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Catholic Dictionary




Shrine of "Our Lady of Conquest" in the Cathedral of Santa Fe, New Mexico. It has one of the oldest statues of Mary in America, brought to New Mexico in 1625. In 1680 the Indians took to the warpath, killing twenty-one Franciscans working among them. The white population fled, taking the little wooden statue of Mary with them. Thirteen years later the Spaniards in exile led by De Vargas made a vow to Mary that they would enthrone her as their Queen back in the Cathedral of Santa Fe if she would permit their taking their former property without bloodshed. In trust the Spaniards returned. The Indians for an unknown reason withdrew from their stronghold and Governor Vargas entered Santa Fe without opposition. La Conquistadora returned home. Vargas built a chapel to Mary as he had promised. This has been replaced by a Rosario chapel on the outskirts of the city, and it is to this chapel that "La Conquistadora" is taken in solemn procession on the fourteenth day after Trinity Sunday each year, leaving her ornate shrine in the cathedral for her annual fiesta.