Sunday, July 1, 2012


La Virgen de la Soledad is one of the most popular saints
sold in Oaxaca's religious stores near the Bascilica.
Made of clay and plaster, they are often seen on graves in
Oaxaca's municipal cemetery, the San Miguel Panteon.
This statue is still in excellent condition.

A plaster weather-worn Virgen stands disintegrating
inside a locked wrought iron grave nicho.
A clay Virgen losing its paint around its face.

A portable Virgen de la Soledad stands in the courtyard of the
Basilica de la Soledad. This patron saint of Oaxaca is
venerated every year on December 18.  After prayers, gifts of flowers, 
lighting of candles, and the ritual touching of her robes,
the Virgen is paraded back into the church.

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.


foxysue said...

Thank you for your visit and comment, much appreciated.

I have never been to Mexico, or the USA for that matter, but can see how beautiful the Folk Art is and significant, you very rarely see anything like this in England. I have traveled to Spain and Italy and have glimpsed similar religious traditions and occasions and was in awe!

carol l mckenna said...

very wonderful spiritual creations and photography is awesome ~ blessing to you ~thanks, ^_^ (A Creative Harbor)

Unknown said...

Great information and images you share here Laurie. Hope you are finding some cool and that the fires have not been a direct threat to you.

Cheryl said...

I love looking at shrines.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

She sings!

San Miguel Shadows

rebecca said...

you have succeeded in filling me with complete longing for our beloved oaxaca. i was nineteen the first time i traveld the length of mexico from san diego to yucatan. walking into the heart of oaxaca, discovering all her churches and folk a love affair that has lasted a life time. i am thinking it is time to return.

radish festival anyone???

Annie Jeffries said...

La Virgen de Soledad is so beautiful no matter her state or condition. On my travels of the California missions my favorite was Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad in Soledad, CA. There are many that are more beautiful and elaborate but its setting in the midst of farmland, its smallness, and its seclusion can't be matched.

GlorV1 said...

Love all your photos and displays. Just beautiful as always.