Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Since the statue of Our Lady, which the Apostle St. James had placed in that building in the early days of the Chuch, had disappeared, the King, together with the religious authorities, made a procession praying to Our Lord to help them find the statue. The pious cortege processed around the walls of the city, singing and praying.
At a certain moment, part of the wall fell and they found the statue of Our Lady that had been hidden there for over 300 years. On either side of the statue were two candles – still lighted and burning – that Catholics had placed there in homage of the Virgin before closing the niche where they had hidden her statue. Almudena means market or granary, and this name was given to the statue because the place where it was hidden was near the Moorish granary.
Comments of Prof. Plinio:
This incident from History is most beautiful. In its beauty are two remarkable points.
The wall falls and the statue is discovered between the two lighted candles
Second, it is beautiful to note how Our Lady also rewarded the faith of those who had hidden her statue. They were Visigoth Catholics around the years 712-714 who saw that the Moors would conquer the city and were unable to carry the statue away with them. So they closed up the statue in that niche inside the walls of the city so that it would not be profaned by the Mohammedans.
It is interesting to observe that they lit two candles in homage of Our Lady before they closed up the niche. One can easily see that they confided that the statue of Our Lady would one day again be venerated. They made the small niche like a small chapel and lighted the candles. To justify their confidence, a miracle was worked. For more than 300 years those lamps burned continuously inside the city wall. When the wall fell, they were still there burning. In my opinion, it is a miracle as magnificent as the multiplication of loaves and fishes reported in the Gospel. It is a truly marvelous thing!
Close-up of the statue, patroness of Madrid
This is very important to our spiritual life. Nothing is impossible if we confide against all hope. Even when the greatest reasons for discouragement surround us, we must confide. Our Lady will reward us. The confidence that never weakens, that always maintains its flame alive, is never forgotten by Our Lady. When the hour comes, she will reward that confidence with extraordinary graces.
This confidence also applies to the cause of the Counter-Revolution. The Scripture affirms: Residuum revertetur (the remnant will return). It is a promise to those who have been defeated and smashed by the enemies of the cause of God. The continuity of those who are faithful to God will be maintained. This should serve to stimulate in our souls the confidence to continue to burn, like the two lamps of Our Lady, with the conviction of the irreversibility of the Kingdom of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It will come, as Our Lady predicted in Fatima.
Five days before the consecration of Almudena Cathedral, completed in 1993 (below), Our Lady of Almudena was moved from San Isidro church to a side altar there where it is venerated today (above).