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Is There a Prayer or Feast Day for
La Conquistadora?


Dear Marian,

I love the article you wrote on La Conquistadora. By any chance do you know of her feast day and any prayers or novenas devoted to her? I was so touched by her and would love to honor her if she has any special prayers.

     God bless you Marian.

     M.N.
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Dr. Horvat responds:

Dear M.N.,

I am glad to provide more information about La Conquistadora with the aim of increasing devotion to the oldest Madonna in our country.

I have seen only one prayer dedicated to her in Spanish, which is below in English and Spanish. I found it many years ago on a holy card distributed at the Cathedral of St. Francis, the statue’s home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Prayer to Our Patroness, La Conquistadora


la conquistadora santa fe

O Conquistadora, our Patroness and Queen, the Woman whose seed will crush the serpent’s head as promised in the Paradise of Eden, help us to conquer all the evils that surround us. Even more, help us conquer the evil in our own hearts through the grace of your Most Sacred Son, Jesus Christ, God and Redeemer.

O Conquistadora, our Patroness and Queen, as Mother of our Savior, true God and true Man, help us to overcome all error regarding the person of Jesus Christ and the Church that He established for His eternal glory and our salvation.

O Conquistadora, our Patroness and Queen, through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and our Universal King, convert all the infidels and enemies of the Peace of Christ by the divine power of God, whose power supersedes every human power.

O Conquistadora, our Patroness and Queen, by your immaculate beauty, conquer our hearts so that, united with thy Divine Son, we may glorify Him in this life and be with Him, with Thee and all the Saints forever in eternity. Amen.


Oración a Nuestra Patrona, La Conquistadora


la conquistadora

O Conquistadora, Patrona y Reina nuestra, prometida en el Paraíso del Edén, como la Mujer cuya semilla aplastaría la cabeza de la serpiente, ayudadnos a conquistar todos los males qué nos cirucundan y, aún más en nuestros corazones, y esto, con la gracia de vuestro Sacratísimo Hijo Jesucristo, Dios y Redentor nuestro.

O Conquistadora, Patrona y Reina nuestra, por medio de vuestra Maternidad del Salvador, quién es Verdadero Dios y Verdadero Hombre, ayudadnos a vencer todo error, que atañe a la persona de Jesucristo, y a su Iglesia que estableció, para Su gloria eterna y nuestra salvación.

O Conquistadora, Patrona y Reina nuestra, por medio de Jesucristo, quién es el Principe de la Paz and nuestro Rey Universal, convertid por el Divino Poder de Dios, cuyo poder sobresale todo poder humano, a todos los infieles y a todos los enemigos de la Paz de Cristo.

O Conquistadora, Patrona y Reina nuestra, conquistad eficazmente, con vuestra hermosura immaculada, nuestros corazones, para qué, unidos con vuestro Divino Hijo, en fin podamos glorificarle en esta vida y victoriosamente conocerle, y después con vos y con todos los Santos gozarle eternamente en la vida postrera. Así sea.

Novena of Masses and Festival

As for a special feast day, I do not believe La Conquistadora has one, even though the Church has acknowledged the devotion with an Episcopal Coronation in the Marian Year of 1954, when La Conquistadora visited every parish in the Santa Fe Archdiocese. In 1960 she received a Papal Coronation.

Don vargas reenactment festival of Santa fe
 
An annual reenactment of Don Vargas' reconquest at the Festival of Santa Fe. Below, the statue is carried through the streets by the Spanish cavaliers
 
procession la conquistadora
Each year, however, the Catholics of Santa Fe honor Our Lady with a procession and a special novena of Masses in late June or early July. The first six Masses (unfortunately all Novus Ordo) are said at different sponsoring churches in Santa Fe and the last at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in downtown Santa Fe. This year (2013) the Masses started on June 10 and ended on June 16, but the dates vary each year. The schedule for 2014 will be posted on La Cofradia de la Conquistadora (the Confraternity of La Conquistadora) website here.

The novena of Masses started over 200 years ago as a way to honor the promise of Don Diego de Vargas, who vowed to Our Lady of the Rosary – the original name of the 29-inch statue – to restore her throne after the city was destroyed and the church burned to the ground in the Pueblo Indian Revolt of 1680. The Spanish colonists saved the beloved statue of Our Lady from the burning church and fled to Guadalupe del Paso, now Juarez, Mexico.

In 1692, the King of Spain appointed Don Diego de Vargas to organize a campaign for the resettlement of Santa Fe. In a bloodless re-conquest in September of 1692, Don Diego re-established the city of Santa Fe under Spanish control and 2,000 Indians converted. Don Diego gave all the credit for the conquest to Our Lady, and stated that henceforth this statue would be known as La Conquistadora. He also promised that he would honor her annually with a novena of Masses and a celebration in her honor.

The novena of Masses fulfills the first part of that promise. The second part of the promise of an annual celebration is kept with the Festival of Santa Fe, held each year since 1712 in September, commemorating the month of the re-conquest.

The Fiesta, which in 2012 celebrated its 200th anniversary, still starts with a Mass and procession carrying La Conquistadora through the streets of Santa Fe to the Rosario Chapel, the site where the colonists had camped and prayed to her before returning to Santa Fe. At the end of the Fiesta, the statue is taken in procession back to the Cathedral.

Next year’s schedule for the Festival of Santa Fe (2014) will be posted here.

An extensive wardrobe

On each day of the Novena of Masses, La Conquistadora appears in one of her many elaborate and rich gowns, along with bejeweled necklaces, pendants, earrings and crowns. La Conquistadora’s extensive wardrobe is a sign of the love and faith of the people, who donate the dresses, capes or jewelry to honor her on a special occasion or to thank her for the favors she granted.

Normally her wardrobe is kept under lock and key in the Basilica, but 100 of her more than 200 outfits were put on display in 2010 for the first time. You can view many of these rich garments and jewels here.

     Cordially,

     Marian T. Horvat


wardrobe la conquistadora
 
A sampling of the 100 outfits of La Conquistadora exhibited in 2011
 
Posted September 17, 2013

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