eastern Christian traditions believe that her body was raised into heaven at the end of her earthly life, which is known in Western Christianity as the Assumption of Mary and in Eastern Christianity as the Dormition of the Mother of God.

Mary has been venerated since early Christianity and is considered by millions to be the holiest and greatest saint. There is a certain diversity in the Mariology and devotional practices of major Christian traditions. The Catholic Church holds distinctive Marian dogmas, namely her Immaculate Conception and Assumption into Heaven. Many Protestants minimize Mary's role, based on what they argue is a lack of biblical support for any beliefs other than her status as the Mother of God and the virgin birth. She is mentioned several times in the Quran, including in a chapter named after her, and has the highest position in Islam among all women.

The multiple forms of Marian devotions include various prayers and hymns, the celebration of several Marian feast days in liturgy, the veneration of images and relics, the construction of churches dedicated to Mary and pilgrimages to Marian shrines. Many Marian apparitions and miracles attributed to her intercession have been reported by believers over the centuries. She has been a traditional subject in arts, notably in Byzantine art, medieval art and Renaissance art.

Read More

Virgin of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe), also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe, is a Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary associated with a series of five Marian apparitions in December 1531, and a venerated image on a cloak enshrined within the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
The basilica is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world and the world's third most-visited sacred site. Pope Leo XIII granted the image a canonical coronation on October 12, 1895.

Our Lady of High Grace

Photo in our Manse 

Estampa Contemporánea de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia

It is a typically Catholic name, which recalls the cult of Nuestra Señora de Altagracia, a title with which the Madonna is venerated in the Dominican Republic. Etymologically, it is a compound of the Spanish terms alta and Gracia, high grace.

The name day is celebrated on January 21, the feast day of Nuestra Señora de Altagracia, patroness of the Dominican Republic.

The image of Our Lady of Altagracia represents the scene of the Nativity of Jesus in the Manger of Bethlehem, with the maternity of the Virgin highlighted. In the painting is the Star of Bethlehem, which has eight points and symbolizes heaven and has two rays extending towards the manger, in which God blesses his son Jesus. 

Above the Virgin are twelve stars, representing the tribes of Israel and, at the same time, the Apostles in the New Testament. Around Mary, there is a glow, which can be found in more detail in Revelation 12:1.

La Altagracia wears a crown on her head because she is the Queen of Heaven and a veil because she is married to Joseph. She is dressed in red, white and blue; the red, according to the experts, she wears because she is a beautiful human being, the white because she is a woman conceived without sin, and the blue cloak because "the power of the Highest will come upon you" and because she is the queen of heaven. In front of the Mother is the Christ Child, naked, asleep on straw and well behind him is Saint Joseph, dressed in a red cape with a candle in his left hand. The figure of Mary in an attitude of adoration, with her hands joined in the form of an arch, is striking. On her chest, there is a kind of white lightning in the shape of a triangle, an expression of the virgin birth of Jesus that rises from the manger where the child sleeps almost to the shoulders of the Mother.

Mary's face is serene, with her eyes lowered, indicating neither seriousness nor sadness but joy and peace in an attitude of meditation. Her head is covered with a dark blue veil that reaches her shoulders and a pearl crown, symbolizing her status as queen for being the Mother of the King and around twelve stars representing the Catholic Church, founded on the Twelve Apostles. Behind her stands out an excellent star, the same one that accompanied the Biblical Magi to make the Savior known to them. Her mantle is dotted with sixteen small stars. Behind it is a column, which means that the cave or manger of the birth is a temple because God, the baby Jesus, lives there.

Basílica Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia

Basilica of Our Lady of High Grace

Roman Catholic minor Basilica and Cathedral in

The Dominican Republic is dedicated to Our Lady of Altagracia,

patroness of the nation. It is in Salvaleón de Higüey

John Harvey at English Wikipedia

licensed under the Creative Commons 

Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic

The cathedral was raised in honour of a minor basilica by

Pope Paul VI on December 17, 1970.

It was visited by Pope John Paul II during his visit to the country in 1992. 

Black Virgin and Child

Photo in our Manse 

The term Black Madonna or Black Virgin tends to refer to statues or paintings in Western Christendom of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus, where both figures are depicted as black. The Black Madonna can be found in both Catholic and Orthodox countries.

The paintings are usually icons which are Byzantine in origin or style, some made in 13th- or 14th-century Italy, others are older and from the Middle East, Caucasus or Africa, mainly Egypt and Ethiopia. Statues are often made of wood but occasionally made of stone, painted and up to 75 cm (30 in) tall. They fall into two main groups: free-standing upright figures or seated figures on a throne. There are about 400–500 Black Madonnas in Europe,
depending on how they are classified. There are at least 180 Vierges Noires in Southern France alone, and there are hundreds of non-medieval copies as well. Some are in museums, but most are in churches or shrines and are venerated by believers. Some are associated with miracles and attract substantial numbers of pilgrims.

Black Madonnas come in different forms, and the speculations behind the reason for the dark hue of each individual icon or statue vary greatly and are not without controversy. Though some Madonnas were originally black or brown when they were made, others have simply turned darker due to factors like ageing or candle smoke. The Jungian scholar, Ean Begg, has conducted a study into the potential pagan origins of the cult of the black madonna and child. Another speculated cause for the dark-skinned depiction is due to pre-Christian deities being re-envisioned as the Madonna and child.

 Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration 

(Monumento de Santiago)

5 September 2006

Author Casualknit

This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Casualknit. This applies worldwide.

Santiago de los Caballeros was founded by Spanish settlers at the beginning of the 16th century, in 1562, after a strong earthquake. The settlement is moved south. Since 1953 the city has been the seat of a bishop.

Our Lady of Altagracia - Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration

Work by Henry Santana inside the Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

General San Juan 

Our Lady of High Grace




 We are an ecumenical Benedictine community of Oblates, and we welcome all Christians to pray with us and participate in our celebration offices.

One God, One Faith, One Baptism. In Jesus' Name, we are one in the body of Christ. 

We are Protestant Catholics and Clerics devoted to the Catholic Church's teaching authority. 

Family Album

Our father Maurice, mother Irene and sister Monique in the Dominican Republic 

Notre père Maurice, mère Irène et sœur Monique en République Dominicaine

Higüey is home to the Parish Church of San Dionisio, one of the oldest churches in the Americas and an essential landmark in the Dominican Republic. First built in 1512 and Consecrated in 1572, the church is dedicated to the Virgin of Altagracia.

Higüey abrite l'église paroissiale de San Dionisio, l'une des plus anciennes églises des Amériques et un monument incontournable de la République dominicaine. Construite pour la première fois en 1512 et consacrée en 1572, l'église est dédiée à la Vierge d'Altagracia.

Iglesia San Dionisio

The historic town of Salvaleón de Higüey, founded towards the end of the year 1503 by Juan de Esquivel, conqueror of Jamaica and emblazoned with a royal coat of arms granted by the Queen of Spain Doña Juana, has the First Sanctuary of Mary in America.

La ville historique de Salvaleón de Higüey, fondée vers la fin de l'année 1503 par Juan de Esquivel, conquérant de la Jamaïque et ornée des armoiries royales accordées par la reine d'Espagne Doña Juana, abrite le premier sanctuaire de Marie en Amérique

Christ and Cross cannot be found in Google  search

Using Lens and descriptive text  2023.10.06

Note : Saint Dionysius - French  St. Denis

Denis of Paris was a 3rd-century Christian martyr and saint. According to his hagiographies, he was bishop of Paris (then Lutetia) in the third century. He was martyred with his companions Rusticus and Eleutherius for his faith by decapitation. Some accounts placed this during Domitian's persecution and incorrectly identified St Denis of Paris with the Areopagite, who was converted by Paul the Apostle and served as Athens's first bishop. Assuming Denis's historicity, it is now considered more likely that he suffered under the persecution of the emperor Decius shortly after AD 250.

Denis de Paris était un martyr et saint chrétien du IIIe siècle. Selon ses hagiographies, il fut évêque de Paris (alors Lutèce) au IIIe siècle et, avec ses compagnons Rusticus et Eleutherius, fut martyrisé pour sa foi par décapitation. Certains récits placent cela pendant la persécution de Domitien et identifient à tort saint Denis de Paris avec l'Aréopagite qui fut converti par l'apôtre Paul et qui fut le premier évêque d'Athènes. En supposant l'historicité de Denis, il est maintenant considéré plus probable qu'il ait souffert de la persécution de l'empereur Dèce peu après 250 après JC.

CHURCH OF SAN DIONISIO in Higuey., It is one of the oldest churches in the entire country.

Also known as the Church of Our Lady of La Altagracia, it is one of the oldest temples in the Dominican Republic. It is located in the city of Higúey, and there was born the veneration of the Virgin, considered among the protectors of the Dominican people, although Mercedes is the patron saint.

The old temple was built between 1569 and 1572 and represents the type of church with a nave, a transept not pointed towards the outside, a polygonal apse, and a barrel vault over pointed prominent arches, as pointed out by E. Walter Palm. The buttresses are oblique, in the manner of the 15th century.

As mentioned above, the Holy Virgin of La Altagracia was in the church from the very days of the 16th century, a painting that now rests in the Basilica of Higúey dedicated to her worship.

Tradition says that a good Christian from the province frequently travelled to other towns and that a daughter asked him for a Virgin of La Altagracia as a request. Still, when she returned, she had forgotten the request. On an upcoming trip, he swore to bring the order; he searched for it without finding the painting that his daughter wanted. Upon returning to the pension or place where he was staying, and after the regret of not being able to find the image, he saw a scroll, and it was none other than the painting of the Virgin. No one ever claimed the painting or received money for the work. Thus, the excellent man left for Higuey, moved by faith and the miracle. Since then, the Virgin of La Altagracia has been part of the festivities of the place.

At the site of Quibor, Venezuela, the Virgin is also the patron saint of the place and her cult was brought there by a Venezuelan colonist who had lived in Hispaniola, Captain Gracián de Alvarado, an event that the Venezuelan historian Brother Nectario María places among 1600 and 1620.

The charms of the Basilica of Higüey are multiple. Its walls house those who seek direct contact with the Virgin of Altagracia, Protector of the Dominican People, and those who go there to witness what, according to many, is the largest religious monument in the country.

However, "meek and maroons" have something in common: they cannot resist the temptation to purchase the various items alluding to the Virgin sold around the religious temple. The list is as extensive as the number of buyers who come to the Basilica on January 21, the day the festival of Our Lady of Altagracia is celebrated.

ÉGLISE DE SAN DIONISIO à Higuey. L'une des plus anciennes églises de tout le pays.

Également connue sous le nom d'église Notre-Dame de La Altagracia, c'est l'un des temples les plus anciens de la République dominicaine. Il est situé dans la ville de Higúey et c'est là qu'est née la vénération de la vierge considérée parmi les protectrices du peuple dominicain, bien que Mercedes en soit la sainte patronne.

L'ancien temple a été construit entre 1569 et 1572 et représente le type d'église avec une nef, un transept non orienté vers l'extérieur, une abside polygonale et une voûte en berceau sur des arcs principaux brisés, comme l'a souligné E. Walter Palm. Les contreforts sont obliques, à la manière du XVe siècle.

Dans l'église susmentionnée se trouvait la Sainte Vierge de La Altagracia, dès le XVIe siècle, un tableau qui repose aujourd'hui dans la basilique de Higúey dédiée à son culte.

La tradition raconte qu'un bon chrétien de la province voyageait fréquemment vers d'autres villes et qu'une fille lui demandait une Vierge de La Altagracia comme requête, mais à son retour elle avait oublié la demande. Lors d'un prochain voyage, il a juré d'apporter la commande, il l'a cherché sans trouver le tableau que voulait sa fille. De retour à la pension ou au lieu où il séjournait, et après le regret de ne pas avoir pu retrouver l'image, il aperçut un rouleau et ce n'était autre que le tableau de la Vierge. Personne n’a jamais réclamé le tableau ni reçu d’argent pour l’œuvre. Ainsi le bon homme partit pour Higuey mû par la foi et le miracle. Depuis, la Vierge de La Altagracia fait partie des festivités du lieu.

Sur le site de Quibor, au Venezuela, la vierge est également la patronne du lieu et son culte y a été apporté par un colon vénézuélien qui avait vécu à Hispaniola, le capitaine Gracián de Alvarado, un événement que l'historien vénézuélien frère Nectario María place parmi les 1600 et 1620.

Les charmes de la Basilique de Higüey sont multiples. Ses murs abritent ceux qui cherchent à avoir un contact direct avec la Vierge d'Altagracia, protectrice du peuple dominicain, et ceux qui s'y rendent simplement dans le but d'assister à ce qui, selon beaucoup, est le plus grand monument religieux du pays.

Cependant, « doux et marrons » ont quelque chose en commun : ils ne résistent pas à la tentation d'acheter les différents objets faisant allusion à la Vierge qui sont vendus autour du temple religieux. La liste est aussi longue que le nombre d'acheteurs qui se rendent à la Basilique le 21 janvier, jour où est célébrée la fête de Notre-Dame d'Altagracia.

Google Map