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All About Mary

Virgen de la Vega

Q: What is the meaning of Virgen de la Vega?

A: This title belongs to the so called "orografia de España," where we find reference to Virgen del Monte, Sierra, Cabeza, Virgen del Valle, del Campo, del Prado, de los Llanos, and de la Vega. The Virgen de la Vega is venerated with approximately thirty-five different images bearing this name. Among the most popular ones are Haro (Rioja) whose origin is probably the "Vega de Granada." The image was moved to La Rioja to save it from the invasion of the Saracenes. La Virgin de la Vega happens to be the patron saint of Salamanca. In Alcala de la Selva (Tercel) we find the "Virgen de la Vega y del Espino." A possible connection with Mary is found in the "Salve Regina" where it is said:"gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle" (valley of tears=human condition). Mary is refuge and consolation for those living a human condition of suffering and hardship. Further, Mary had been called (symbolically) valley by various writers and saints (Anthony of Padua, Bonaventure, Augustine) to highlight her fecundity and humility. Reference should also be made to sanctuaries of Mary located in valleys thus giving the sanctuary/image its name.

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