Our Lady of the Clouds

Q: What do you know about Our Lady of the Clouds?

A: This title is of Latin-American origin. It points to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and highlights as its beginning a procession and a healing. On December 29, 1696 a procession was called to pray for the healing of Bishop D. Sancho de Andrade y Figueroa, the gravely ill ordinary of Quito. About five hundred people participated in this rogation, and an image of Our Lady of Guapulo was carried in procession. As the praying throngs reached the Church of Santa Clara, a sign was given to kneel down and sing the Glory Be. At that precise moment, the figure of Our Lady appeared in the skies, a figure of "great proportion" and "as if it was drawn by clouds." "The Virgin, the Virgin," exclaimed D. José de Ulloa y la Catena, who led the procession. Mesmerized, the participants saw, hovering in the air, the image of Mary, a crown on her head, in her right hand a bunch of lilies, and the child on her left arm. According to some of the people present, the apparition resembled the image of Our Lady de la Antigua, a painting located in the Figueroa Chapel of the Cathedral. Whatever the resemblance, the local ordinary miraculously recovered his health, and not only approved the devotion to Our Lady of the Clouds, but also had an altar in her honor erected in the Cathedral of Quito. The devotion spread in Ecuador and eventually disseminated to Peru. As happens with other devotions, over time zeal for Our Lady of the Clouds diminished. A revival occurred in 1797 thanks to the centenary of the apparition, and again in 1890 due to the healing of a priest from Cuenca.

The Virgén de la Nube is still venerated in Ecuador, Peru and at different locations in the United States.

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