Real Madrid Offers Its Trophies to the Virgin of the Almudena

June 03, 2022
Cathedral of Santa Maria La Real de La Almudena

It is a tradition that when the Real Madrid soccer team wins an important title, the institution offers the trophy to the Virgin of Almudena, patroness of the city. This year, the club won La Liga and the Champions League, and offered them to the Virgin in the cathedral of the Spanish capital.

The tradition was kept, and the Almudena Cathedral was Real Madrid's first stop when visiting the institutions. The team offered the 14th European Cup and the 35th League title to the Patroness of Madrid. They were received by Carlos Osoro, archbishop of the Spanish capital.

Once in the church, the players went one by one to the altar, while two of them carried the Champions League trophy and placed it on a lectern before the speeches. Two other players carried the League trophy.

Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid. S.E.R. Carlos Osoro dedicated a few words to the team: “Real Madrid is the culture of meeting, of the team. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for having carried the name of Madrid to all continents.”

She is the patroness of Madrid: already considered as such since antiquity and liturgically declared. Her feast day is November 9, the day when, according to tradition, she appeared on the city walls in the year 1085.

Madrid turned to her during a severe flood in 1645; and on September 8 of the following year, due to the miracles attributed to her, the aldermen of Madrid made another solemn vow to celebrate her feast on that day.

For almost two centuries, the promise was punctually fulfilled, until 1836. Later, depending on the political color of the different municipal councils, they attended or did not attend the religious solemnity.

On November 10, 1948, she was canonically crowned by the Bishop of Madrid-Alicalá, in the presence of the Head of State, the Nuncio and the entire government. The crown, made up of several kilos of gold and 40 kilos of silver, has more than 2,000 precious stones.

When Madrid was reconquered, the mosques were converted into churches. One of them was dedicated to Santa Maria, that of the Citadel or the Almudena. From al-mudayna, the citadel, diminutive of medina, city.

It is very likely that the church that existed before the Arab invasion was converted into a mosque before becoming a church again. According to historians, it was small and of poor

architecture. As Madrid grew in importance, the parish church of Santa Maria la Mayor, as it is known, also improved, but always within the limits of its small size.

In 1870, after the triumph of the Revolution, the city council, like the Muslims or the pagan barbarians, ordered the demolition of the Church of Saint Mary, despite the protests of the clergy and the faithful. The image of Our Lady of the Almudena was transferred to the convent of the Bernardas until 1911, then placed in the recently completed crypt of the new cathedral.

The prayers of the Virgin were credited with saving the city in 1197, when it was besieged by Miramamolin who was trying to starve it out. Children, who were playing near the church, made a hole in a wall and wheat began to come out: it was a forgotten wheat deposit, of such abundance that the people of Madrid were able to throw it at the besiegers, who became discouraged and withdrew.

After the demolition of the Church of Santa Maria, it was decided to build a new church dedicated to the Virgin of Almudena, close to the old one. Work began in 1883, then the project was extended two years later to construct a cathedral when the Diocese of Madrid was created.

After many tribulations, the works were completed in 1993, the year of the consecration of the new cathedral under the title of Cathedral of Santa María La Real de La Almudena.

Statue de la Vierge de l’Almudena