Nuestra Señora de la Presentación

Nuestra Señora de la Presentación

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

One of the earliest apparitions of the Virgin Mary reported in the Americas occurred in the 1580s at Quinché, Ecuador, to some of the native Oyacachi people. They saw a woman in a cave who promised to assist them with the threat posed to their children by a bear. This event occurred during a time when many Quinché people were being converted to Catholicism.

About this same time, a sculptor named Diego de Robles had carved an image of the Virgin, with the baby Jesus in her left arm and a scepter in her right hand, for a client who in the end did not pay the price earlier agreed upon. In 1585 de Robles traded the statue to the Quinché people in return for some wood. When the statue arrived, the people were surprised to find it to be an image of the beautiful lady they had seen in the cave.

In 1604 the local bishop ordered the statue to be moved from the site near the cave to the village of Quinché. It has subsequently been covered in gold-laden finery. The Virgin stands on a half moon of silver, and both Mary and Jesus have crowns of gold that were added in 1943.

The annual festival for the Virgin in Ecuador is November 21. The present shrine was declared a National Sanctuary in 1985. The Nuestra Señora de la Presentación is considered the national patron of Ecuador.


Salazar Medina, Richard. El Santuario de la Virgen de el Quinche: Peregrinación en un espacio sagrado mile-nario. Quito: Ediciones ABYA-YALA, 2000.
Sono, Carlos. Nuestra Señora del Quinche. Quito: Tip. “La Rápida,” 1903.
The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena © 2008 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.