Gold-studded Iglesia de la Compania, the church on Garcia Moreno y Sucre, contains the remains of Santa Mariana de Jesus, the victim soul of Quito...the Lily of Quito. A whole chapel to the left of the main altar belongs to her and her devotion to Our Lady of Loretto.
If you wonder, why here? Why not in her home, the Carmen Alto Convent? Her devotion to Our Lady of Loretto brought her to rest here. Also, she lived the Franciscan life - not the Carmelite - as a Third Order Franciscan, but her boundless love included everyone.
All Third Orders or secular religious wore the full habit at the time.
A life-size statue of Santa Marianita reclines to the left of this enormous gold-guilded temple, which could easily be a cathedral and rivals those of Rome in its magnificence. Her guitar accompanied her here, until someone coldly stole it... now a replica of it rests in the museum in the back along with her original sewing box.
This most beautiful temple in Latin America blankets itself in gold leaf - seven tons. Everything but the pews and floor seems covered in it.
A 17th century marvel, its facade came transported from its construction site of Maynas east of Quito to reach completion here. The work, suspended for lack of funds until 1725, stretched its accomplishment to 1760.
The Jesuits, after arriving in 1586, set out to build the best church and school in America. Thanks to those who took over and corrected what seemed insurmountable contradictions, the desired outcome finally manifested itself, at least in regard to this holy place.
Old confessionals continue in use in all these churches, as in Iglesia La Compania in all its gold.
The awesomeness mirrors the humility of those whose work and sweat built this castle for God, as gold in much of scripture represents humility.
A 4:30 AM procession marches on the 20th of every month in honor of La Dolorosa (Our Lady of Sorrows) through the streets of Centro Historico from this spectacular work of art. Each time it covers a different area, thus enveloping all of the historic center.
In April this procession goes on for the nine days preceding her feast day.
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