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Lady of the Candles - Who is She?

According to the history of the Canary Islands, a statue of a woman bearing a child in one hand and a candle in the other, mysteriously washed ashore on the beach of Tenerife Island (the largest of the Canary Islands) centuries ago. Those who discovered the statue recognized it as the Virgin Mary and it was housed in a church for honor and safe keeping.

At the request of King Phillip V of Spain, a group of settlers from the Canary Islands immigrated to San Antonio, TX and established the San Fernando Cathedral in 1713. The settlers were also gifted a statue of Our Lady of the Candles (Spanish: Virgen de Candelaria or Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria) to take with them to the “new world” as a representation of their culture and to bestow blessings on the future of their establishment.

Today, a grandiose statue of La Virgen de Candelaria, Patroness of the Canary Islands, stands as part of a beautiful Retablo in the Cathedral Basilica of San Fernando de Bexar, San Antonio TX. She is a treasured gift to the Cathedral from the government of the Canary Islands, in honor and recognition of the 56 Canary Islanders who founded San Fernando de Bexar Catholic church which in time developed into the City of San Antonio. San Fernando Cathedral is considered to be the oldest Catholic cathedral in the United States.

Fondly referred to as the “Black Madonna” or “ La morenita”, the Virgen de Candelaria is celebrated twice annually, first on February 2nd (Fiesta de la Candelaria) and then again on August 15th (the patronal feast of the Canary Islands). In some cultures, these sacred days are commemorated with a mass and a procession featuring a representation of the Virgen de Candelaria.

As a means to partake in the celebration of one of San Antonio’s cultural icons, Mission Crafts Chandlery has thoughtfully crafted an exclusive San Fernando de Bexar candle and home decor collection. Inspired by La Virgen de Candelaria’s brilliant gown of emerald and gold embellishments and Retablo of San Fernando’s extraordinary hand carved wood ornamentation, this collection seamlessly translates color and texture into fragrance. From this expression, your senses will delight in a deep aromatic blend of rich and warm botanical scents of palm, bird of paradise, tonka bean and smoked oud.

Join in the celebration with your very own piece of the collection available January 21st, 2022 online or in-store.

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