Sunken Virgin Mary Rises from the Sea for Feast of Assumption

Sunken Virgin Mary Rises from the Sea for Feast of Assumption

Sunken Virgin Mary Rises from the Sea for Feast of Assumption
Video screenshot
Spanish city of Algeciras raise the sunken statue of Mary every year for Feast of Assumption

The Blessed Virgin Mary made her annual appearance for the 41st time on her special day, the Assumption Feast, which falls every year on August 15. The citizens of Algeciras have a special reason to celebrate this day as it is the one on which their patroness, our Lady of the Palm visits the town from under the sea.

Sunken Virgin Mary Rises from the Sea for Feast of Assumption[/tweetthis]

Thousands throng the beach of Algeciras every year on August 15, to get a glimpse of the statue of Mary that otherwise remains submerged for the rest of the year underwater. Divers go down to retrieve the statute for her annual veneration and is taken back to her resting place at the close of the day. The arrival of the statue is celebrated with great joy and revelry with people partying, feasting and dancing with joy. A long queue of devotees moves slowly towards her, with each pilgrim trying to touch her and ask for favors.

The town of Algeciras was dedicated to the Virgin of the Palm leaf since the 1300s, when the town was re-taken from Moor conquerors and a mosque was converted into a church in her honor. However, the town was quickly taken back by the Moors and the church was destroyed. The church remained a ruin until some work was begun in the 1700s. The people of the own were left without a statue of their patroness, however.

Around that time, an Italian ship had an image of the Virgin of Palm among its cargo. The ship remained moored in the docks due to a storm that did not show any sign of abating. Each time the ship thought it could begin its journey whenever the storm seemed a bit calmer, the waves would rise up again and force the ship to remain where it was. Taking this as a sign, the people of the town took off the image from the ship and placed it in the church. That very moment the storm cleared up and the ship continued on its journey.

The tradition of retrieving this statue from the ocean depths began around 1975, when a local fisherman found the said statue from inside the sea. The idea quickly gained popularity and today, has become a very crowded affair with miracles and wonders being attributed to the image.

Throughout the rest of the year, the statue remains resting in an underwater cave in the Bay of Gibraltar. 


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