CARACAS, Wednesday April 01, 2009 | Update
Known as the Patron Saint of Mountaineers, on September 12, the people of Mérida opened their arms to the Virgin of the Snow, which stands on a Carrara marble base in the Venezuelan Andes and is said to protect the region. Quite a few kilometers away, a twenty-five year old, going by the moniker of "Morocho," was the first Venezuelan to win a world boxing championship. In London, statesman and writer Winston Churchill died at the age of 91
The Virgin of the Snow, whose statue stands at 4,800 meters above sea level since 1965, is known as the Patron Saint of Mountaineers Photo: Jorge Odria
Zulia is devoted to La Chinita or Chiquinquirá Virgin, Lara worships the Divine Shepherdess while Nueva Esparta does the same for the Virgin of El Valle. In Mérida State, Andeans receive their blessings from high in the Sierra Nevada mountains from the Virgin of the Snow, whose statue stands at 4,800 meters above sea level since 1965.
Created in Italy using Carrara marble, she is known as the Patron Saint of Mountaineers. On September 12 of that year, in spite of cold weather, 300 people took part in a ceremony in which she was placed on the pedestal where she still stands on Espejo Peak, according to historian and mountain climber Carlos Chalbaud Zerpa.
On that occasion, the last station of the cable-car system served as site for the mass in which locals and people from around the country professed their faith upon the image sculpted by Walter Ribani. The archbishop of Mérida, monsignor Acacio Chacón, had the honor of telling the country about a telegram from Pope Paul VI blessing the people of Mérida and expressing his satisfaction over the event, while father Eccio Rojo doused the sculpture with holy water.
Protected by the Bolívar, Humboldt and Bonpland peaks, the Virgin is surrounded by a square and viewpoint overseeing the mountains and, on a clear day, the Venezuelan plains, the Maracaibo Lake and the Sierra Nevada of Cocuy in Colombia.
In Nuevo Circo, Caracas, in that same year, a young boxer by the name of Carlos Hernández, also known as "Kid Helicoide" and "Morocho" for having a twin brother, defeated US Eddie Perkins and became the first Venezuelan to win a world championship as he became the junior welter weight champion of the World Boxing Association. This twenty-five year old born in Caracas neighborhood of La Pastora defended his title successfully for six years until suffering a technical knockout in the eighth round at the hands of Scotsman Ken Buchanan. He hung his gloves for good after that bout.
Far from Caracas, in Santo Domingo, Dominican President Juan Bosch was overthrown in response to his socialist reforms by a coup d' etat led by Dominican General Elías Wessin y Wessin and backed by the United States, only eight months after Bosch reached office.
In his Hyde Park residence in London, at the age of 91, Winston Churchill, outstanding statesman, historian and writer died. A former prime minister, his oratory skills enabled the British people to maintain spiritual cohesion during the systematic German bombings of London and other cities of the United Kingdom during World War II.
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