Manuel, the faithful sacristan of the Virgin (English - Spanish)


(La historia del negro Manuel, preparada por la Basílica de Luján;
se puede descargar haciendo click AQUÍ)

One interesting thing you find outside the basilica is the image of a black man praying in front of the image of our Lady of Luján. The text below talks about "Miguel" but his name was "Manuel"

Near the banks of the River Lujan, on the property of Don Rosendo, a very rudimentary chapel was built for the little statue of the Immaculate Conception, and entrusted to the care of a Black slave named Miguel. From the beginning the small shrine became increasingly more and more popular. Miguel served as sacristan, devoting himself to the poor and the sick. But in 1663, a new road was traced and the old road passing by the shrine fell into disuse. The place began to receive fewer visitors. Miguel, however, remained the faithful sacristan of the Virgin.
A certain Dona Ana de Mattos, who owned another ranch in the region, proposed to Don Rosendo's son to move the statue onto her property, now crossed by more travelers. In 1671, the statue was moved to a place called El Arbol Solo, which eventually became the town of Lujan.
The day following her transfer, the statue disappeared, to be found again in her former little shrine. She was brought back but mysteriously returned to her first dwelling in the same way. Some first accused Miguel to have stolen the statue to bring it back to his home, then it was realized that that it couldn't have been so. Dona Ana sought the advice of the authorities. After the ruling, the statue of Our Lady was brought in solemn procession from Don Rosendo's ranch to Dona Ana's chapel, accompanied by her trusted sacristan Miguel, who stayed there to serve her. After this the Virgin consented to stay and never "ran away" again.

http://en.mariedenazareth.com/vivre-avec-marie/lujan-our-lady-lujan

Manuel, who was a slave, used to say: "I only belong to Our Lady".


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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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