QUINCHE, OUR LADY OF
A shrine to Mary and her Son affectionately called "La Pequeñita," at Quinche, an isolated village in the Ecuadorian Andes. In 1856 a skilled woodcarver wishing to make a statue for the neighboring Indians copied a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which for some reason they refused, and he gave it to some Ecuadorians. They made a niche for their cedar Madonna and installed her at Quinche. The villagers, wanting to entertain Mary and Jesus, sang songs to them at night. Always around the little image was a bright light, and many cures were told of those who had touched the rough little mantle of coarse locl fiber that had been used to clothe the Madonna. Much impressed, they built a chapel, then a church, which grew in size as the crowds increased. Many of the miracles performed by La Pequeñita have been verified, including a child brought back to life, a fatal ax victim cured, a large grain field harvested without benefit of any workers. The Ecuadorians love the "Virgin of the Rocks," as she is called, and carry her image in procession, knowing that it will never rain on her feast days.