France has Lourdes. Portugal has Fátima. Mexico has Guadalupe. In the far southern suburbs of Tegucigalpa is Honduras's very own site, Suyapa, where the faithful believe that the Virgin Mary has worked miracles. Tradition holds that a farmer stopped for the night here in 1747. A sharp object poked him in the back as he slept on the ground. He cast it away several times, assuming it to be a stone, only to have it return to the same position. On closer inspection, he noticed it was a 6-cm (2½-inch) figure of the Virgin Mary with indigenous features. The farmer and his family built a shrine to the Virgin in their home. Upon hearing of the ill health of a military officer, they prayed for his recovery. The officer recovered, and was so grateful that he ordered a church constructed to house the figure. In the two-and-a-half centuries since, thousands of Hondurans have made similar appeals and attribute betterment of their health and welfare to the Virgin of Suyapa, now the country's patron saint.

This is quite a miraculous Virgin, certainly in terms of appearing to get around on her own accord. In 1986 she went missing, reappearing some time later in the men's room of La Terraza de Don Pepe restaurant in downtown Tegucigalpa. Whether she got to the restaurant on her own or was stolen and abandoned there is debated, but the eatery has a shrine in her honor to this day.

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