I am pleased to offer a series of vintage devotional medals pertaining to the Virgin of Rocío, a Marian image venerated in Almonte, Spain (province of Huelva; southeast Spain). Within Almonte is the village of El Rocío, whose shrine is the most important Marian pilgrimage site in Spain.
What began in 1270 with a simple chapel sheltering a statue of Our Lady has evolved into an elaborate ritual that attracts over a million people for the main celebration in May and hundreds of thousands who visit the shrine throughout the year. In the 1600s, Catholic brotherhoods or "hermandades" began forming, each representing a city or village in Spain devoted to El Rocío. To date there are 102 brotherhoods, the most recent formed in 2004.
At the annual procession, the members of each brotherhood march in a very specific order (or matrix), wearing a medal hung on their chest that identifies their brotherhood. This is one such medal, representing the brotherhood of the city of Priego de Cordoba, a beachfront city in the community of Andalusia in southern Spain. If I understand the logistics correctly, this brotherhood was established in 1991 and holds position 87 in the processional order.
The largest and heaviest of these brotherhood medals, this features a leafy acanthus cutwork cuff with Our Lady of Rocío at the center. She is beautifully detailed atop an ornate crescent moon, holding a scepter and the Christ Child. The ornate details include extend to her garments and nimbus as well as to the coat of arms above her head, which I presume represents the city of Priego de Cordoba. All images are nicely detailed, making this devotional suited for meditation as well as wearing.
Based on the patina, I believe these medals are cast from a copper alloy. Much like the pilgrim who once wore this medal, you can wear it on a cord or hang and display it in your sacred space. Its unique beauty reflects a unique veneration of Our Lady that connects us to the faithful of Spain. Please contact me if you would like to acquire multiple medals, as I am happy to offer a discount. Comes boxed and ready for gift-giving.
Weight – 43 grams
Dimensions – 3 x 2-1/8 inches
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