On February 3, Honduras celebrates the feast of the Virgin of Suyapa, the patroness of the country.
The story is told of the finding of this tiny statue by the campesino Alejandro Colindres in 1747 in a field outside of Tegucigalpa. Since then miracles have occurred and devotion has arisen around the statue.
What I find most appealing about this feast is that the image is so small: 6 centimeters or 2.3 inches.
Mary, the humble servant of the Lord, is able to do great things because of her smallness, her poverty.
This is made especially clear in the canticle of Mary, the Magnificat, which we find in Luke’s Gospel 1: 46-55. Mary cries out: “He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.”
Sadly, here in Honduras the powers that be often use the Virgin of Suyapa as a way to reassert their power, with special Masses for the military and political leaders.
But the simple altars in campesino houses belie this and offer the hope for a new Honduras, where, in the words of Mary, “the hungry are filled with good things and the rich are sent away empty.”
May the Virgin of Suyapa intercede with her Son for a Honduras where peace and justice prevail.
The story can be found here on Wikipedia.