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Our Lady of Montserrat

The spiritual significance of mountains is well documented in the Holy Bible. It is therefore not surprising that the Central Range, (in particular, the Montserrat Hills), with its striking ridges, hills and interlocking spurs was chosen as the ideal site for the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat (OLM). To the Spanish settlers, the landscape of Tortuga and its environs were geographically reminiscent of the Montserrat region of Catalonia, north east Spain, where the famous shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat is located. The church in Tortuga was thus named after this Spanish shrine, where, the tradition states that over 1200 years ago a statue of Our Lady was found.

It is believed that this statue was carved in 50 A.D. by St. Luke and transported from Jerusalem via Egypt to Barcelona and then to the present site where the shrine is located in the mountains of Montserrat, Spain, an area regarded as a sanctity from Moorish invaders. Traditional accounts also revealed that shepherds watching their flocks often heard singing on the mountain on successive Saturday nights and upon investigation they found the statue of OLM on a ledge in a cave. All attempts to move the statue in procession to the Cathedral failed as it became heavier and heavier and the decision was made to build a shrine in the region where the statue was found. This Shrine in Montserrat, Spain is a major attraction for pilgrims from all over the world.

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