Black Madonna of Montserrat: Spain's Black Virgin
Discovered about 50 km North of Barcelona, inside a cave and up in a mountain called Montserrat, this Black Madonna became the patron saint of Barcelona and particularly the people of Catalonia. Her festivity is celebrated every April 27th and she is said to have mystic healing powers, like most of the Black Virgins.
Montserrat means a shorn off mountain and looking at the sheer cliffs surrounding Montserrat, the name definitely applies here. Madonna is a beacon of hope and joy to millions of her worshippers among all faiths. A monastery built near the cave is a favorite place of pilgrimage.
There are many stories about this black Madonna and the mountain, who many believe to be magic. Some say she guards the holy grail. The statue is kept in a glass cabinet but her right hand is exposed so that a pilgrim can touch her golden orb and make a prayer or wish.
The Black Virgin of Montserrat's dark image appears across Europe and is passionately venerated in hundreds of locales. These ancient black goddesses are the ineradicable face of the chthonic (dwelling under the earth) Great Goddesses dating from Neolithic times.
Their shrines are often associated with caves, wells or mountains, and her unvaryingly dark or black skin represents her under-earth or fallow winter aspect.
This black beauty's shrine at Montserrat is very ancient. Rich and colorful garments underscore her role as a spiritual Mother-Queen of the Middle Ages.
7 inches high / 17.78 cm high
Hand painted Gypsum stone