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Nuestra Señora de la Divina Providencia
San Juan, Puerto Rico (1920)

Commemorated on November 19
Nuestra Señora de la Divina Providencia Toward the end of his term as bishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Gil Esteve y Tomás ordered a statue of Our Lady of Divine Providence from a sculptor in Barcelona, Spain, where he had served as vicar before being ordained bishop. On January 2, 1853, the image was installed in the cathedral, and for many years Puerto Ricans celebrated the feast of the Mother of Divine Providence on January 2. The statue was canonically crowned November 19, 1950. When Pope Paul VI proclaimed her patron of the island in 1970, he moved her local feast to November 19 to coincide with Puerto Rican Discovery Day. San Juan's beloved image bears only a vague resemblance to that of the Mother of Divine Providence that spread from Rome around the world after 1752. The Roman work is a painting which depicts a half-length Madonna in her traditional red robe gazing down at the child she holds against her breast. He looks up at her, holding her left hand in his. The full-figure statue in San Juan shows Mary holding her son's left hand in both of hers while he reclines on her ivory-robed lap (photo by Miguel E. Gallardo,, 2007). 


When he was appointed bishop of Puerto Rico Catalan Gil Esteve Tomas , brought to Puerto Rico this devotion he knew in his seminary years. In the hands of Divine Providence had to put all his diocese this prelate, as found in ruins cathedral and the diocese economy worse. The confidence of the bishop and his work bore fruit quickly and before five years had been able to reconstruct the cathedral church, which was established worship and devotion to Our Lady of Providence.
The original image venerated by the Servants of Mary and other Italian religious orders, is an oil in which the Virgin with the Divine Child in her arms sleeping peacefully. The title of "Divine Providence", is due to San Felipe Benicio , fifth superior of the Servants of Mary, who to invoke the protection of the Virgin on a day when his brothers had no food, found the door of the convent two baskets full of food without knowing its provenance could.


The image and commissioned by Don Gil Esteve was carved in Barcelona ( Spain ) according to the taste of the time. It is a seated image, "of clothing" (ie, made to be dressed) and was exposed to worship in the cathedral for 67 years, until in 1920 it was replaced for another size, all wood, which is the image of Our Lady of Divine Providence more familiar and known Puerto Rican communities.
Mary leans over the Child, which altogether confident attitude sleeps peacefully on her lap. Virgin's hands are joined in prayer while gently holding Son's left hand.


Pope Paul VI declared Our Lady of Divine Providence, as patroness of the island of Puerto Rico by a decree signed on 19 November 1969 . That document also decreed that the feast of the Virgin was moved from January 2, the anniversary of his arrival in the island, to November 19 , the day he was discovered the island of Borinquen . He wanted to unite and the two great loves of Puerto Ricans, the love for his beautiful island and the love of the Mother of God.

The oldest carving, dating from 1853 , was chosen to be crowned solemnly at the meeting of the Latin American Episcopal Council held in San Juan, Puerto Rico on November 5, 1976 . On the eve of this event was cruelly burned at the Parish of Santa Teresita de Santurce . This image of Divine Providence was restored in 2009 in Seville ( Spain ), when they celebrated the 25th anniversary of the papal visit to Puerto Rico. On August 22 of 2012 again this image was canonically crowned . This figure of the Virgin at the time will be moved to the National Shrine of Our Lady Mother of Divine Providence, which is currently being built in the neighborhood Cupey Alto , San Juan.


Catedral de San Juan Bautista

Catedral de San Juan Bautista (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico is the seat of the Archdiocese of San Juan. It is located on Calle del Cristo in Old San Juan. It was built in 1521 , de...

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