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Mare de Déu de Canòlich, Canòlich, Sant Julià de Lòria, Andorra

Commemorated on Fourth Saturday of May, July 14
Mare de Déu de Canòlich, Canòlich, Sant Julià de Lòria, Andorra
The story goes that on July 14, 1223, a shepherd was pasturing his flock near the village of Canòlich in southern Andorra, when suddenly a bird with brilliant plumage alit on an outcrop. The shepherd approached, caught the bird with no trouble, and carried it to his house. The next day the bird had disappeared, and again he found it in the field. The sequence recurred three times, but the last time, the shepherd found an image of the Virgin Mary in a niche in the rock. In response to this prodigy, the people of Sant Julià de Lòria parish decided to build a shrine to the Virgin where her statue was found. Nothing remains of that church. The present sanctuary, containing a baroque altarpiece from a previous shrine, dates from the 1970s. The Romanesque image of the Mother of God of Canòlich resides in the parish church of Sant Julià y San Germà in the urban center of Sant Julià de Lòria: a wooden statue from the late 1100s, with original polychrome, crowned by the Vatican in 1999. On the last Saturday in May, parishioners gather in Sant Julià de Lòria for morning fireworks and mass in the Virgin's honor. Then the celebration -- diada or aplec in Catalan -- moves to Canòlich, for masses at the sanctuary, dancing, and blessing and distribution of bread.   
"Festividad de la Virgen de Canòlich," Portal Turístico de Andorra,
"Santuario de Canòlich," Art Medieval: romànic i gòtic,
"Sant Julià de Lória," Església Catòlica d'Andorra, (photo)



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