Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolás

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Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolás
Nuestra Señora del Rosario de San Nicolás
Virgen Maria San Nicolas 2.jpg
LocationSan Nicolás de los Arroyos Buenos Aires province,  Argentina
Date1884, rediscovered 1983
TypePlaster statue, crowned
ApprovalMay 22, 2016[1]
Bishop Héctor Cardelli [es; de; fi; pl]
Diocese of San Nicolás de los Arroyos
ShrineSanctuary of Our Lady of Rosary of San Nicolás, Buenos Aires province,  Argentina

Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolás is, in Catholicism, a title of veneration of the Virgin Mary associated with a reported private revelation to Gladys Quiroga de Motta, a middle-aged housewife, beginning in the 1980s in city of San Nicolás de los Arroyos, Argentina). Quiroga said that she was tasked with promoting devotion to the Mother of God under this title, with an emphasis on key passages in the Bible and a particular mystical stellar symbolism. The devotional image, that of a standing Madonna offering rosary beads to the faithful, resembles that of Our Lady of Mount Carmel offering the scapular to St. Simon Stock, while differing from traditional Dominican Seat-of-Wisdom-type depictions of Our Lady of the Rosary popularized by the Order of Preachers.

The pilgrimage site named in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolás erected in San Nicolás de los Arroyos is one of the most important in Argentina.[2]


The parish church dedicated to St. Nicholas of Bari was inaugurated in 1884 and furnished with a statue of Our Lady donated by a member of the local Confraternity of the Rosary.

A century later an Argentinian lay woman Gladys Quiroga de Motta reportedly received a number of private revelations from the Virgin Mary, beginning in 1983 on the September 25, a date now commemorated as the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolás. Announced by unusually radiant, glowing rosary beads and followed by a number of brief visions, Gladys subsequently received repeated interior locutions, beginning on October 13 the anniversary of apparitions at Fátima. Specific messages led to the discovery—and restoration to veneration—of a long-neglected statue of a Madonna carrying the Christ Child. Occurring at the close of the twentieth century[3] the messages mirror those given at the beginning of the twentieth century where the Virgin Mary reportedly identified herself as the Lady of the Rosary at Fátima in Portugal. Following approval of the spiritual merits by local religious authorities, a new church dedicated to Marian devotion under this title was erected as requested by Our Lady during the apparitions.


Pilgrims walking along Sarmiento Avenue, lined with religious merchandise booths, leading to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolás of the Arroyas, in Argentina
  • 1884: inauguration of the parish church of St. Nicholas of Bari and donation of a statue of Our Lady of the Rosary.
  • 1983 - September 25: in the city of San Nicolás de los Arroyos, Gladys Quiroga de Motta, a mother of two daughters, with only a fourth-grade elementary education, reveals that during a supernatural experience she had seen, and heard from, an image that she did not recognize.
    • September 28: second apparition appears to Gladys Motta, which she reveals in confidence to her family and neighbors
    • October 7: after suffering an emotional block for some days, Gladys asks Our Lady in prayer what purpose the apparitions have and receives the vision of a church
    • October: Gladys Quiroga confides what has transpired to her priest, Reverend Fr. Carlos Pérez
    • October 14: The alleged seer is received in audience by the bishop of San Nicolás diocese at that time, Monsignor Antonio Rossi.
    • October 17: after searching in different city churches, she goes to the Cathedral of St. Nicholas of Bari, looking for an image that had previously been located there. In a storage attic, she recognises the image that appears to her in her apparitions: Our Lady of the Rosary. The statue had been put into storage because the right hand that would have held the Rosary had been broken off, and was in need of repair.
    • November 24: a ray of light indicates to Gladys Motta the location of a future church.
    • November 27: Our Lady asks Gladys Motta that the new location be "along the banks of the Paraná"
  • 1984 - July 19: founding of the Marian Movement of St Nicholas
    • December 2: Message from Our Lady: "Gladys, have a medal struck in my image, invoking the title of Mary of the Rosary of St Nicholas and on the obverse, the Holy Trinity with seven stars"
  • 1985 - May 25: a multitude of pilgrims arrive in San Nicolás, mobilizing the whole city
    • June 13: 10,000 small books are printed with the messages of Our Lady of the Rosary of St Nicholas in Rosario, Santa Fe, the neighboring province and seat of the metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese Rosario (metropolitan of the suffran diocese of San Nicolás)
    • August 25: The municipal authorities of San Nicolás deed the land known as "el campito" (in English "little meadow" meaning a small raised patch of dry land amongst the wetland creeks known in Spanish as arroyas) to the Catholic Church for the building of a new place of worship
    • September 25: in a message from Our Lady, she explains to Gladys Motta the significance of symbolism of the seven stars: they are the seven graces that her son, Jesus Christ will grant whomever carries the medal on their chest
    • October 25: the inauguration of a hostel for pilgrims and a center for the promotion of Marian devotion under the title Virgen de Rosario de San Nicolas de los Arroyos
  • 1987: by June of that year, 2.3 million copies of images of the statue of Our Lady had been disseminated
    • April 5: Monsignor Castagna greets Pope John Paul II during a papal visit to Argentina
    • October 8: contract signed with the construction company of the new Sanctuary, Gerlach & Campbell
  • 1990 - April 2: Worldwide pilgrimage of 60,000 priests from all parts of the globe.[4]


Partial view of pilgrims within the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolás

Every September 25, the city of San Nicolás hosts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and faithful who meet to venerate and honor the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of St Nicholas. In 2003, on the twentieth anniversary of the first alleged apparition of Our Lady, the second largest group ever congregated: 400,000 faithful. Pilgrims came from all the provinces of Argentina, with a group of more than 1,000 people from Buenos Aires who travelled the whole 240 km distance on foot: a distance three times greater than that from Buenos Aires to the national Basilica of Our Lady of Luján. On September 25, 2013, thirty years after the first apparition of Our Lady, 500.000 people gathered surpassing the record of 2004 when the greatest number of pilgrims visited.

The Sanctuary[edit]

The church was built according to plans to accommodate 8,000 to 9,000 people standing within the ground floor and special mezzanines. Additional terraces and esplanades were built to accommodate greater numbers at outdoor events.

The 24-meter diameter dome (exterior 27 meters), comprising a vertical arrangement of 64 sections of reinforced concrete faced on the exterior with copper plating, is visible from many locations in the city.[5] Construction in currently 70% complete.

On May 25, 2014 the interior of the Sanctuary was inaugurated in its entirety.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of St Nicholas in Buenos Aires, Argentina


In August 1990, the French theologian René Laurentin, an expert in Marian devotions, published the results of his study of the apparitions[6][7] in over 163 pages produced during his visit to the city. He acknowledged a collaboration with Monsignor Domingo Salvador Castagna|es, Marie Helene Sutter de Gall and Father Carlos Pérez, the priest in whom Gladys Motta confided her spiritual experiences.

In 1994, the historian Cayetano Bruno|es from the nearby city of Rosario seat of the Archbishop Metropolitan of the suffran diocese of San Nicolás published his "History of the Manifestations of Our Lady of the Rosary of St Nicholas" compiled from testimonies and official records kept in the Archives of the Sanctuary.

A 1990 book titled "Messages" records a compendium of the messages in the words of the visionary Gladys Motta as received during apparitions since 1987. In a similar fashion 1991, Victor Martinez published his book titled "Who is this woman?"

Sacramental medal[edit]

close-up of the 3+7 star pattern
Ten stars arrayed in three-plus-seven format, as used on emblem-jewel of the Order of Charles III

A medal, developed upon a request received during the apparitions, features an impression of the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary on the front. On the obverse, ten stars are arranged in a traditional vesica piscis format indicating the two natures of Christ. A distinctive three-and-seven arrangement resembles that found on the Order of Charles III. The lower three stars are conjoined as vertices of an isosceles triangle signifying the perichoresis of the indwelling of the three Divine persons in the Trinity. The remaining seven call to mind the graces of faith in Jesus Christ celebrated in seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church: the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit, the 7 infused virtues, contrition for the 7 mortal sins, and the 7 corporal works of mercy and the 7 spiritual works of mercy.[which?]

Approval by the Roman Catholic Church[edit]

In a decree signed on May 22, 2016 and made public a few days later, Héctor Cardelli, Bishop of the Diocese of San Nicolás, declared that the apparitions that took place in city of San Nicolás were supernatural in origin.[8][1]

See also[edit]


Primary Sources

  • Diario "El Norte". San Nicolás de los Arroyos. 250 años. ("St Nicholas of the Arroyos. 250 years") - a history of the city, published in Spanish by Ediciones Diario El Norte, 1998 (392 pages).
  • Diario "Clarín". Argentina Pueblo a Pueblo ("Argentina, from settlement to settlement") published in Spanish by Tomo 6. Buenos Aires, AGEA AGATA UTE, 2006 (160 pages) ISBN 950-782-730-7

Secondary Sources

  1. ^ a b "A Marian apparition has been approved in Argentina - and it's a big deal". 2016-06-04. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
  2. ^ Diario La Nación. "Multitudinaria muestra de fe por la Virgen María" (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 November 2007.
  3. ^ Diocesan approved apparition: San Nicolas messaged at MiracleHunter, an online catalog of the phenomena of Marian apparitions
  4. ^ Official Bulletins of the Sanctuary
  5. ^ Santuario María del Rosario de San Nicolás, self-published guide "Revista del Santuario María del Rosario de San Nicolás" edición Nº 69, 1999, in San Nicolás de los Arroyos
  6. ^ An appeal from Mary in Argentina: the apparitions of San Nicolas University of Dayton's Marian Resources website (apparitions bibliography page)
  7. ^ Laurentin, René (27 April 1990). "An Appeal from Mary in Argentina: The Apparitions of San Nicolás". Faith Publishing Company – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Cfr. Mons. Cardelli declara la sobrenaturalidad del acontecimiento mariano de San Nicolás, AICA, 23 de mayo de 2016 (consultado el 27 de mayo de 2016).

External links[edit]