The image of Mary, Nuestra Señora de las
Aguas (Our Lady of the Waters) shows the Sorrowful Mother and has enjoyed a
long tradition of popular devotion.
According to the chronicles of the convent, the title of “Our
Lady of the Waters” was given to this image for having saved a priest who
was in imminent danger of shipwreck. Acknowledging his benefactress, the
priest left in his testament a perpetual annuity so that her feast could be
celebrated every year on Friday of Passion Week (Friday before Good Friday).
Another report relates the title of the image to an event of
1714. At that time a group of native Indians led by a priest walked towards
the Church of Jesús María, asking for permission to celebrate a religious
function before the image of the Virgin (who had walked over the waters).
They insisted that they had seen the Virgin holding back the waters in order
to avoid a flood that threatened them, and that her image could be found in
the convent. The religious began to be suspicious, and going to the choir,
to their great surprise they found that the image of the Sorrowful Mother
had wet garments, especially the hem, and also the feet of the image.
They moved the image to the Church and the Indians confirmed
that this had been the image they had seen. Information was collected about
the events, and it was acknowledged that one could not attribute to natural
causes the wetness that covered the image. Henceforth, on July 1 of that
year the ecclesiastical authorities declared that one could believe that the
Blessed Virgin had worked the miracle and that through her intercession they
were spared from the dangers of the flood.
To this day the image is venerated and is now guarded by the
Fathers of the Heart of Mary.
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Michael P. Duricy
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