Aragon, Spain: Shrine of Our Lady of Torreciudad
The History of the Shrine:
Devotion to the Blessed Mother under the title of Our Lady of Torreciudad dates back to the eleventh century. A carving of the Virgin of Torreciudad was honored here, but after the Arab conquest if was hidden until the reconquest, when Christians again took control of the area. Then a small chapel was built to house the statue.
How it relates to Josemaria Escriva (founder of Opus Dei)
When Josemaria was two years old, he became seriously ill. The doctor came and told his mother that her baby was going to die, so he would come back in the morning to get the body. His mother begged the intercession of Our Lady of Torreciudad and promised that if her son was healed, she would bring him on a pilgrimage to the shrine.
Next day the doctor came by to ask what time the child had died during the night, and was amazed when the parents told him, not only did he not die, but was completely well and playing in his crib. His mother did take him on a pilgrimage up the great mountain to visit the shrine.
St. Josemaria founded Opus Dei in 1928, on the Feast of the Guardian Angels. In thanksgiving for all of Her help in his healing and his work, he mentioned that he wanted to build a small shrine to Our Lady of Torreciudad, and in a short time, people and donations started pouring in.
About the Shrine of Our Lady of Torreciudad:
The small chapel that had housed the statue was replaced by the new structure which, as mentioned above, was built under the direction of Saint Josemaria Escriva.
Among the significant features of the church is the altarpiece, made of alabaster done by Juna Mayne. Also, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel has a bronze figure of the Crucified Christ by Pasquale Sciancalepore.
The crypt contains a chapel dedicated to the Holy Family, as well as three confessional chapels respectively dedicated to Mary under the titles of Virgin of Loreto, Virgin of the Pillar and Virgin of Guadalupe.
Many pilgrims visit northern Aragon to pray at the shrine. Spiritual activities at the Shrine are entrusted to the Opus Dei Prelature. The shrine is open daily.
A special attraction is Marian Family Day, held on a Saturday in the second fortnight of September. Lasting most of the day, Mass is held in the esplanade and then there are other musical shows and other family activities. At the end of the day, the travelling image of Our Lady of Torreciudad is carried in procession, followed by exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
It is about a 3-hour drive north from Barcelona, or about two hours if you are coming from Zaragosa. The nearest airports would be in either of those cities. There is train service from Barcelona to Huesca (about 30 miles west), and from there you can take a taxi. Get air, train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here.
Address: 22391 Torreciudad (Huesca)
Tel: +34 974 30 40 25
email: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of Our Lady of Torreciudad (click English option at top of page)
Photos courtesy Juan Emilio Estil.les Farré
Director de la Oficina de Turismo
Santuario de Torreciudad