Argentina, Los Toldos

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In the Benedictine monastery Santa Maria de los Toldos, Ruta 65, Los Toldos, province Buenos Aires.

Virgin Mary of Einsiedeln
(Virgen Maria de Einsiedeln)

            In 1948, twelve Benedictine monks came from Einsiedeln, Switzerland to the Pampa of Buenos Aires, the rural area of the district, to found a new monastic community. They brought with them an exact copy of the famous Black Madonna of Einsiedeln. It was carved by Brother Simon Welti and painted by Father Bernardo for the people of Argentina. Interesting “coincident” that just at that time surviving Jews, Nazis, and other Germans were coming to Argentina from a totally destroyed Germany. Among them the Black Madonna, whose many faces includes that of reconciler between races*, came to take up her new “throne of mercy”.

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            The Virgin of Einsiedeln was well received. Each year more pilgrims come to pay her homage and to spend a few days in retreat. The liturgy of the monastery copies the one of its Motherhouse in Switzerland with its famous 11th century rendition of the Salve Regina, which is sung at the end of evening prayers.

* For more on this subject see the introduction: "The Mysterious Black Faces of the Madonna" and click on the sub heading "Racial explanations".