Devout housewife Gladys Quiroga de Motta first saw the Virgin on September 25, 1983, while praying the rosary at home in the town of San Nicolás, some two hours north of Buenos Aires. It was the beginning of a long series of apparitions that would result in a sanctuary, a devotional revival with international impact, and over 1800 messages until the last one on February 11, 1990. In November, 1983, the seer and her confessor discovered a statue, stored in the bell tower of the cathedral in the city of Rosario, which matched the Virgin’s appearance. It was a statue of Our Lady of the Rosary, blessed by Pope Leo XIII and sent to the Argentine church at its founding. The Rosary Confraternity had said their first prayers before this Madonna on September 25, 1884. The renovated statue was moved to the new sanctuary being built at the Virgin’s request “on the banks of the Paraná,” which soon became a magnet for pilgrims and a locus of the miraculous. Beginning in November 1984 stigmata appeared on the seer during Advent and Lent. Unlike most recent apparition cults, the devotions at San Nicolás have enjoyed Catholic Church support. Our Lady’s final message was: “I invite you to live my instructions step by step: pray, repair, trust!”
Photograph of the statue from the website of Las Siervas de los Corazones Traspasados de Jesús y María, www.corazones.org.
Information also from Messages Of Our Lady At San Nicolás, E. O. De Nagy-Pal and M-H Gall, tr., Faith Publishing Company, Milford, Ohio, 1991.
The sanctuary’s website is www.virgen-de-san-nicolas.org.