Our Lady the Virgin of the Miracle


In October 1238 Jaime I makes his entry into the city of Valencia. Accompany him all the estates that formed the Court and government of the Kingdom of Aragon. Among them the representatives of the Military Orders of the Temple, Holy Sepulcher and the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem.

The latter are granted by the King, in front of the Puerta de la Xerea: "The houses and dwellings of Azach Abunbedel ... and the eras that surround them ...", as it appears in the BOOK of the Distribution.

Of these Arab buildings some walls still remain, at the primitive entrance to the enclosure. It is in this same space where the access was, under an arch, to the Chapel of the Virgen del Milagro. It is a small Romanesque factory site, roof with cross barrel vault and partitioned; attached to it, a tiny sacristy with bricks to rope in the vault and incipient warhead.

Very important is the document of the year 1254 found in the Kingdom Archive, in which it appears that a certain Dalmau, Hospital Knight, asked to be buried in the chapel of Our Lady of the Miracle, paying for the lighting and conservation of the altar of the Virgin ... in it Transit of San Juan del Hospital.

In 1254!. It is the oldest written testimony, that authenticates the existence of the image and places it in the first hospital compound.

The image is a stone carving, low height for easy transport. His style is his own that at that time was crossing the Pyrenees, from the new European currents: less stiffness, greater mobility of the figure of the Child Jesus, the knob in her hand and the incipient and difficult smile of Maria.

The Brotherhood was constituted and approved by Bishop D. Hugo de Fenollet the 30 April of 1356, and inserted into the Royal Privilege of 10 of June of 1371, by King Pedro IV.

Regarding the cult established for the dedication of Our Lady of the Miracle, the Levantine episcopal see granted him a feast and his own mass. In the Missal of the Valencia Cathedral of 1509, fol. 352, is the text of the “Missa Sancte Marie sub title Miráculi”.

Alfonso del Castillo de Solórzano in his work: "Tabernacles of Valencia" printed on 1635, dice: "... as proof of how esteemed Pope Adrian VI granted him, in 1522, the grace, then not lavished, Plenary Indulgence to those who prayed before the image even if it were a simple ejaculation. ”

The Virgin was named after a miracle that happened in El Tránsito and ended up in the convent of Predicadores, at the tomb of San Luis Beltrán, and what Marco A relates. from Orellana, stating that the image has received the title of "Our Lady of the Miracle" since then and long before it became popular to call the Virgin of La Seo that way, for the miracle that happened in 1556.

Later Teixidor tells that the 16th and 17th centuries were a great boom in the brotherhood; so much so that the 20 September of 1640 it does, “An inventory of the jewels and clothes of the image, for the great devotion that the people have for him ”. (NUMBER)

In the Navarran-Aragonese area there are sculptures of similar Romanesque-Gothic style, especially in locations that were of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, like Sangüesa, You are the Catholic King… etc.

Also a curious and interesting fact is the following: Lope de Vega names Our Lady of the Miracle in one of her works: (Copy of the text of the work, in the Archive of the Universidad de la Nao, Valencia)

In 1850 the military orders were confiscated and with it the Ensemble of San Juan del Hospital (already damaged by the bombings of the French) suffered neglect and various uses. In 1905 ownership with the goods and the file is transferred to the new parish of San Juan Bautista and San Vicente Ferrer in the Ensanche.

Our Lady of the Miracle went from her traditional little chapel to the presbytery of the new church. During the civil war it disappears and is later found in the Diocesan Museum, that welcomed so many scattered and destroyed images. Also the medieval sculpture of the Virgin of the Miracle was broken. The Child Jesus and the right arm were missing and the crown was beaten and with tears.

In the attached photographs you can see: the old photograph of the sculpture of the Virgin, taken from Fernando LLorca Die's thesis, at the beginning of the 20th century. Another photograph of his state in the decade of the 60, taken in the Diocesan Museum of Valencia and the current image that presides over the church, work of the sculptor José Esteve Edó in the seventies.

Within the concept of trying to return, to the entire San Juan group, its historical characteristics, On one side, and endow it with museum and liturgical funds on the other, acquires special relevance, within the considered “movable funds”, the primitive sculpture of the Virgin of the Miracle. Perhaps the oldest piece of the set and one of the few that have been documented from contemporary Valencia to King D. Jaime.

However, the damaged image, It has been in the Seo Museum for decades. Its open structure in the right arm and upper knee area, and in the head, it is foreseeable that it will absorb more moisture than is appropriate and should not leave its current location.

His exhibition place in the San Juan del Hospital compound would be the Hospital-Funeral Chapel in the South Courtyard or area of ​​the medieval cemetery; since the ancient chapel of his dedication to him Transit, has disappeared as such, plus, aesthetically, the sculpture is small to occupy the presbytery of the church.

So D. Carlos Cremades, rector of the temple and D. Augusto Cruañes had a great idea.

The hospital-funeral chapel, also called King D. Jaime, by tradition, is contemporary to the image. The entire southern area of ​​the historic complex, del s. 13-14, is being recovered with the greatest possible fidelity to what was once, both in its construction and in the representative elements of the funeral tradition, found in the subsoil or used as constructive pieces later.

So it seemed appropriate for their dissemination and knowledge and for worship, locate an image of Our Lady of the Miracle in this much visited chapel, posing a faithful reproduction of the ancient sculpture.

A very significant fact must be taken into account: the Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem was founded for the care of pilgrims, sick and helpless, arriving in Jerusalem; but with the passing of the years and loss of the Holy Land, His obligations included the care and burial of indigent and executed people who had no relatives or anyone who took care of it..

This is how it appears in his “consuetudine” of the s. XII-XIII, (compilation of duties and obligations of fréires and knights); always located under the protection of the Virgin. Also in San Juan from the first moment. Two centuries later, in Valencia, that obligation of protection and attention to the innocent and the executed, dealing with his burial, the Virgin of the Forsaken would pass to our patron saint. In memory of it, the location of Our Lady of the Miracle, in the cemetery area, seems very suitable.

After consultation with those responsible for the Diocesan museum funds, to obtain permission to take measurements on the original sculpture, a sculpture workshop was hired to carry them out.

The professionals who would carry out the replica of the sculpture (Lola Climent and Juan Carlos Ferri from the Tall Scan 3D Workshop in Guadassuar), have taken computerized data with the most modern means of measurement today: laser spot. The figure will be carved in stone, with the accuracy of the data from the computer that runs the job, and then roughened and polished, with very specific technical means, that ensure perfect reproduction. The restorative Mar Sabaté, professional in treating polychromes and stone protection, will take over the image later.

Given the numerous visits, especially school and university, Panels will be printed with the sculptural procedure carried out and with the historical information that is known about this centennial sculpture.. Also monitors with the work done step by step, to didactically explain the stone execution of Our Lady the Virgin of the Miracle and its polychromy.

Let us embrace your protection in these moments so unique and complicated. (And let us commend our dear D. Augustus who loved her so much)


Virgen del Milagro



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