Leaders Contact Information: [TBD]. During the first week of February, the people of Honduras participate in festivities honoring their country’s patron saint, The Virgin of Suyapa.
The figure, also referred to as “Our Lady of Suyapa,” is a small sculpture of The Virgin Mary, made of cedar and only two-and-a-half-inches tall.
The story of Our Lady of Suyapa dates back to 1747, when a peasant laborer named Alejandro Colindres found a small statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Colindres and a friend had been working all day and stopped to rest en route to the village of Suyapa. As Colindres was trying to sleep, something on the ground beneath him was uncomfortable. Upon removing the carved wooden figure, he placed it into his bag of belongings. Once home, Colindres gave the wooden figure to his mother.
Colindres’ mother cared for the little figure, keeping it on display in their home where many people visited to pray to the Virgin. Those asking her to cure their ailments began to report miraculous healings.
The most famous miracle of the Virgin of Suyapa came when Captain Joseph de Celaya visited in search of relief from an intense pain he was suffering. Captain Celaya promised the Virgin that if she cured him of his torment, he would build a temple in the village where there would be a mass in her honor. The day after his visit, Captain Celaya was relieved of his pain. News of the miracle spread among locals, and with the help of the illustrious priest Don José de Simón, Captain Celaya constructed the Cathedral of Tegucigalpa.
Pope Pius XII officially declared Our Lady of Suyapa Patroness of the Republic of Honduras. Her Feast Day is February 3.