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The wooden statue of Our Lady of Meritxell

The image that can currently be seen in the sanctuary and that is venerated by the faithful and travelers is a copy of the Romanesque carving disappeared the night of September 9th 1972, in the fire that seriously affected the sanctuary.

Talla de la antigua imagen desaparecida en el incendio

The holly image that disappeared due to the fire was a Romanesque carving of the 12th century. Experts claim that it was one of oldest of that Pyrenean area. Sitting solemnly in hieratic attitude, holds bay Jesus in her lap, who raises his left hand, just as the Mother does. She wore a five rosette crown in her head and over a white veil that covered head and shoulders. The mother had the right hand exaggeratedly long (emphasizing the welcoming action and the sign of blessing), just like many other images carved in that period. They are known as the "with a long hand".
The baby Jesus, who repeats the gesture of the Mother, goes barefoot unlike the mother who wears the typical wooden flat shoes that mountain farmers used to wear.

The carving that is venerated nowadays is a faithful copy of the old one. It emphasizes three key characteristics of the medieval stature: great dimensions of the body, symbolizing the protection given by a mother to her children; The Mother eyes, are shown in an exaggerated way giving the message that even when the visitor is not looking, she is looking at them; and finally, the shoes she is wearing, the typical wooden flat shoes that mountain farmers used to wear.
The message of the artist is clear: The queen of Heaven and earth is modest and humble and she loves everyone equally.

 


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