Friday, February 20, 2009

A pilgrimage to Teror

The year is 1995. Here I stand in front of the Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Pino at Teror, a large church in an historic city located on the Northern part of Gran Canaria. For the Canarians it is the venue to pay hommage to the Virgen del Pino.

The Virgen del Pino is the patron saint of the Canary Islands. In 1481 an image of Virgin Mary appeared miraculously over a large pine tree. Since then the citizens of these islands have regarded this as a sacred place.

The Virgin was canonically crowned in 1905, and Pope Pius X declared her Bishop Marquina and Patron Saint of the Canary Islands in 1916.

For those interested in religious festivals, the Virgin del Pino is celebrated September 7th each year. The festival dates back to the 16th century, when the image of the Virgin was brought to Las Palmas to pray for rain during a severe drought. There is another festival dedicated to the Virgin at El Paso, Tenerife. It is celebrated every 4th year and has outgrown the festival at Teror, in spite of it being a later tradition.

The present church was built in 1760, and inside you may admire a beautiful statue of the saint, as well as the enormous amounts of precious gifts donated to the Virgin Mary during the ages. For those of you who wants to explore more of the Canary Islands, Teror is absolutely one of the most beautiful places.

What else can you do at Teror?

You may enjoy a bottle of Aguas de Teror, a mineral water, the only one of its kind at the Canary Islands. In fact the city is called the Lourdes of the Islands.

The city is very beautiful, with many old historic buildings. You may also visit an old Cistercian monastery.

Teror is also a centre for craftsmanship. I bought a beautiful, embroidered table cloth, with matching napkins.

So there should be enough in Teror to draw you to the city. This time around, we did not go there, but I am very happy we visited this historic city, back then.

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