Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Why it's our beloved patroness of Santa Fe, La Conquistadora!..................
Who was brought here by early Franciscan missionaries centuries ago.............(as depicted in this panel from the bronze doors of the Cathedral)
And was so respected and beloved by the faithful of Santa Fe, that she was honored with a Papal Crown in the 1960s..............

In honor of the 400th Anniversary of Santa Fe and St. Francis Parish, a portion of La Conquistadora's extensive wardrobe was put on exhibit during Spanish Market in a display entitled: FABRIC OF FAITH...............
Each outfit was presented with a card denoting the donor, the maker, and if known, the request granted that the intercession of La Conquistadora had aided........
There were outfits inspired by many cultures........

And some that resembled liturgical vestments..............
This is my very favorite! I have seen it on her when she is being carried in procession...........

This one has glittering beading. Some of her dresses are made-over wedding dresses. In fact under the intention on one of the dresses, it read: "In thanksgiving from a grateful bride."..........
This one is very regal with it's matching cape..........
And this cape has lovely embroidery of the Blessed Sacrament.............

Lovely in shades of white...................
And fit for a queen!.............
This one had gold beading..............
An outfit in one of the liturgical year's most used colors--green...........
This dress resembles the dresses made for the princesses of this year's Fiesta Court........
Another stately green...........

Another complete ensemble.........
Purple and gold..............


The embroidery on this lovely dress and cape is trimmed with fur............... One of La Conquistadora's many handcrafted Indian outfits...........
And a very European outfit with influences from the Renaissance period........

A gorgeous brocade..............

Another Indian outfit. This one reminds me of the dress attire from Isleta with the lace trim and the embroidered shawl...........

Another beautiful Native American outfit............
The outfits had been made by devotees from as long ago as the 1930s. This is one of the older dresses.............
Fitting for a Spanish Queen.............
The sleeves on this outfit are exceptional..........
White satin with outstanding silver beading............

Velvet and satin with gold braid.................
Some dresses were made-over from donated First Communion dresses--this one is almost exactly like Chiara's First Communion dress...........

A royal crest on this one.......................
In La Conquistadora's Chapel, the Caballeros De Vargas stood sentry over the glass case holding her jewels and crowns. I like this picture because if you click on the image to enlarge it, you can see La Conquistadora's image reflected in the glass as she overlooks the visitors inspecting her treasures from her golden perch. (Then just use the back arrow to return to the blog.) I especially love her tiny Spanish comb........
The bustling of the visitors around this part of the display reminded me of the crowded situation for those all wanting a glimpse of the Crown Jewels at England's Tower of London. They eventually installed a moving sidewalk to keep the visitors moving...........
Various types of crowns, rosaries and jewelry were on display.........
All crafted with real gold and silver and precious gems donated in thanksgiving from many devotees of Our Lady.............
We were the first in line for the exhibit, so we were the first to this part of the presentation--I tried to take just a few pictures to be sure that the line kept moving on.........

This crown with silver, turquoise and coral is especially pretty with her Indian outfits................

She also has necklaces and earrings. I somehow failed to take a picture of a particularly beautiful parure of beautifully matched rubies..............

This is La Conquistadora's Papal Crown--crafted of gold and silver with diamonds, sapphires, rubies turquoise and amethysts. I was a young girl at St. Francis School when this crown was blessed and placed on her head by a Papal Envoy in the courtyard of the Cathedral. I will never forget the excitement of that day..............................
This elegant dress was one of several selected for display on the main altar..............
A very vibrant red outfit--another important color in the liturgical calendar............

Very precious..........
Very serene...............
This outfit has a lovely story. The inhabitants of a small Alaskan village donated it to La Conquistadora and their letter stated that everyone in the village had a hand in preparing it. The men hunted for the furs, the women tanned the ermine hides to make the cape and sewed the lace dress. The only request of the people of this village was that the parishoners of the Cathedral pray for them...........
Another dress I have seen on La Conquistadora in procession. It is magnificent!...........
Up close............
Another gift to La Conquistadora from far away...........

This elaborate brocade dress can be worn over any plainer dress to embellish it.........
I don't know the story on this dress, but it seemed to have a military style cape..........
Gorgeous embroidery on this older dress.......................
Another Indian dress for ceremonial events............
The length of this outfit indicated that is is designed to drape over the pedestal when La Conquistadora is on display.................
Beautiful Royal Blue cape...............
Gorgeous gold.............
Lots of gold cording on this dress...............

Modern geometrics on this cape................
Julia Gomez--the Grand Prize winner of this year's Spanish Market--created this beautiful dress featuring the native craft of colcha embroidery..................

Very lovely and elaborate--all the way up to the beautiful lace collar...........
A fabulous color............
Ali Magraw donated this sweet dress............
This former Christening Gown was embellished with this beaded cape...............
La Conquistadora's silver and turquoise jewelry would befit this outfit......................
This outfit was donated by Gerard Gonzales when he served as De Vargas for a past Fiesta. It was made for him by his sister Dolores and the beading was done by Kathleen Shelley. Her family--the Hernandez Family--is responsible for many, many of the gowns for La Conquistadora through the years. This year Dolores' son is representing Don Diego DeVargas for Fiesta, so perhaps she will make yet another gown....................
Every dress in this display represents a special devotion to La Conquistadora................
And a pure love for all she represents..............
A very subtle green--perhaps for autumn.............

Another outfit that is lovely with embellishments of jewelry and intricate rosaries...........
Yet another I have seen in procession to Rosario Chapel for La Conquistadora's annual Summer Vacation...............
A very cool mint color....................
A slightly older dress with elaborate braiding.....................
A rich wine color velvet................
Fit for a Queen in winter.................

A hand-crocheted dress.................
Lavendar and lovely.........................
And if it's really cold and snowy, her own fur coat.........................
Light-weight lace for warm weather......................
And shimmering pinks for special events............................

Absolutely spectacular! I believe that this is the outfit that has diamond wedding rings that ladies have donated to La Conquistadora through the years sewn into the hem.......................
The pattern on the lace overlay in repeated on the beading on the cape..........................
A refreshing blue....................
This dress--like all the others--reflects both the talent and the piety of the person who created it......................
A shimmering gold...................

The final dress that I photographed. I did not take pictures of ALL the outfits and the dresses on display are only a portion of La Conquistadora's wardrobe, but I hope this has given you some idea of the great devotion this city has for its patroness and of the love that manifests itself through the FABRIC OF FAITH....................
We were honored to be the first in the long line to witness this slice of Santa Fe history and are pleased to share it with anyone who could not attend the event. We ALL love La Conquistadora!

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