Come see the shrine of Our Lady of Europe and Patroness of Gibraltar during your holiday stay.
Our Lady of Europe and Patroness of Gibraltar, is a wood carving approximately two feet high.
This is a beautifully polychromed image which dates back to the end of the fifteenth or early sixteenth century.
The capture of Gibraltar by the Spaniards from the Moors dates from 1462.
Then subsequent to his conquest the Christians won the battle against Islam's last stronghold in Europe in the Kingdom of Granada, the Duke of Medina Sidonia the champion of the Crusade; returned to Gibraltar.
In thanksgiving the people of Gibraltar converted the mosque at Europa Point into a Christian shrine in honour of the Mother of Christ, venerating her as Our Lady of Europe and placing the whole of Europe under her protection.
A statue of Our Lady sitting on a simple chair and holding the Child was carved and placed in the Shrine.
The Shrine Located at the southern end of The Rock, this shrine was originally a mosque and converted into a chapel by the Spaniards in 1462.
The light that was kept burning in a tower above the chapel was the original Gibraltar lighthouse. Although the shrine was plundered and pillaged by the pirate Red Beard, its most valuable treasure - the 15th century statue of the Virgin and Child - is still venerated there to this day.
The statue was transferred to the site of the original Shrine at Europa Point on the 7th October 1967.
In the face of the present crisis brought about by the Spanish claim over the Sovereignty of the Rock, the people of Gibraltar, who wish only to remain British have regularly made pilgrimages to the Shrine to pray to Our Lady for Her intercession.
To the joy of the people of the Rock, the New Constitution, stating that Gibraltar would never be handed over to Spain without an act of Parliament and the people's consent, was published on the Feast of Our Lady on 30th May 1969.
Since then, Pope John Paul II has officially approved the title OUR LADY OF EUROPE and has authorised the transfer of the annual feast of OUR LADY OF EUROPE to EUROPE DAY, which is May 5th.
Today the custodian of the Virgin and Child is the priest Mgr (Father) Charlie Azzopardi who is only too pleased to welcome new visitors to the Shrine and show them around.
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