English Version of Our Lady of Las Lajas - Plinio Correa
Original text in Spanish and
Feast Days of Our Lady
Our Lady of Las Lajas –
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira - Un
hombre de Fe, de pensamiento, lucha y acción
1-CFr. Lizãneas Souza Lima, "Plinio Côrrea de Oliveira. Um cruzado do século XX"
tesis de doctorado, Facultad de Filosofía, Letras y Ciencias Humanas, São Paulo
"Un ideal, un lema, una gesta: La Cruzada del siglo XX", Tradición, Familia y
"Il crociato del secolo XX, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira", Roberto de Mattei.
2-Palabras con que el Prefecto y el Secretario de la entonces Sagrada
Congregación de Seminarios y Universidades elogia y recomienda el opúsculo del
Profesor Plinio Corrêa de Olivreira "La libertad de la Iglesia en el Estado
3-Término empleado por el mismo Pontífice en la Alocución "Resistite fortes in
fide del 29-6-72
4-Expresión usada por Pablo VI para referirse a la crisis de la Iglesia en 1968
en famosa Alocución Cfr Insegnamenti di Paulo Vi, p.1188-
5-La magnitud verdaderamente apocalíptica de este problema en Uruguay esta
reseñada en nuestra obra "Izquierdismo en la Iglesia: compañero de ruta del
comunismo en la larga aventura de los fracasos y de las metamorfosis". En Brasil
fue descrita por el Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira en su obra "La Iglesia ante
la escalada de la amenaza comunista - Apelo a los Obispos Silenciosos", y en
Chile por la TFP andina en "La Iglesia del Silencio en Chile - la TFP proclama
la verdad entera". Prólogos a ediciones del libro de la TFP chilena en
Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador y España describen análoga
situación en esos países.
las lajas means “the rocks.” This image was
imprinted on the rocks of a gorge above the Guaitara
River in Colombia near the border of Ecuador. It has the
singular characteristic of having been painted by
Angels. The image is situated inside a cave very high in
the mountains, and was completely unknown until it was
discovered in the mid-18th century by an Indian.
Our Lady of Las Lajas
It is not painted, but mysteriously imprinted in the
rock. The colors are not applied in a surface layer of
paint or other material, but penetrate deep into the
rock. No one knows how the work was done. Certainly it
has no natural geological cause. I have never heard of
any case where nature reproduced human faces with such
The picture penetrates the rock miraculously
The image represents a noble Lady from an uncertain
period, most probably 16th- or 17th- century Spain. How
such a picture came to be in that cave unnoticed by
anyone remains a mystery. These circumstances seem to
indicate that it is an akeropita image –
akeropita in Greek means not made by human hands,
id est, painted by the Angels.
How can the beauty of this image be described? I will
comment on two aspects: the colors and the persons.
The ensemble of colors in the picture gives an
undeniable idea of majesty. The colors behind Our Lady's
head create a splendorous background. The burgundy of
her dress is a warm, rich red embroidered with a golden
flower pattern, giving the impression of the garment of
a Queen. Her long hair flows freely in such a way that
it appears to be a royal mantle. In my opinion, there is
extraordinary good taste in the way the hair is
arranged, which reinforces the notion of majesty.
The two crowns are very beautiful, rich and royal, but I
think they are a little too large for the proportion of
the heads. They were added by the faithful later in
thanksgiving for graces received.
Now, we can look at Our Lady’s face and observe how she
watches us from on high with a serious probing gaze. She
is not smiling. She has the royal physiognomy of a
person who imposes respect with confident strength.
In contrast, the Divine Infant is very amiable and is
turned toward the supplicant. Thus, instead of having
the classic picture of a serious Child and a smiling
Mother, here we have the opposite. One could say that He
is distributing the gifts while she appears as a Queen.
Our Lady of Las Lajas
In reality, there is something profound in this
contrast. It is the idea that He is merciful because He
is seated in Our Lady’s arm. He communicates to the
person who prays a little of His happiness to be with
Is there some thing strange about the Child? It seems to
me that He is very small in size. His face and attitude
are those of an older boy, notwithstanding the small
size. Is this a mistake or is meant to express
something? It appears that it expresses His wisdom at
each stage of His life. He did not have the weaknesses
or lack of reason of a normal child. His wisdom was
perfect at every age of His life. So, what the image
expresses is that even when He was very small, He was
already conscious of everything He did, as an older boy
After having considered the Child, if we return our eyes
to Our Lady we can see how the image expresses
motherhood. She is not looking at Him directly, but she
has an enormous intimacy with Him. She extends this
maternity to the sinner who kneels before her. She is
also his Mother.
This image is a masterpiece reflecting both the majesty
and the maternity of Our Lady.
from the Colombian website
Historians and scientists are
at a loss to explain this fabulous image on the wall of
a South American cave. It may forever remain an enigma.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Las Lajas was built
high in mountains of Colombia.
Below, the Sanctuary entrance, which
leads to the cave with the miraculous image of
Our Lady of Las Lajas.
Back in the 18th century, Maria Mueses de Quinones, an
Indian woman from the village of Potosi, Colombia, often
walked the six miles between her village and the
neighboring one of Ipiales. One day in 1754 as she was
making the journey, she approached the place called
Las Lajas (the Rocks), where the trail passes
through a deep gorge of the Guaitara River. Maria never
liked this part of the trail. There were rumors that a
cave in Las Lajas was haunted. Such superstitions
lingered amongst the converted Christian Indians.
She was carrying her daughter Rosa, a deaf-mute, on her
back in the Indian fashion. By the time she had climbed
to Las Lajas, she was weary and sat on a rock to rest.
The child got down from her back to play.
After a while, Rosa emerged from the cave shouting:
“Mama, there is a woman in here with a boy in her arms!”
Maria was beside herself with the fright since this was
the first time she had heard her daughter speak. She did
not see the figures the girl was talking about, nor did
she want to. She grabbed the child and hastened on to
When she recounted what had happened, no one took her
seriously at first. However, as the news spread, some
asked if perhaps it were true. After all, the child was
now able to speak.
A few days later, the child Rosa disappeared from her
home. After looking everywhere, the anguished Maria
guessed that her daughter must have gone to the cave.
The child had often said that the Lady was calling her.
Maria ran to Las Lajas and found her daughter in
front of a noble Lady and playing affectionately with a
Child who had come down from His mother’s arms to let
the girl enjoy His divine tenderness. Maria fell to her
knees before this beautiful spectacle; she had seen the
Blessed Virgin and the Divine Infant.
Fearful of ridicule, Maria kept quiet about the episode.
But she and Rosa frequently went to the cave to place
wild flowers and candles in the cracks of the rocks.
Months went by, with Maria and Rosa keeping their
secret. Finally, one day the girl fell gravely ill and
died. A distraught Maria decided to take her daughter’s
body to Las Lajas to ask the Lady to restore Rosa
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Las Lajas
Moved by the sadness of Maria’s unrelenting
supplications, the Blessed Virgin obtained Rosa’s
resurrection from her Divine Son. Overflowing with joy,
Maria returned home. It was not long before a crowd had
gathered to hear what had happened. Early the next
morning everyone went to Las Lajas, each one
wanting to check the details for themselves.
That was when the marvelous picture of Our Lady on the
wall of the grotto was discovered. Maria Muese de
Quinones could not recall noticing it until then. The
Child Jesus is in Our Lady’s arms. On one side of Our
Lady is St. Francis; on the other is St. Dominic. Her
delicate and regal features are those of a Latin
American, perhaps an Indian. Her abundant black hair
covers her like a mantle (The two-dimensional crown is
metal and was added by devotees much later on). The
Indians had no doubt: this was their Queen.
The Saint of the Day features highlights from the
lives of saints based on comments made by the late Prof.
Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. Following the example of St.
John Bosco who used to make similar talks for the boys
of his College, each evening it was Prof. Plinio’s
custom to make a short commentary on the lives of the
next day’s saint in a meeting for youth in order to
encourage them in the practice of virtue and love for
the Catholic Church. TIA thought that its readers could
profit from these valuable commentaries.
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
The texts of both the biographical data and the comments
come from personal notes taken by Atila S. Guimarães
from 1964 to 1995. Given the fact that the source is a
personal notebook, it is possible that at times the
biographic notes transcribed here will not rigorously
follow the original text read by Prof. Plinio. The
commentaries have also been adapted and translated for
All e-Mails to: