Our Lady of Atocha
Our Lady of Atocha is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary that has a long and rich history in Spain and the Americas. Our Lady of Atocha is named after a parish in Madrid, Spain, where a shrine dedicated to her was established in the 12th century. The name Atocha is derived from either the Greek word Theotokos, meaning Mother of God, or the Arabic word Antiocha, referring to the city of Antioch.
Our Lady of Atocha is depicted as a dark-skinned Madonna holding the Child Jesus, who wears a pilgrim's hat and carries a basket and a jug. The image symbolizes the maternal care and providence of Mary for her children, especially those who are in need or in danger.
Our Lady of Atocha has been venerated by many Spanish kings, queens, nobles, and saints throughout history. She was invoked for protection, guidance, and victory in various battles and wars, such as the Reconquista, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Spanish Civil War.
Our Lady of Atocha was brought to the Americas by Spanish missionaries in the 16th century. She was honored in many places, such as Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Philippines. She was also associated with a famous Spanish treasure ship that sank off the coast of Florida in 1622.
Our Lady of Atocha is still revered today by millions of Catholics around the world. She is celebrated on January 26 in Spain and on December 18 in Mexico. She is the patroness of Madrid, Zaragoza, prisoners, travelers, and pregnant women.