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Valira Torrent:   Contents | Subject index

Perforation image from Serif Art Gallery. © Serif Inc, 1996

Valira Torrent - bulletin of the Andorran Philatelic Study Circle. Issue 35, p2 (March 1992).

Copyright notice

Holy Mother of the Remedy of Sant Julià and Sant Germà

Holy Mother of the Remedy of Sant Julià and Sant Germà

In Christian art the image of the Virgin has held an important place. The mother of Jesus appeared as the "temple of God", the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit destined to welcome God in her womb, and to offer Him to the world for its adoration.

In the Medieval period each village had its statue of the Virgin. People came to seek her comfort, assistance and a remedy for illness. This, no doubt, was the reason for the Virgin of the Remedy of Sant Julià and Sant Germà whose statue appears on the stamp This statue in polychrome wood is 71cm high, probably dating from the second half of the XIIth century. Repainted at different times, she carries in places four or five coats of paint. It is interesting to note that she served as a reliquary. Two hiding places, one of them in the upper part of the back, and the other in the lower part of the trunk, contained the remains of human bones.

This sculpture corresponds to a type widespread in the Romanesque epoch: frontally slightly asymetric, expression grave and stiff, the head disproportionate carrying a heavy crown, Child with somewhat old features and holding a book in His hand. The Virgin with Child standing appeared only in the XIVth century and, from the XVth century, it is the Virgin of Pity which crystallizes popular devotion.

The cult of the Virgin Mary is still a feature of Andorra. When people go out on Christmas Eve, they do not forget to place a low chair near to the fire, so that the Virgin will come to warm herself and take a rest with the enfant in her arms.

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Updated 29th August 1998