Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Salud

sights / Religious

Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Salud information

Location
Pátzcuaro , Mexico
Address
Plaza de la Basílica
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Built on the hill atop a pre-Hispanic ceremonial site, this church-cum-pilgrimage site was intended to be the centerpiece of Vasco de Quiroga’s utopia. The building wasn’t completed until the 19th century and only the central nave was faithful to his original design. Quiroga’s tomb, the Mausoleo de don Vasco, is left of the main doors.

Behind the altar at the east end stands a much revered figure of the Virgin, Nuestra Señora de la Salud (Our Lady of Health), which 16th-century Tarascans crafted from a corncob-and-honey paste called tatzingue . Soon after, people began to experience miraculous healings and Quiroga had the words ‘Salus Infirmorum’ (Healer of the Sick) inscribed at the figure’s feet. Ever since, pilgrims have come from all over Mexico to pray for miracles. They crawl on their knees across the plaza, into the church and along its nave. Upstairs, behind the image, you’ll see many tin impressions of hands, feet and legs that pilgrims have offered the mystical Virgin.