Montserrat, January 2014, Photo: Hermann Maurer

The black Madonna of Montserrat.

This Black Madonna was believed to have been carved in Jerusalem at the beginning of the religion. It is a wooden sculpture. It is one of the most famous Black Madonna statues in the world and in 1844 Pope Leo XIII declared the Virgin of Montserrat the patroness of Catalonia. The monastery also has a museum about black madonnas in other places.

This Black Madonna is sometimes referred to by other names, including 'The Virgin of Montserrat' and 'La Moreneta'. The statue sits behind a sheet of glass. However, one of her hands that is holding a sphere (which symbolises the universe) is not behind the glass. It is tradition to kiss or touch the Virgin's hand whilst opening the other hand to Jesus.

You might want to compare this with the Black Madonna in Cape down depicted in pictures of Cape Town or the special picture of St. George's Cathedral.