Las Lajas Sanctuary, Columbia




Las Lajas Sanctuary is a minor basilica church located in the southern Colombian Department of Nariño, municipality of Ipiales and built inside the canyon of the Guáitara River The present church was built in Gothic Revival style in 1949. The name Laja comes from the name of a type of flat sedimentary rock similar to shale.

The inspiration for the church's creation was a miraculous event in 1754 when Amerindian Maria Mueces and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa were caught in a very strong storm. The two sought refuge between the gigantic Lajas, when to Mueces's surprise, her daughter Rosa exclaimed "the mestiza is calling me" and pointed to the lightning-illuminated silhouette over the laja. This apparition of the Virgin Mary instigated popular pilgrimage to the site and occasional reports of cases of miraculous healing. The image on the stone is still visible today.


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