Famous Christian shrines: Basilica of Luj??n (Argentine)

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Our Lady of Luján is a celebrated 16th-century icon of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, displayed in the Basilica of Luján in Argentina. The Luján image was made in Brazil. Tradition holds that a settler ordered the terracotta image of the Immaculate Conception in 1630 because he intended to create a shrine in her honor in Argentina. After embarking from the port of Buenos Aires, the caravan carrying the image stopped at the a residence in the present town of Zelaya. When the caravan wanted to resume the journey, the oxen refused to move. Once the crate containing the image was removed, the animals started to move again. Given the evidence of a miracle, people believed the Virgin wished to remain there. The image was venerated in a primitive chapel for 40 years. Then the image was acquired by Ana de Matos and carried to Luján, where it currently resides. Many Popes honored the Virgin of Luján starting with Clement XI. In 1824, Fr. John Mastai Ferretti visited the shrine on his way to Chile. He later became Pope Pius IX and defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 1854. On 8 September 1930, Pope Pius XI formally declared Our Lady of Lujan as the Patroness of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The Papal document was signed by Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII. Cardinal Pacelli served as the Papal Legate to the XXXII International Eucharistic Congress held in Buenos Aires in October 1934, and visited the Basilica on October 15. When he became Pope Pius XII, he made a radio address to the pilgrims in Luján on the occasion of the First Marian Congress in Argentina in 1947. In 1982, during the Falklands War, John Paul II became the first pope to visit Our Lady of Luján. Sixteen years later, John Paul II gave a replica of the image to the Argentine National Parish in Rome during his pastoral visit there. In 2014 first Argentinian was elected as a Pope - card. Jose Maria Bergoglio who decided to use papal name Francis. Before he used to be archbishop of Buenos Aires, the archidiocesis containting also the basilica of Luján.
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