Thursday, September 9, 2010

Our Lady Of Altagracia

Our Lady of Altagracia

Also known as:

Our Lady of Grace
Our Lady of High Grace
Protector and Queen of the hearts of Dominicans
Virgen de la Altagracia
Virgin of Altagracia

Feast Day: 6 January
Memorial Day: 21 January

Patronage: The Dominican Republic

Our Lady of Altagracia is portrait of the Virgin Mary in a Nativity scene. It is 13 inches (33 centimeters) wide by 18 inches (45 centimeters) high, and is painted on cloth. It is a primitive work of the Spanish school, painted c.1500. The Spanish brothers Alfonso and Antonio Trejo, two of the first European settlers on Santo Domingo, brought the portrait to the island some time prior to 1502, and eventually donated it to the parish church at Higuey. It's first shrine was finished in 1572, and in 1971 it was moved to its present Basilica. The image was crowned on 15 August 1922 during the pontificate of Pius XI. Due to its age, centuries of handling by the faithful, and exposure to candle smoke, it was in sad shape, and was restored in 1978. On 25 January 1979 by Pope John Paul II who crowned the image with a gold and silver tiara, his gift to the Virgin. It's frame is made of gold, enamel and precious stones, and was constructed by an unknown 18th century artisan.

The Dominicans see the image as exemplifying Our Lady watching over the island and the growth of Christianity there. The feast day is marked by services, all-night vigils, singing, dancing, and festivals in many of the towns.

Legend says that the pious daughter of a rich merchant asked him to bring her a portrait of Our Lady of Altagracia from Santo Domingo, but no one had heard of that title. The merchant, staying overnight at a friend's house in Higuey, described his problem as they sat outdoors after dinner. An old man with a long beard, who just happened to be passing by, pulled a rolled up painting from his bindle, gave it to the merchant, and said, "This is what you are looking for." It was the Virgin of Altagracia. They gave the old man a place to stay for the night, but by dawn he was gone, not to be seen again. The merchant placed the image on their mantle, but it repeatedly disappeared only to be found outside. They finally returned it to the church.

Novena to the Virgin of Altagracia

Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our
Look at us here, prostrate in your presence, desiring
to offer you this novena as a testimony of our love
for you and in thanksgiving for the innumerable
favors that we have received from your hands.

You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our

You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to
learn from the example of your holy life.

You are our Mother, and like children, we come to
offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive,
dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively
to our supplications. Amen

[Here ask for one of the graces you would like to
obtain from the Holy Virgin of Altagracia]


1. Oh sweetest Mother of Altagracia,
all pure and Immaculate from your Conception! We
beseech you to bless us, your children, with the grace
to love the purity you practiced and to preserve the
innocence of our children.

Hail Mary…

2. Oh sweetest Mother of Altagracia,
admirable model of Christian mothers and wives in the
humble house of Nazareth, we beseech you to bless our
homes, making them flourish in the holiness of

Hail Mary…

3. Oh sweetest Mother of Altagracia,
you received into your arms the Holy Infant who died
for us on the Cross, we give you all of our
sufferings, so that at the hour of our death we may
die with the name of Jesus on our lips and in our
hearts, and fly to heaven with the help of your
maternal arms.

Hail Mary …

Final Prayer

Holy Virgin of Altagracia!

From your hands and your maternal heart we receive
each day the sustenance that you give to us from Our
Father in heaven.
You are our defense in danger,
our indispensable help in our necessities and our hope in the sacrifices required of the Christian
Through your Immaculate Heart we desire to pay tribute
to God with a hymn of thanksgiving for all the
benefits you have distributed.
We promise you, Oh Mother, gratitude and fidelity.
You will always reign in our homes and in our town,
where all venerate you as Our Lady and Mother, you who
make all virtues increase and thrive.
We are honored to be called your children.

We hope to finish our lives serving God and you until
we reach the highest grace possible, the grace you
will help us to attain, the great gift of heaven


The Unbreakable Rosary



  1. My deepest Thank you to our Lady of Altagracia; for we have invoked you, in our darkest hours you always come to our rescue. Because of your miracle, a court ruling in our favor allows us to stay in our home, that we were losing to foreclosure. We need more money to follow through but with your grace and love, we will succeed. Thank you Our lady of Altagracia.

  2. There seems to be two dates for this feast on different websites. Some say April 2 is the the feast day. Which is correct Jan 21 or April 2nd