Parish of Grace in San Lorenzo de El Escorial

And taking you to some off the beaten paths of my beloved Spain even if in very much visited town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial for reasons mentioned in previous posts, I like to take you to another revered monument often if ever by passed.

Let me tell you more on the Parroquia de Gracia in San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Gracia is at Calle Floridablanca, 7.

San Lorenzo

The devotion to the Virgin of Grace (Gracia)   has its origin long before king Felipe II chose this region to build the Monastery dedicated to San Lorenzo. Tradition tells us that after the reconquest of the region, shepherds found the image in a cave, in the upper part of the highs of the Herreria (blacksmith), where a hermitage was later built to house it. The remains of this hermitage can still be located in the current Finca de los Ermitaños (Bosque de la Herrería). In that hermitage there were three altars, the central one was dedicated to Our Lady of Grace, the image had the Child in its arms. was a bulge image, of a rod of a little more or less, both the Virgin and the Child wore silver crowns. The Lady wore in her right hand a bronze or golden iron scepter, and that of the Child, at least, since 1645, some silver hazelnuts and a precious stone set in silver.

At the beginning of the 19C (between 1808 and 1809) the primitive Image of the Virgin of Grace was transferred to the Parish of San Lorenzo, which at that time was in the current Sanctuary of Calle Floridablanca . The primitive image of the Virgin of Grace was burned in 1936 (by republicans during the Spanish Civil War). To repair this terrible loss in 1941 the sculptor D. Mariano Benlliure was commissioned a new carving, that is the most accurate reproduction of the previous one. This new Image, made in record time, was enthroned in the Parish of San Lorenzo on September 7, 1941.

San Lorenzo

The Virgin of Grace was proclaimed Patroness of the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial in the Plenary Session of the City/Town Hall held on August 30, 1946, this proclamation being renewed in 1995, on the occasion of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Pilgrimage. The Image of the Virgin of Grace is venerated throughout the year in its Sanctuary of Calle Floridablanca in San Lorenzo de El Escorial. On the day of the Pilgrimage (second Sunday of September) the Image moves to its Hermitage in the Bosque de la Herreria (blacksmith’s forest) , returning again at night to its Sanctuary.

Some webpages to help you plan and know more of it are here

Parrish site of San Lorenzo on the Sanctuary of Grace

City of San Lorenzo de El Escorial on traditions see Gracia

There you go easy walk from the monastery into quant nice San Lorenzo de El Escorial; and see something unique of my beloved Spain at the Santuario de la  Virgen de Gracia.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!






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