1st November : Our Lady Of The Palm

Our Lady Of The Palm

Country : Spain

Year : 1755

The Church of Our Lady of the Palm preceded by some time the miracle which made it famous.  There is no exact record of why it was named that way.

The miracle for which it is best known took place during an earthquake and a tidal wave on the first of November, 1755.  Cadiz is a seaport of Spain exposed to the Atlantic Ocean and was directly in the path of the tidal wave said to be more than 90 feet high.  The townspeople were in terror and were on the point of abandoning the town when two unidentified men – thought later to be the patron saints of the city – closed the water gates and urged the people to go to the Capuchin Church of Our Lady of the Palms.  Here a Mass was in progress.  The priest finished the Mass, seized a banner with a picture of Our Lady on it, and went out into the street where the wall of water was already advancing upon them.  He planted the banner in the street and called out, “Thus far, my Mother”.

The water advanced as far as the banner, and stopped.  Then, as he walked into it with the banner, the wall of water receded and returned to the ocean.

An anniversary procession was established, along with a confraternity of Our Lady of the Palm.  With the exception of 1837, when there was a Civil War, the procession was held annually.  The rosary was recited along the route of the tidal wave, and prayers of thanksgiving said.

Many years after the first miracle, another storm caused the people to remember Our Lady of the Palm.  Ships were wrecked in the harbor of Cadiz, and the ocean was impassable.  The people demanded a procession of Our Lady of the Palm, though it was out of season, and when the procession was finished, the storm abated.

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