The Virgin Mary with Angels in a Boat, and the Assumption of the Virgin

  The Virgin Mary with Angels in a Boat, and the Assumption of the Virgin

Photo © Martin Crampin, Imaging the Bible in Wales

larger image

Standing figure of the Virgin Mary and child, in a boat with angels and the Assumption of the Virgin.

technique: carved
size: 200 cm (width) [approx]

Church of St Joseph, Colwyn Bay, Conwy
south aisle chapel

See: Valentine, E. & Valentine K. B. 'Healing at the Coast of Death in Spanish Galicia: The Romeria to Our Lady's Boat' Journal of American Folklore, Vol.118, No.470, Fall 2005.

The left-hand panel refers to the legend of Our Lady of Muxia. Muxia is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Galicia, Spain, where thousands gather in September. The tradition is that the Blessed Virgin Mary sailed to Spain to console the apostle James who had become discouraged by the response to his missionary activities. The shrine, on a windswept, rocky promontory on the Costa da Morte (Coast of Death) is characterized by several huge stones which oral tradition considers to be the sail, tiller and overturned hull of the boat Mary used. As well as attending Mass in the shrine church, pilgrims clamber over and around these stones. The shrine is especially sacred to sailors and those suffering from renal disease, and there is at least one account of a vision, when the sufferer 'was weak and appeared about to die [but] the Virgin Mary appeared in a stone 'boat' navigated by angels'. The link between Muxia and Colwyn Bay or what inspired the choice of this subject - unique in Wales(?) - is unknown.


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Photo © Martin Crampin, Imaging the Bible in Wales

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