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Saint Mary and her different identities in Catholic religion

Updated on August 18, 2015
"Statute to Mary in Cannes, France" by Rob and Donna Ritchie (
"Statute to Mary in Cannes, France" by Rob and Donna Ritchie (

Yes, this may sound strange to someone not familiarized with Catholic religion.

According to the Constitution of Spain, this country has no official religion, but recognizes Catholicism as the majority one. Nowadays, there are several religions practiced in Spain, but Catholicism is the one with more cultural influence. One of these influences is, for example, the fact that during last century's dictatorial period, little girls had to be baptized using, always, the name María, and then any other name. One clear example is my own name. María de los Ángeles. Not very short! Right?

Every city, even the smallest village, owns its own Mother of God... its own "Virgen María". You may think there is just one Mother of God, and that's true. Not only in Spain, but in any Catholic culture, she will adopt a concrete name according, most of the times, to a supposed miracle or appearance.

Some examples...

Some of the most famous "Vírgenes María" (each one with their own physical representation -statue- ) are:

  • La Virgen del Pilar, in Zaragoza (Spain)
  • La Virgen Moreneta (Cataluña)
  • La Virgen del Rocío (Sevilla)
  • La Virgen de la Almudena (Madrid)
  • La Virgen de Guadalupe (Mexico DF)
  • Nuestra Señora de (Our Lady of) Fátima (Portugal)
  • Nuestra Señora de (Our Lady of) Lourdes (France)

And, apart from these last famous "Vírgenes", Spanish villages and town all around Spain are proud to have as their protectors:

  • La Virgen de la Merced
  • La Virgen de Covadonga
  • La Virgen del Perpetuo Socorro
  • Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles
  • Nuestra Señora del Sagrado Corazón
  • Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
  • La Inmaculada Concepción

and many more.

Although the origins are religious, it has all become a cultural fact.

Every day of the year "belongs" to one or several Saints. For example, every 19th May, we celebrate ‘San José' ("Saint Joseph") and, by the way, this is the day when we celebrate ‘Father's Day'. And not just Saints, but we also have a concrete day to celebrate / remember some "Vírgenes María"; every 12 October is the day of "Nuestra Señora del Pilar" (Long name!) or on 15th August, "the day of the ‘Virgen' (more general). We also have a day for my own name! It is on the 2nd August: "Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles".

Is your name "Alberto"? If so, you can celebrate your "saint" on 14th November, day of "San Alberto Magno".

As said before, all this has become a mixture of religion and culture, as every city or town will celebrate the day of a concrete ‘Virgen' or ‘Saint" with a big party, activities and typical dances, gastronomic contests, etc.

"Virgen del Pilar Celebration" Zaragoza - Spain


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    • jess91556 profile image

      jess91556 7 years ago from PAMPANGA, PHILIPPINES

      Indeed the Blessed Virgen Mary has many names because she manifested many times down history in so many places around the world to different people, mostly young innocent children in her apparitions calling mankind back to GOD. So many miracles happened in her with her intercessions in times of war and in peace. This is the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy..generations will call her blessed. She is the mother of Jesus, and our mother in the order of grace.

    • thecatholicexpert profile image

      thecatholicexpert 7 years ago

      This is a great hub about Saint Mary, I had no idea so many towns and statues had been put up for her. Thanks for sharing with all of us. God bless!

    • Thinkaboutit77 profile image

      Thinkaboutit77 9 years ago

      This question is for everybody in here reading this:

      If you died tonight and you were face to face with God and He asked you "Why should I let you into my heaven and not cast you down to the lake of fire?"

      What would you're answer be? Are you sure that's the right answer? Don't assume, know for sure.

    • AngelesF profile image

      AngelesF 9 years ago from Castilla y León

      Hi Godfactauthor,

      Thaks to you too!!

    • AngelesF profile image

      AngelesF 9 years ago from Castilla y León

      In The Doghouse:

      Thanks! And, about "María", well, most of the names are María + "something", and then, the family names, and I say "names", plural, as we have two family names: first, our father's, and then our mother's.

      In my case, my name is María de los Angeles, and then Fernández (My father's family name) and Ramírez (My mother's family name). :-)

      Names started with "María" are, for example, María Ana, María del Mar, María José, and so on...

    • godfactauthor profile image

      Brendan Roberts 9 years ago from Auckland

      Hi, Thanks so much for sharing this hub with us. I really enjoyed it!

      God bless

      Brendan Roberts

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 9 years ago from California


      This was so amazing to learn. I bet it becomes quite confusing when trying to research your family history if everyone is christened Maria as a first name! Thanks for this totally cool information. Great HUB.