Dominican Republic Our Lady of Altagracia

Dominican Republic Our Lady of Altagracia (Feast of the Virgin of Altagracia, Feast of Our Lady of Altagracia)

January 21
The Virgin Mary is considered by many Catholics to be the patron saint of the Dominican Republic. A cloth painting of Mary that is 13 inches (33 cm) wide by 18 inches (45 cm) high is the focus of a yearly celebration in the island nation. Many religious legends have sprung up over the centuries about the portrait. It was painted by a Spanish artist and brought to the Dominican Republic by two Spanish brothers in the early 1500s. The portrait, which was crowned by a gold and silver tiara by Pope John Paul II in 1978, is located in a basilica in the city of Higuey, in the province of Altagracia.
Every year on January 21, thousands of pilgrims visit the Higuey cathedral to worship. The feast day is a national holiday in the Dominican Republic. It is marked by all-night church services, singing, dancing, and festivals in many Dominican towns.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of the Dominican Republic
1715 22nd St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-265-8057 or 202-939-0971; fax: 202-265-8057
www.domrep.org
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