|Title||Our Lady of the Holy Cave (Nuestra Señora de la Cueva Santa)|
|Medium||oil on tin|
|Place of Origin||Mexico|
|Collection||Retablo or Ex Voto Collection|
|Credit line||Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Clay Lockett|
Mary is shown from the waist up, in the opening of a cave. Her crown is placed on top of the cave.
Our Lady of the Sacred Cave originated in Spain: During the Moorish invasion, a statue of the virgin was buried in a cave as priests fled from Seville. Six hundred years later Gil Cordero, a cowherd, began to butcher a cow that had died. Suddenly, the cow rose up, alive. The Virgin Mary appeared to the cowherd, commanding that he tell the priest and townspeople to dig on the site near the Guadalupe River. With the cow as evidence of the miracle, the people were persuaded to follow the instructions and the statue was found. A chapel was constructed and many miracles have since been associated with the site. Corollary lore states that she was given a crown bedecked with 30,000 jewels and that Christopher Columbus visited the shrine before sailing to the New World (one of the islands in the West Indies [the Virgin Islands] is called Guadeloupe).