Our Lady Refuge of Sinners is an image of the Virgin Mary that is venerated at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Valencia since the 15th century.
In 1504, the Brotherhood of the Refuge of Sinners was formed and began to extend and propagate devotion and veneration for this invocation of Our Lady. For centuries, this feast has had great importance in Valencia.
In several epochs throughout centuries, this brotherhood had to begin again because of adversities due to wars and invasions suffered by the Spanish nation. In spite of these adversities, the Brotherhood goes on to this day.
The last time the brotherhood was restarted was due to Napoleon’s invasion, when it had been renewed with greater fervor and enthusiasm among the people of Valencia, the revolution of 1936 arrived, and the people feared that the venerated image would be lost. One day when the monastery was invaded by the Communist Soldiers, the image was taken out of the Church with intentions to profane and destroy it. The Communist Soldiers heard sobs of an eight-year-old girl who pleaded them to not do anything to the image because it was hers. The militiamen were moved at the sight of the girl’s tears and gave her the image, which she kept until the end of the war. When the war ended, the image was returned to the Monastery’s church that it had been taken out of. This is how Our Blessed Mother showed us that She wanted to remain in our midst so that we could continue to venerate Her.
To celebrate her feast day, the Brotherhood prepares a three-day celebration in her honor. This year, it was celebrated on September 13th-16th. The last day ended with Holy Mass and a solemn procession through the Monastery’s cloister in which the participants followed the Virgin Mary with songs and praises.
We hope that these days have served to draw us closer to Our Blessed Mother who earnestly desires our familiarity. May we reach her Son, Jesus, through Our Lady Refuge of Sinners.