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Catholic Dictionary


ANDACOLLO (shrine)


The national sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary in Chile. Devotion at the shrine grew up around the three-foot cedar statue of the Madonna and Child. It is said that the Spaniards brought the statue with them when they discovered Chile in the sixteenth century. Nearby Indians revolted and killed the newcomers and the statue disappeared. Many years later the Spaniards returned and converted the Indians. One of them, named Collo, cutting trees in the mountains, found the discarded statue after his ax blade had hit it and he heard a voice say, "You are hurting me." He took the wooden image home. Later a shrine was made and people came for devotions to pray to the Virgin, who still bears the scars of the ax. A privileged citizen is appointed at the annual celebration, December 24,25,26, to make a public apology to the Virgin Queen in Collo's name for the injury his ax caused her. It symbolizes the people's sorrow for their sins.