A: The Virgin de la Candelaria
is a very popular title. We know of more than forty places in Spain and surrounding
islands where this title is known and/or commemorated. She is one of the principal patrons of the Canary Islands. Special
veneration is given to her in Santa Cruz (Tenerife), in La Orotava (Tenerife),
Tijarafe and Las Nieves (Palma), Frontera (Hierro), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria).
The same image is known in Andalusia (for example, Parish of San Nicholas in
Sevilla, and a number of other places), Guadalajara, Cuenca, Segovia, León,
Tarragona, Valencia, Huesca, Badajoz. A related image, usually holding a candle
or surrounded by candles is that of Our Lady of Light (Virgen de la Luz). These
images are not all identical as the following illustrations may show. There is
no correlation between the skin coloring and the light motif. As can be seen
there are Candlemas images which are not black. Further, the
"blackness" of Black Madonnas varies. Some are really black, other
have a dark skin tone of various degrees of brown. The same variety applies to
color and style of vestments. The color of the robes frequently changes with the liturgical
season. The style of vestments of the Tenerife image evokes, indeed, the
Castilian (Isabel of Castilia) fashion. Here again, the sartorial custom is not
limited to the Candelaria representations or to that of Tenerife.
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