Regis University Santos Collection

22.5. Nuestra Señora de los Afligidos (Our Lady of the Troubled)

Feast day: perhaps 19 August

A unique New Mexican representation of a devotion that appears in Mexico and Brazil.

Mary sits on a heavenly throne surrounded by angels, two of whom wear Franciscan robes and flank a globe of the universe which supports a black lunar crescent in which a child (Christ?) sits. Mary is crowned, the dove hovers before her breast, and she raises her hand in blessing; Out West 21 #3 (September 1904), 220-26; Christine Mather, From Baroque to Folk(1980), 54-55.

23. Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles (Our Lady of the Angels); also Porciúncula or Percíngula)

Feast day: August 2
Patronage: Directress of the angels who are guardians of humans; monster control.

As mother of Christ and perfect disciple, Mary ranks higher than the angels.

Mary is dressed in a blue mantle, holding the Niño or a sword and cross or dove; she stands on a serpent and is surrounded by angels.

24. Nuestra Señora de la Anunciación (Our Lady of the Annunciation)

Feast day: March 25

This is Mary at the moment when the Angel Gabriel approached her and asked her to become the mother of Jesus. There is only a slight difference between this title and Immaculate Conception. Note #41a, La Alma de la Virgen.

Mary is shown standing; a budding tree and a monstrance are in the background (These can be attributes of the Immaculate Conception).

25. Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Our Lady of the Assumption)

RU 818 / Assumption and Crowning of Mary / ca. 1950Feast day: August 15

A teaching of the Roman Catholic Church holds that Mary was taken body and soul into heaven, and is like Christ already in the resurrected state. La Conquistadora (Our Lady of Peace) of the Santa Fe Cathedral was originally an Assumption.

A painting of Mary with no special attributes was thus identified for me by the mayordomo of a small chapel.


26. Nuestra Señora de Atocha (Our Lady of Atocha)

Feast day: no Feast day

This is the source of the Santo Niño de Atocha (#7) as Yvonne Lange pointed out in her El Palacioarticle; there is a church in a neighborhood of Madrid, Spain, where this title of Mary began. The story is told that as the statue of Our Lady of Atocha neared Zacatecas, some robbers attacked the caravan and tried to open the packing case containing the image, but such a great noise issued from it that they ran away.

Mary holds the Niño (who later escaped from her grasp); she wears a brocaded hoop skirt and a crown. She is sometimes shown seated.

27. Nuestra Señora de Begoña (Our Lady of Begoña)

Feast day: October 8 or second Sunday of October

Our Lady of Begoña is patroness of the Basque city of Bilbao. A vested eighth-century statue found in an oak tree is venerated in a Gothic chapel on a hilltop.

Crowned, seated in an armless chair, holding the crowned Child and a rose, surrounded by oak branches.

28. Nuestra Señora del Camino (Our Lady of the Way)

RU 712 / Nuestra Senora del Camino / Bernique (Pooka) Longley, Jr.Feast day: no Feast day
Patronage: Protection of pilgrims and travelers.

Probably the Spanish version of the Señora del Camino venerated at Pamplona.

Mary stands in a rich red gown holding the crowned Niño and a palm branch or a palmer’s staff—the symbol of a pilgrim—while two angels place a crown on her head. See Wilder and Breitenbach, Santos (1943), 47 and pl. 55; Sánchez Pérez, El Culto Mariano en España (1943), 103-04; Wroth, Christian Images(1982), 109.


29. Nuestra Señora de las Candelarias (Our Lady of the Candlesticks)

Feast day: February 2

This is a confused title in New Mexico. The real Candelarias, a Canary Island apparition, became confused with Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos so that the name of the former became widely applied to images of the latter (#45 below).

The real Candelarias sits and holds the Niño and a small bouquet; there is either no candle or a single extremely large candle. By contrast, N.S. de San Juan de los Lagos is flanked by a pair of candles in candlesticks. See Lange, Santos de Palo (1991), 7.

30. Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

RU 91 / Nuestra Senora del Carmen / Antonio Molleno / ca. 1800-1820Feast day: July 18
Patronage: Against all dangers, especially hell; in the hour of death (in New Mexico a brick of adobe was often brought to a dying member of the Carmelite Third Order and placed on his or her chest to ease -- or maybe just shorten -- the final agony); for the souls in purgatory.

The orders of Carmelites, both monks and nuns, spread devotion to the brown scapular; an author wrote of "Our Lady's triple promise to assist us in life and death and to bring us as soon as possible to the gate of Heaven" (Lynch, Your Brown Scapular[1950], p. 40).

Mary, dressed in a brown scapular without a shield at the breast and a yellow gown, holds a brown scapular with a cross on it and the Niño. He is usually dressed in red and often holds a scapular. Mary often wears a crown, Christ sometimes does. There are often souls in purgatory at the bottom.

30.5. Nuestra Señora de la Cueva Santa (Our Lady of the Holy Cave)

RU 312 / Nuestra Senora de la Cueva Santa / Joan Heaton / 1992Feast day: First Sunday of September
Patronage: Perhaps Mary as type of the Church as our protectress.

This advocation allegorizes Song of Solomon (Canticle of Canticles) 2:14, "My dove in the clefts of the rock," a text sometimes written in Latin on the retablo. The devotion originated with the Carthusians of Valle de Cristo near Segorbe, Spain.

Since that erotic book was usually interpreted presenting the relationship between God and his chosen people (Jews, Church), Mary as type of the church sits in a church-bell-shaped cave; the bell image is often enhanced by being topped with a crown that looks like the bell-staple.

31. Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (Our Lady of Sorrows)

RU 52 / Nuestra Senora de los Dolores / Antonio Molleno / ca 1820Feast day: Friday before Palm Sunday and September 16
Patronage: Strength in suffering; compassion for others in sorrow; help with children, help in childbirth; for sinners. There is a definite penitential interest, as Chapter III (Santos and Saints) stated, since it is usually the Dolores bulto that engages in the Encuentro enactment as the Jesús Nazareno bulto moves in procession toward Calvary.

This is Mary enduring the sorrows predicted in Luke 2:35, especially that of the crucifixion of Jesus. The advocation arose about 1390, perhaps when the mourning figure of Mary was separated from a "Calvario" (crucifix with Mary and John) and made a distinct object of veneration; see Wroth, Images of Penance, Images of Mercy, p. 75.

Mary standing with her hands folded, a sword or seven swords piercing her heart, wearing a red gown and a cowl; very infrequently she is crowned.

32. El Corazón de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (The Heart of the Sorrowful Mother)

Feast day: Friday before Palm Sunday and September 16
Patronage: For the same needs as Nuestra Señora de los Dolores. This is merely a disembodying of the heart of Dolores on the model of presentations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or the Immaculate Heart of Mary that show only a heart.

A disembodied heart with a sword or seven swords piercing it.

33. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe)

RU 143 / Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe / Antonio Molleno / ca 1830Feast day: December 12
Patronage: For general favors in sickness; against all evil, particularly war; patroness of the Mexican and Indian peoples

The account of this apparition was examined at length in Chapter Five.

Mary, sometimes with identifiably Indian features, standing in a body halo, supported upon a dark upturned crescent and a winged angel. She often wears a crown (an early addition to the original, removed in the 1880s).


33.5. Nuestra Señora de Loreto (Our Lady of Loretto)

RU 742 / Nuestra Senora de Loreto / Clare Cresap Villa / 2005Feast day: March 1

Legend declares that the Holy Family’s house at Nazareth flew to several places in Dalmatia and Italy before coming to a final landing at Loretto, on the Adriatic coast of the old Papal States.

Our Lady of Loretto is crowned with a papal crown, wears a brocaded gown which completely hides her arms; the crowned Niño who holds a globe is tucked into her bodice. There is often a cross on her dress. See Espinosa, Saints in the Valleys(1960, 1967), pl. 4.


34. Nuestra Señora de la Luz (Our Lady of Light)

RU 553 / Nuestra Señora de la Luz / Arlene Cisneros Sena / 1999Feast day: May 21
Patronage: Rescue from Hell or Purgatory; illumination of the mind by her wisdom; return of those who have left the church or of a husband who has abandoned his wife.

The presentation of Mary as a savior from enclosure in a monster who symbolizes Hell (or perhaps Purgatory) dates well back into the middle ages; one form of it coalesced into a Jesuit devotion later, especially in Sicily. This devotion instigated the building of the Castrense on the Santa Fe Plaza in 1759-60 and the creation of the great stone altar screen now in Cristo Rey Church on Canyon Road.

Mary holding the Niño, drawing a "soul" out of the mouth of a monster; she is crowned or an angel holds a crown over her head, and sometimes an angel offers the Niño a basket of hearts.

35. Nuestra Señora de la Manga (Our Lady of the Sleeve)

Feast day: no Feast day
Patronage: Helper at births; protection from plague; advocate of those who suffer.

This is a variation Nuestra Señora de los Dolores with a sleeve-like fold of her cloak; it may be connected with the Italian Madonna de Partos.

Rare retablo, exactly like the Dolores, except titled at the bottom “Nuestra Señora de la Manga, advocate of births, and of plagues and of those who suffer,” in the Charles D. Carroll Collection of the Museum of New Mexico (SR/300 CDC). It is by Pedro Fresquis.

35.5. Nuestra Señora de la Merced (Our Lady of Mercy)

Feast day: 24 September
Patronage: For captives; for anyone in need of divine mercy. The crowned Virgin holds a rose or a scepter in her right hand and the corned Niño on her left arm, and both of them hold small scapulars. She wears the full white scapular of the Mercedarian Order with its characteristic shield at her breast.

36. Nuestra Señora como una Muchacha (Our Lady as Girl)

Feast day: no Feast day
Patronage: perhaps purity. This might be meant to depict Mary at her presentation in the Temple as a girl of twelve or so; if so, the Feast day would be November 21.

A young girl holding a lily.

37. Nuestra Señora como una Pastora (Our Lady as a Shepherdess)

RU 802 / La Divina Pastora / Arroyo Hondo Painter or José Aragón Follower / ca. 1820Feast day: no Feast day
Patronage: Probably of shepherds, possibly also for care of souls.

The Capuchin Franciscans fostered this devotion, a Marian echo of Christ as the Good Shepherd (#10).

Mary in a shepherdess’s hat, surrounded with sheep in a pastoral landscape.

38. Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio (Our Lady of Protection)

Feast day: third Sunday of November or the day before or November 11
Patronage: presumably mainly from the usual preternatural dangers The devotion dates to the middle ages.

Mary holds the Niño; both hold scepters and are crowned. Mary’s robe is red; she stands on an angel-supported moon.

39. Nuestra Señora de la Piedad (The Pieta; Our Lady of the Deposition)

RU 467 / Nuestra Senora de la Piedad / Phillipines / late 18th centuryFeast day: Good Friday
Patronage: Presumably, the associations of the crucifixion itself: salvation, pardon of sins, bearing suffering, and so forth.

The bereaved mother holds the dead body of Christ in her lap. The cross and the implements of the passion are in the background.


40. Nuestra Señora del Pueblito de Querétaro (Our Lady of the Suburb of Querétaro)

RU 210 / Nuestra Senora del Queretaro / Quill Pen Santero / ca 1830-50Feast day: 1 May
Patronage: The Virgin's help might be sought for any favor in any of the possible realms listed below

Querétaro is a city about a hundred miles northwest of Mexico City, in the state of the same name; Pueblito is a small suburb. A Franciscan artist's statue of Mary as queen and patroness of the Franciscan Province of San Pedro y San Pablo became a local devotion.

Crowned and wearing a rich robe, Mary floats above Saint Francis of Assisi, who is holding three globes upon his shoulders. There are angels at the sides. The globes probably symbolize the three Franciscan orders, but they might symbolize the realms of heaven, earth, and hell, or perhaps heaven, church, and state, or perhaps the church on earth, in purgatory, and in heaven; see Boyd, El Palacio56 (1949), 353-57.

41. Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception)

RU 545 / Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion / Juan A. Sanchez / ca 1936Feast day: December 8
Patronage: For all favors, especially purity and repentance of sin; against all evil.

The words "Inmaculada" and "Limpia" are sometimes substituted for "Purísima." This is a devotion to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church that Mary was conceived without any stain of original sin; it is not identical with the virgin birth of Christ and indeed has nothing to do with it directly, and it is not a profession of the virgin birth of Mary herself, which is not held by any Christian sect I am aware of. The Franciscan theologian Duns Scotus developed reasons for the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception in the fourteenth century; Sister María de Jesús de Ágreda, the "Lady in Blue," was a Franciscan "Conceptionist" nun; the Franciscans who staffed New Mexico in the seventeenth century took the color in honor of her bilocations to preach to the Indians of the region. The doctrine was solemnly proclaimed by Pius IX in 1854.

Mary stands on an angel-supported moon or on a serpent, often wears a crown, holds her hands folded, and holds in them sometimes a flower; she may be surrounded by emblems like monstrance, rose, lily, palm, ladder, star, and so forth. Shalkop, Wooden Saints(1967), p. 40, notes that a bulto usually identified as the Purísima Concepción but probably technically La Alma was known in Abiquiú as Our Lady of Innocence.

41a. La Alma de la Virgen (The Virgin’s Soul)

Patronage: For all favors, especially purity and repentance of sin; against all evil.

An allegorical variant of the Immaculate Conception.

A young woman, looking very demure, with a dove (the Holy Spirit) at her breast; she wears either a hat or a crown of roses, and she may also hold a lily or a scepter. Shalkop, Wooden Saints(1967), 40, notes that a bulto usually identified as the Purísima Concepción but probably technically La Alma was known in Abiquiú as Our Lady of Innocence.

41.5. Nuestra Señora de la Redonda (Our Lady of the Rotunda)

Feast day: Saturday before the first Sunday of August

Mary, a variant of the Assumption, standing in the classical vault of a Mexico City sanctuary modeled on the Pantheon in Rome.

Mary stands crowned and with long hair in a draped opening, her hands folded in prayer and a palm held behind her right forearm; there are three trios of angels at the bottom of her skirt. See Artes de Mexico 113 (1968), 25, 35-36, and 100; Boyd, Popular Arts of Spanish New Mexico(1974), figs. 95, 116.

42. Nuestra Señora Refugio de Pecadores (Our Lady Refuge of Sinners)

RU 121 / Nuestra Senora del Refugio / Jose Aragon / ca 1850Feast day: July 4
Patronage: For protection from sin, repentance of sin, both for self and others.

An Italian Jesuit devotion introduced into Mexico, especially into Zacatecas, during the eighteenth century. See Boyd, El Palacio57 (1950), 274-77.

Mary is crowned, holds a scepter or a palm and the Niño, who may hold Mary's thumb. There are often roses and angels in the background, and frequently the letters or a monogram "MA." Mary is generally shown half-length, often with clouds at the bottom front.

43. Nuestra Señora Reina de los Cielos (Our Lady Queen of Heaven)

Feast day: second Sunday of May
Patronage: Probably protection from preternatural dangers.

This subject is probably connected with Revelations 12:1 and with the fifth glorious mystery of the rosary, the coronation of Mary as queen of heaven.

Mary holds a Niño and a scepter, and she wears a crown; she stands on a crescent moon.

Remedios or Remedies—see Socorro, #47

44. Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary)

RU 457 / Nuestra Senora del Rosario / Pete Sena / ca 1960Feast day: October 7
Patronage: Acceptance of death in the family (saying the rosary is a central part of velorios [wakes] for the dead; see Lorin Brown, Hispano Folklife of New Mexico(1978), 134-35, where the crucifix of the rosary is the key to the gates of heaven); for peace, for help in danger and protection from accidents.

Because of the association of the rosary with the sea victory over the Muslim fleet at Lepanto on 7 October 1571, there is probably by analogy a New Mexican application to conflicts with non-Christian Indian foes. The Spanish-made La Conquistadora of the Santa Fe Cathedral, a sixteenth or early-seventeenth-century Asunción, was made first into a Purísima Concepción and then into a Rosario. It was very much connected with the military reconquest of the colony under De Vargas in 1692-93. Her official name was changed to Our Lady of Peace in 1992. Cortés gave the original Mexican Conquistadora now in Puebla to a Tlascaltecan cacique ally; Holweck, Calendarium Liturgicum Festorum Dei et Dei Matris Mariae (1925), 306; Castro, Artes de Mexico113 (1968), 40-42.

The Virgin holds the Niño and a rosary; she is crowned though the Child is usually not; she stands on a crescent moon. Sometimes she is shown giving the rosary to Santo Domingo Guzmán, whose Order of Preachers especially spread the practice of reciting the rosary.

45. Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos (Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos)

RU 746 / Nuestra Senora de San Juan de los Lagos / Jose Rafael AragonFeast day: February 2

The city of San Juan de los Lagos is about two hundred miles northwest of Mexico City. This title originated in the veneration of a statue of the Immaculate Conception. The settlers of Talpa south of Taos fostered the devotion during the first half of the nineteenth century. As has been noted in connection with Nuestra Señora de las Candelarias, there is great confusion between the two titles; symptomatic is Frances Toor's statement that the Señora of San Juan was a Virgin of the Purification, de la Candelaria (A Treasury of Mexican Folkways [1947], p. 184); and the fiesta of the Virgin of San Juan falls indeed on Candlemas, the feast of the Purification. See especially Jay F. Turner, "The Cultural Semiotics of Religious Icons: La Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos," Semiotica47 (1983), 317-61, especially pp. 321-27.

The Lady of the Immaculate Conception standing between two lighted candles; the bottom ends of her cape spread to show a broader expanse of her skirt from her knees down.

46. Nuestra Señora con el Santo Niño (Madonna & Child)

Feast day: December 25 (?)
Patronage: Perhaps motherhood.

This advocation is perhaps only a misidentification of pictures or statues of Mary meant to be other titles but vague and incomplete in their iconography. Mary may bear the title Belen or Leche.

The Virgin holding the Child, with no other significant traits.

47. Nuestra Señora del Socorro, or de los Remedios (Our Lady of Help)

Feast day: September 1
Patronage: Freedom from sickness of soul or body.

This is not the same as the more famous Lady of Perpetual Help, a Greek devotion not introducted into western Europe till the eighteenth century. Our Lady of Remedios was Cortés’ and de Vargas’ Conquistadora, and she was patroness of the gachupines and the Mexicans loyal to Spain during the Hidalgo rebellion of 1810.

Mary wears a crown and holds the Niño, who may or may not be crowned. Occasionally she holds a triple staff of office, and he may hold a globe like the Santo Niño de Praga’s.

48. Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (Our Lady of Solitude)

RU 576 / Nuestra Senora de la Soledad / David Martinez McCoyFeast day: Good Friday, Holy Saturday
Patronage: Patroness against loneliness; consolation in bereavement; happy death; reminder of Christ's wounds; protection in general.

Between her son's crucifixion and resurrection and between his ascension and her own death, Mary lived (according to Christian folklore) like a nun. With neither father, brother, husband, nor son, Mary is the archetype of the crone -- a very powerful figure.

Mary is dressed in a very nun-like black and white or occasionally black and red; she rarely holds anything in her hands, but bultos of La Soledad are often designed with arms that can hold a towel on which the implements of the passion (Arma Christi) are placed, one after another, as they become available during an enactment of the deposition of the Santo Entierro (thirteenth station of the Way of the Cross). She often has a rosary hanging from her neck; retablos usually show implements of the passion in the background. See William Wroth, Images of Penance, Images of Mercy(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), pp. 21-28, 60.

49. Nuestra Señora de Talpa (Our Lady of Talpa)

Feast day: October 7

Some sources state that this is Our Lady of Talpa as venerated in the village of Talpa near Ranchos de Taos, for the iconography differs from the of Our Lady of the Rosary of Talpa as venerated elsewhere in the Spanish world; see Wroth, Christian Images (1982), 143, 105; Wroth, The Chapel of Our Lady of Talpa (1979), 21-29; Wroth, Images of Penance, Images of Mercy(1991), 102.

Mary holds an arrow; there is a cross-topped tower in the back-ground. Compare Santa Bárbara.

50. Nuestra Señora de Valvanera (Our Lady of Valvanera)

Feast day: September 8 or 10 or 23, November 21

According to legend, during the tenth century an image of Mary carved by Saint Luke was found in the Basque country near Burgos next to a hive of wild bees in an oak. See Bernard Fontana in Weigle et al., eds., Hispanic Arts and Ethnohistory in the Southwest(1983), 80-92.

Mary, in a red gown and blue cape and wearing a crown, holds the Niño who holds a pear; the Niño is not crowned. European arts shows an eagle in the background.

51. Nuestra Señora de la Victoria (Our Lady of Victory)

Feast day: October 7
Patronage: Success in battle; here again, the New Mexican Hispanics transferred to unruly non-Christian Indians their traditional opposition to the Moors in Spain and to Muslims throughout Europe.

This is Our Lady of the Rosary as particularly associated with the victory over the Islamic fleet at Lepanto, 7 October 1571; there are other battles with which Our Lady of Victory has become connected.

Mary is crowned, winged (like the Greco-Roman “Winged Victory”); she stands on a plant or oversized flower and holds the Niño.

Santos in Regis University Digital Collections