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Nuestra Señora de Atocha, Spain

Commemorated on October 7
Nuestra Señora de Atocha, Spain
The origin of the image of Our Lady of Atocha, according to tradition, is very similar to the Almudena. They brought, it is said, the disciples of the Apostle Peter from Antioch to encourage nascent Christianity in carpetana region. Tradition still counts that was carved by Nicodemus, still life of the Virgin, painted by St. Luke. Anyway, all the chroniclers can show conformity to accept for their devotion an ancient origin and trace their first moments of worship "to the darkness of the early centuries of Christianity." 
are well known his miracles, the miracle of his reappearance and the Holy Child of Atocha ... 



Already in the year 665 or 666 Atocha invocation is documented in a letter from San Ildefonso. According to the same historian, in 1085 the Julian Dean named as the Virgin of Antioch, identical names that received in 1148 in a letter from Pope Eugene III. In the Charter of Madrid, in 1202, cited the stream and meadow or Tocha Toia, which, although names, presumably apply also to the Virgin chapel and settled in that place.
The feast of Our Lady of Atocha is celebrated the first Sunday in October.
As for the name of Atocha, there are several sources that historians attribute. Most authors agree do derive from Antioch, place of origin of the image according to legend. Antiochia From Latin, through Antiocha, would come finally the current Atocha. This source already includes one of the first documents that mention certain this Madrid worship, a text of 1085 Julian, archpriest of Santa Justa and chronicler of Toledo by Alfonso VI, in which the image is named "Saint Mary of Antioch " .
For others, derived from Theotokos, Mother of God Greek. On the occasion of the heresy of Nestorius in the V century, who denied the divine motherhood of the Virgin , the Church, after condemning such heresy, ordered to burn to many existing images the name of Mother of God in language and Greek characters. For these authors, at the foot of the chair or throne of a recorded image are Greek letters T and O, may the rest of the word Theotokos. Evolution, according to this hypothesis, would have been Theotokos - Teotoka - Toca - Tocha - Atocha. Such a theory, however, eludes the true fact that the image could not have been carved earlier date to the eleventh century.
The third theory says that the image was named because it was found in a field of straw or clog up, thus being called at first Our Lady of clog up. Atocha The voice could result thus tautia pre-Roman and Moorish tauca , origin of several Galician-Portuguese forms (Touza), Leon and Aragon (toza), meaning "kill scrub", "boot trunk of a plant."
Tradition has it that back in the eighth century was the mayor of Madrid nobleman Gracian Ramírez, who, with his wife and two daughters, Rivas de Jarama was removed before the Muslim invasion.
For the time-telling tradition continues-there was a very ancient shrine on the outskirts of the town , perhaps in the Madrid vega near the Manzanares River, in a place called the Green-Santiago, in which a venerated image of Our lady who was very devoted Madrid's mayor; reason, even being the village dominated by Muslims, was Gracian furtive visits to the shrine.
In one of them saw that the image was gone and prepared to search, build a new offering in the same place you found it. Soon discovered in a near-atochares where the basilica is now, and bringing together the people, prepared to meet their offering.
The Moors, however, aware of the work that was carried out, thought that Christians were fortifying, and surrounded the hermitage under construction.
Gracian Ramirez, aware of the overwhelming superiority of the besiegers, and fearful for the fate that certainly would be at his wife and daughters, decided to take their lives himself, and with his own sword mowed their heads, you leaving slaughtered the three women the foot of the altar itself.
At that time, large rays and glare blinded the Muslims, who, surprised by the unexpected and mysterious aid received by Christians, withdrew in droves tripping over each other. The Christian victory was complete, and all were ready to give thanks to Our Lady.
Arriving at the Hermitage, Gracian saw with astonishment his wife and daughters kneeling before the altar, safe and sound, with wireless embodied in the neck , in the same place where he had dealt them a mortal blow of the sword. These facts, the legend ends, occurred in the year 720, Pope Gregory II being.
Until barely 15 years, from the time he won the custom imposed formerly of dress images, Atocha, dressed and covered all size with rich robes, except face and hands appeared to be a high image, almost size of a person, now stripped of the garments disfigured, the image appears as it is, sitting on a throne chair symbol of royalty and wisdom, and its height is less than 60 inches from the top of the crown to the plane where the foot rests.
As we now worship was as it should be in the first centuries it received worship in Madrid until the piety of the people moved by miracles or in thanksgiving for the benefits obtained through them, did they began to give away images of the Virgin jewels, ornaments, dresses and coats.
Of the latter he had a very valuable collection Lady of Atocha, gifts all of the queens of Spain that became pious custom by donating to the Virgin her bridal finery.
Today is still preserved among others, the mantle of red velvet and ermine, studded with castles and lions in gold embroidery, gift of Elizabeth II, the image looks great occasions.
The image of Atocha is wood, very hard and incorruptible. 's figure sits (as stated above) as if to affirm this position your Church teaching on the death of her divine Son. At the left part of the same size hand, has a little boy offering an apple to his right hand.
The child does not seem to look at the apple and has raised his right hand in the act of blessing the people, extended his index and ring fingers bent and the other on the palm; provision, being commonly used in the early centuries of the Church Universal , carefully stored today in the East and is seen in statues, mosaics and wall paintings of Byzantine artists, until finally arrives to spread in regions of the south of Europe, entering later in our peninsula.
The face of the Virgin, because of its age, is dark brown, almost black. eyes are big and ripped, majestic, happy and laughing, but full of composure and total honesty. Elongated face, asked more than the proportion accepted by Greek sculpture and surmounted by the crown temples feature and mistreated, all without much effort reveals that the statue of the Virgin of Atocha is the result of a dying art.
Several miracles are attributed to Our Lady of Atocha Alfonso X the Wise saved from oblivion in his Cantigas collecting them.
In the 289 - "As Santa María de Tocha guariaú one laurador that andaua mowing, on Valentine Quirez, that lle closed you will fists both" - tells how a farmer who for not respecting the Sunday feast was closed hands that she could not open them, repented asked the Virgin of Atocha forgiveness, and he was finally able to open them .
The second miracle that collects in Cantiga 315 - "This e as Santa María Tocha guareceu in which e out Madride a menyno that tijnna hua Tang trijgo not uentre" - is that of a child who was choking on a pin he had swallowed. His mother led him before the Virgin of Atocha, and the child was free of the pin that caused death .
Another miracle that tradition has transmitted to us occurred in 1374, during the Cortes held in Burgos. Madrid attended by Diego Fernandez as attorney Gudiel, which inadvertently was mixed in the death of Sancho, brother of King Henry II. He is filled with fury, did apprehend six of the attorneys, including Diego, and sentenced to death. Madrid's, then was assigned to Our Lady of Atocha, promising that if he escaped death again from Burgos to Madrid barefoot and I executed costume, to give thanks in the church of Atocha. Trail and the scaffold, Enrique convicted pitied and forgave all. Don Diego, grateful to his Virgin, kept his promise and returned to Madrid hands tied with a rope that hung from the neck, and in the temple of Atocha, Virgin offered the rope, there remained several centuries hanging on the wall .
Since ancient devotion was evident that the Castilian monarchs had to Our Lady of Atocha. It is said that Alfonso VI , after conquering the town, hanging in his hermitage ordered the royal standard and the Muslims, and yet both still there in the seventeenth century.
The Emperor Charles V , in 1525, heard mass before the Virgin, accompanied by all the Court, to give thanks for the victory of Pavia, and repeated the same ceremony after the victory of Tunis and Algiers.
Philip II was also a great devotee of the Virgin of Atocha and declared staunch protector of the sanctuary was that said it, when a courtier named Patroness of Madrid: "It is Patroness of Madrid, but all my Realms." After the Battle of Lepanto, came to the village and here a solemn Te Deum was sung in thanksgiving at the altar of the Virgin banners caught the Turks and rapier took in battle Don Juan of Austria placed.
The monarch's son and successor, Philip III, the Board formally accepted Atocha by the Royal Family, stipulating the terms of the ordering and styling and place in the chapel of the Virgin real guns. Devotion remained all his successors, and it is said that Philip IV came to visit the image 3,400 times.
In the Basilica had marriages rather regal as that of Alfonso XII and his cousin the Infanta Maria de las Mercedes de Orleans , on January 23, 1878 or after the November 29, 1879 by the same widower king remarried to Maria Cristina of Habsburg-Lorraine, Archduchess of Austria.
In the case of link Prince Felipe de Borbon y Grecia with Letizia Ortiz on May 22, 2004 they went from the Almudena Cathedral where the ceremony took place at the Basilica to deposit the bridal bouquet to the Virgin of Atocha .
There is a tradition in the Spanish Royal Family of the queens and princesses of Asturias attend the Basilica to submit to the princes and infants before the Virgin of Atocha about forty days after childbirth.
This rite was performed by the Queen Regent Maria Cristina of Habsburg-Lorraine to introduce his son, the future Alfonso XIII when he was 45 days and also by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Greece to her children Felipe, Elena and Cristina, the same that Prince Felipe and Letizia Ortiz did with their daughters the Princesses Leonor and Sofia.
The Royal Basilica of Our Lady of Atocha is located in the city of Madrid Avenue in the City of Barcelona, number 3.
It is located on the former Dominican convent of Our Lady of Atocha , which housed the original chapel turn - giving sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin of Atocha.
No other written references to the aforementioned, which states the existence of a tiny chapel. 's from 1083 when start and grow rich Madrid when it was conquered by King Alfonso VI of Castile. The Charter states that Madrid with possessions that they could attend had the support of several chaplains in charge of worship in the meadow Tocha (Atocha).
In the year 1150, there is evidence of the Ermita de Atocha by Don Juan, archbishop of Toledo, at the time, from which depended ecclesiastically. Canons are appointed to the Church of Santa Leocadia (Toledo), annexing several properties to it, including the Church of Santa María de Atocha, which with the increasing presence of loyal forces to build a great temple, but not touching Hermitage at all.
Not until the sixteenth century to the ruins of the chapel when Fray Juan Hurtado de Mendoza, confessor of Charles V, he decides to reform it to make it a great church and fail to also convert the houses of the canons of St. Leocadia of Toledo a Dominican convent, which will be in charge of the Sanctuary as grant of Pope Adrian VI of July 11, 1523.
During the reign of the House of Bourbon donations and continued improvements to the resort up to the night of December 5, 1808 they entered the French troops, driving and making religious headquarters, resulting in theft and destruction of countless works art.
Once past the French invasion, the Dominican Convent until return to their departure occurs in 1834 , which caused extensive damage to the church, the convent became Disabled barracks and military parish church.
The November 12, 1863, Pope Pius IX makes Minor Basilica , the first of this kind in the city of Madrid.
In 1888, the Queen Regent Maria Cristina, widow of Alfonso XII at the condition in which they were sent demolishing buildings thereof and ordered the construction of another resort where include, attached to the temple, in the cloister a Pantheon of Illustrious Men. The public tender was won by architect Fernando Arbós and Tremanti projecting Neo-Byzantine style basilica with an exempt a medieval Italian fashion and inspired a pantheon Cemetery of Pisa campanile. Work began in 1891 but financial problems only held the Campanile and the Pantheon.
It was not until 1924 that the Dominicans, with the total cessation of works, asked the King Alfonso XIII to provide them with the means to restore the convent and church. them then ceded ownership and new land and the brothers continued the works himself account but without following the initial draft and Fernando Arbós Tremanti.
The July 20, 1936, during the Civil War, the convent and church is burned, losing all artwork except the image of the Virgin of Atocha that had hidden.
At Christmas 1951 the new church was opened with traces of Architecture in Madrid neoclassical brick and taking measures 52 X 34 m at the base and height of the nave that reaches 13.25 m. The windows update want to remind the Romanesque style and represent the mysteries of the Rosary.
EL Santo Nino de Atocha
In Atocha, many men were in prison because of the faith they professed. As the jailers did not feed the prisoners, families brought them food. At one time, the Caliph issued an order was that no one except children twelve years old or younger could bring food to prisoners.
Those with young children could keep their families alive, but what would happen to the others? The village women begged Our Lady, asking him to help find a way to feed their husbands, sons and brothers.
Soon, the children returned to their homes with a strange story. A young boy visiting and feeding the young prisoners who had no children to feed them. None of the children knew who he was, but the small bowl of water wearing was never empty, and the basket was always full of bread to feed all the unfortunate prisoners who had no children to bring their own food.
Evening came, passing the guards sleeping or smiling kindly to those who were awake. Those who had asked for a miracle to the Virgin of Atocha began to suspect the identity of the child.
As a way to confirm this, the shoes of the statue of the infant Jesus were worn. When replaced with new ones, these were also worn. After Ferdinand and Isabella expelled the Moors from Spain in 1492, people continued to invoke the aid of Our Lady of Atocha and her Holy Child.



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