The Our Lady of Arantzazu has been a popular devotion in the Basque country since the fifteenth century, a few decades (c. 1468) before Ignatius was born (1491). According to legend, a shepherd named Rodrigo de Balzategi saw the Virgin appear on a hawthorn bush, and exclaimed, “Arantzan zu?” (Is it you among the thorns?). In his Autobiography, Ignatius particularly recounts his visit to Our Lady of Arantzazu through Oñati. Our Lady of Arantzazu and Ignatius of Loyola are considered patrons of the Basque province of Gipuzkoa.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu, Oñati, Spain
Camino Ignaciano | Historia Domus
Rinald D’Souza, 2018

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