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Narino (Colombia): Sanctuary Las Lajas


Postcard received from Gina

Las Lajas Sanctuary (in Spanish Santuario de Las Lajas) is a minor basilica church located in the southern Colombian Department of Nariño, municipality of Ipiales and built inside the canyon of the Guáitara River.
The present church was built in Gothic Revival style in 1949. The name Laja comes from the name of a type of flat sedimentary rock similar to shale.
The inspiration for the church's creation was a result of a miraculous event in 1754 when an Amerindian named Maria Mueces and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa were caught in a very strong storm.  The two sought refuge between the gigantic Lajas, when to Maria Mueces's surprise, her mute daughter, Rosa exclaimed "the mestiza is calling me..." and pointed to the lightning-illuminated silhouette over the laja. This apparition of the Virgin Mary caused pilgrimage to this location, with occasional miraculous cases of healing reported.
The image on the stone is still visible today.
(info from Wikipedia, july 2012)

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The postage stamp on the left, issued in 2011, depicts Rufino José Cuervo Urisarri (1844-1911), a Colombian writer, linguist and philologist.
He studied Latin and Greek, but the main part of his work was dedicated to the study of the dialectal variations of Spanish spoken in Colombia. About this topic, he wrote his book "Apuntaciones críticas sobre lenguaje bogotano" (Critical Notes About Bogotan Language, 1867), which is still an important reference in the study of the American Spanish language.
In 1878 he was admitted as the Colombian representative to the Real Academia Española. In 1882 he moved to Paris, where he lived until his death in 1911.

The postage stamp on the right supports the United Nations efforts to fight against AIDS.