Monday, June 10, 2024

World's smallest statue of the Virgin Mary to enter the Guinness Book of Records

The image of the Virgin Mary "Virgen del Calvario de Letanías" ("Virgin of Calvary of the Litanies") is considered by many believers in Bolivia to be the smallest statue of the Virgin Mary in the world. 

Now the Catholics in the Bolivian town of Viacha want to endeavour to have the image entered in the Guinness Book of Records, the Spanish news agency EFE reported on Sunday (local time). 

Specifically, the figure, which measures less than four centimetres, is to be recognised as the smallest statue of the Virgin Mary to be venerated at an altitude of 4,200 metres. 

The faithful are currently in the process of compiling the necessary documentation and expert reports. 

Viacha is located 37 kilometres from the Bolivian seat of government, La Paz, on the Altiplano plateau along the border with Peru. 

According to media reports, the believers had already tried to register the "Virgen de Letanías" as a world record 15 years ago. However, their efforts were unsuccessful at the time.

Last Saturday, the Catholics in Viacha received a certificate from Bolivian President Luis Arce confirming that the image of the Virgin Mary had been recognised as national cultural heritage. 

Arce had passed a corresponding law a few days earlier. 

"The recognition is an impulse for our devotion," the spokesman for the faithful who dedicate themselves to Marian devotion in Viacha told EFE. The statue of the Virgin Mary dates back to the 17th century and is associated with three Marian apparitions on the "Cerro de las Letanías" ("Mountain of Litanies") from that time. 

Among other things, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a little girl and saved her from being attacked by a snake. 

As a result, an image of the Virgin Mary was found engraved in a small stone. 

The small statue is adorned with precious robes that can only be worn by women. 

She is considered miraculous and is invoked for rain in times of drought. 

She is also said to bring about harmony between the indigenous population and the Catholic faith.