Image: Statue of Our Lady of Europe in Manresa, named by the Bishop of Barcelona, D. Diego Astorga y Cespedes.

Gibraltarian born priest, Don Diego de Astorga y Cespedes, was ordained Bishop of Barcelona in AD 1717. Attending to his pastoral duties he noticed a statue on an archway similar to that of Our Lady of Europe. As the statue had not been named, he titled her as ‘Our Lady of Europe’. As from that point, this archway in Manresa came to be known as Europa Archway (El Portal de Europa). Unfortunately, there is no trace of the archway today.

 

Historians say that the Statue had been found in the mud and placed over the archway. Once the archway was pulled down the statue was taken to the Parish Church of Can Salt and renamed, ‘Our Lady of the Snow’.

 

Bishop de Astorga y Cespedes was later elevated to the See of Madrid and later became Primate of Spain. After the British conquest of Gibraltar and the desecration of the Shrine, the Bishop ordered a new statue of Our Lady of Europe and paraded Her through the streets of Madrid as atonement for the offences committed. The last record of this statue was that it was being kept in the Real Convento de las Carmelitas Descalzas.

Statue of Our Lady of Europe in Manresa.

7. The Devotion In Barcelona And Madrid