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Spain’s Most Famous Mary of the Boat

Legend states that Mary came to this spot by boat millennia ago. Popular legend says that when Saint James came here in life he was feeling down from his ineffective efforts to evangelize the Iberian natives. At his lowest point, Mary arrived, right here, sailing in a stone boat. She came to shore and encouraged James to keep going.

You know you have arrived in Muxía when you see the towering sanctuary of the Virgin of the Boat, the Santuario da Virxe da Barca, that commemorates this visit.

It is a beautiful chapel overlooking the sea. There, to this day, the Virgin of the Boat makes sure fisherman and seafarers stay safe and under her protection.

The annual local pilgrimage is on Mary’s birth and feast day, September 8, deep in the sign of Virgo, the goddess of abundance and the harvest. The procession includes both pagan and Christian rituals. Pilgrims come to honor Mary, visit her church, and carry her through town.

They also come here to visit the magical stones, especially one that is large and shaped by wind and sea into a great concave form that can rock back and forth. Local lore says it was a part of Mary’s boat.

For over a thousand years, and likely more, this stone has been attributed with healing powers. People touch the stones all around the church, knowing that some possess special healing powers.

Depending on the direction you are walking and/or exploring, make your way next to Cereixo, Moraime or Finisterre.


At A Glance

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Muxí­a
Muxía
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