|A plaster weather-worn Virgen stands disintegrating |
inside a locked wrought iron grave nicho.
In honor of my previous Sunday's post, I am sharing more images of La Virgen de la Soledad—the patron saint of Oaxaca, Mexico. She has her own church, the Basilica de la Soledad in Oaxaca City, which is considered the most important religious site in the entire state. La Virgen is my most favorite of the Mexican virgins. I love her stylized triangular shape. And her robes are black, gold, and silver, colors I adore. La Virgen de la Soledad is one of the most popular saints sold in Oaxaca's religious stores surrounding the Bascilica. Made of clay and plaster, they are frequently seen on graves in Oaxaca's municipal cemetery, the San Miguel Panteon. Above are three Virgens in various states of disintegration. Click on each of my photos to see the details in a larger format. To see my photos of this famous Virgen click on my earlier post.
Architecturally, the Basilica is known for its 79 ft high Baroque facade and its heavily gilded interior. It was built between 1682 and 1690 to house the holy image of the Virgin of Solitude (Soledad). The main statue stands inside the church, decorated with 600 diamonds and topped with a 4 lb gold crown. Her vestments are encrusted with pearls. In the 1980s, robbers removed her jewel-studded crown. She now has a replica of the original and stands in a glass-covered shrine. Many locals come to pray before the image, as she is believed to have the power to heal and work miracles. A major festival on December 18 honors the Virgin, attracting the faithful from all over Oaxaca. The last photo above shows the religious store directly across the street from the Basilica with many Virgins on display in the window.
For more information about this sacred site: Basilica de la Soledad, Oaxaca, Mexico.