Q: Who is Our Lady of the Miracle?

A: Our Lady of the Miracle is the patroness of the Catholic Daughters of America chapter in San Francisco, California. The image shown here is temporarily at the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi in San Francisco through the kindness of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. The answer below is from the web site of the shrine to St. Francis, www.shrinesf.org.

Our Lady of the Miracle, one of the first images of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be brought to the Americas, came to Peru with the Franciscan Friars who accompanied the Conquest. At that time the image was known by the title "La Misionera." Taken to Lima by the Franciscans, it was placed in the facade of the first Franciscan Church there. Frequently it would be carried on missionary journeys into the various regions of Peru.

Thus, the image was carried to Cuzco, center of Incan cult, where "La Misionera" performed her first visible miracle. The Spaniards, besieged in a straw-roofed native hut, were in grave peril of their lives when the Indians set fire to the roof. Our Lady's image was seen by all to leave her place within the hut and to appear above the burning building. The fire ceased immediately, and all were saved. In honor of this miraculous event, a church, called Del Triunfo, was built there. 

On returning to Lima, the religious placed the image in its former niche, where for many years it remained neglected and seemingly forgotten. Only a poor woman visited the image and prayed before it. To reward her devotion, the Blessed Virgin one day spoke to her thus: "You alone, daughter, among all the people here, visit me and pray to me. One day I will repay you." 

The saintly religious, Fray Juan Gomez, to whom the woman had related this locution, frequently used to say, "Lima does not recognize the great good it has in this miraculous image, but soon it will know."

Thus time passed. In 1630, on November 27, when most of the people of Lima were attending a bullfight in the main plaza, a violent earthquake struck the city. All were terrified, for it seemed certain that they would perish. But those near the Franciscan Church saw the image of Our Lady turn in the direction of the Blessed Sacrament, with her hands held in suppliant gesture. Abruptly, the earthquake stopped. 

Several hours later, when the Franciscan community had gathered before the miraculous image to render due thanksgiving, the prodigy was renewed. Our Blessed Lady turned again to her former position, smiling graciously upon the religious. 

A magnificent temple of this blessed image was constructed near the site of this miracle, and the image itself was given the new title of "Our Lady of the Miracle," under which advocation it has been venerated ever since. 

In 1835, fire completely destroyed the beautiful Church, together with all its treasures. Only the blessed image of "Our Lady of the Miracle" remained intact and unharmed by the conflagration. 

In Lima, on July 19, 1953, the solemn Pontifical Coronation took place, proclaiming the devotion to other peoples and countries. 

Prayer to Our Lady of the Miracle

Most Holy Lady, today I place myself under your motherly protection.

I beg you, please protect me from every evil, spiritual or temporal.

Since you are the Mother of Jesus and Spouse of the Holy Spirit,

I beg you to pray for me and obtain for me the particular favors I now request.

I offer you my heart, dear Mother. Grant that I may be of sincere and humble service

to your Son, Jesus, and then come at last to the everlasting joy of heaven.
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Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen!

Oración a la Santísima Virgen del Milagro [Spanish version of the prayer] 

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