|Honduran Ambassador to Korea Michel Idiaquez Baradat (center) presents a statue of the Virgin of Suyapa to Paraguayan Ambassador to Korea Ceferino Valdez in an informal ceremony commemorating Honduras’ most popular religious image, at Seoul Club on Sept. 6. (Philip Iglauer/The Korea Herald)|
The Virgin Mary has at least as many apparitions in the Catholic faith as there are nations in the world.
Whether she appears as the Black Madonna of Czestochowa in Poland or the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico who, it is said, appeared as a tanned Aztec princess in 1531, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been venerated at respective locales throughout the history of the Catholic Church.
Paraguayan Ambassador to Korea Ceferino Valdez, himself a devout Catholic, said he has collected well over 100 representations of the Virgin Mary.
“I have been interested in the popular manifestations of the Virgin Mary as we can see ourselves through her humanity,” Valdez said.
Honduran Ambassador to Korea Michel Idiaquez Baradat contributed to Valdez’s collection, presenting him with a statue of the Virgin of Suyapa during an informal ceremony commemorating Honduras’ most popular religious image at the Seoul Club on Sept. 6.
The Lady of Suyapa is the patroness of Honduras.
She is often artistically rendered as the protector of Christians, sheltering them under her mantle. Catholics venerate these apparitions through diminutive statues. Valdez said he has collected 107 such statues through his travels as a diplomat around the world.
“Our Lady of Caacup is considered an apparition of the Virgin Mary in Paraguay and appears as a native Guarani woman.”
Catholics sometimes pray to Mary with the words, “beneath your compassion, we take refuge.”