The sanctuary of Gràcia de Randa in Majorca
|The Shrine of Our Lady of Grace (Santuari de Nostra Senyora de Gràcia / Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Gracia), commonly known Santuari de Gràcia, is a sanctuary located in the interior of the island of Majorca, on the slopes of Puig de Randa. Of the three shrines are located on the Mount of Randa, Gracia Sanctuary is the smallest, but arguably the most beautiful.|
|The sanctuary of Gràcia is built in a balm at the foot of the impressive cliff Penya Falconera (Falconer Rock), a rock, where falcons nest, located on the southeast flank of the Puig de Randa.|
Above the cliff is the Ermita de Sant Honorat.
|The sanctuary of Gràcia has its origins in the balm S’Aresta, where, in the middle of the fifteenth century (in 1440), two Franciscan monks began to live as hermits in the steep wall of the Penya Falconera. The Franciscan friar, from Llucmajor, Antoni Caldés and his companion first built a hermitage.|
At the end of the fifteenth century a plague struck Llucmajor population and invoked the aid of Our Lady of Grace. In 1497, a Gothic chapel dedicated to Our Lady was built at the hermitage of Gràcia, the Franciscan friar Antonio Tomas, also from Llucmajor, was appointed to watch over the statue of Our Lady. This statue, sculpted by Gabriel Mójer, is now in the choir of the church sanctuary.
From the sixteenth century, the sanctuary of Gràcia became a Marian pilgrimage center for the region, but especially for the people of Llucmajor. A pilgrimage surrounded by stone sculptures, representing the seven joys and seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary, led to the sanctuary of Llucmajor.
In the seventeenth century, the original chapel was replaced by a new chapel in neoclassical style. The original chapel was retained as the apse, which became the St. Anne’s Chapel, the first chapel on the left side.
The last major reconstruction of all took place in the early twentieth century, it was made with the participation of famous sculptor and Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.
Between 1976 and 1983, the esplanade leading to the sanctuary was enlarged and the inn was renovated.
In 2005, the sanctuary was closed to visitors for months, due to stabilization work after a collapse of the cliff. On this occasion, the sanctuary of Gracia was also renovated and now shines in new splendor.
|The new Chapel of Our Lady of Grace, preserved until today, was built from 1622 to 1691 with stones from the mountain of Randa and sandstone of the Puig de Galdent, located a few kilometers west of Puig Randa. It is a church with a single rectangular nave with a barrel vault, a choir apse and side chapels.|
|The choir is covered by a cap-shaped shell. Both sides of the altar are two oval frames, in one is a representation of the Annunciation and the other a representation of the Visitation, works Guillem Ferrer Puig (1759-1833).|
On the vault of the choir is a painting of the Coronation of the Virgin with the globe, and in the middle, the risen Christ and the Cross, with an angel on each side. The sacristy is located to the right of the altar.
|Behind the altar is the statue of Our Lady of Grace (Nostra Senyora de Gràcia). It is a magnificent polychrome wood sculpture, Gothic, the Virgin clasped hands in a gesture of adoration, with, on his side, two baroque angels that guard and foot, with a crest Monogram Maria.|
This statue of Mary - which is kept at the sanctuary of Gràcia since 1501 - is of great historical and artistic interest as it is the oldest image of the Virgin venerated in Mallorca, it is a work of Gabriel Mójer, painter and Majorcan sculptor.
|The Side Chapels|
|The first chapel on the left is the Chapel of St. Anne which is the location of the head of the first church of the fifteenth century. In 1988, following a renovation, the walls and floor of the first church and the remains were discovered in a cemetery.|
The St. Anne chapel contains a niche, an effigy of St. Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary. This effigy once knew a great devotion among girls Llucmajor who planted needles so, according to tradition, to find a good lover.
The walls of the Chapel of St. Anne are tiled with majolica Valencia, the tiles in the Italian style, depicting biblical scenes.
The second chapel on the left houses an altarpiece of St. Candide (santa Càndida), the patron saint of Llucmajor.
In the third chapel is an altarpiece of the glorification of Santa Catalina Tomas, the fourth chapel is the chapel of St. Joseph (Sant Josep), husband of the Virgin Mary, with behind the cross with Jesus crucified.
|The first chapel on the right is the chapel of St. Anthony Abad, which is the only one that still has a altar in a niche is an effigy of sant Antoni Abad. Then come the side door of the chapel of the sanctuary, and a chair.|
In the second chapel on the right is an altarpiece of the Virgin of the Rosary or the Crown.
In the third chapel is the altar of St. Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of Llucmajor.
The fourth chapel contains one of the "joys" of the fifteenth century in the Gothic style, which was on the pilgrimage to the shrine of Llucmajor.
|Country inn (Hospederia)|
|The original inn, for the pilgrims, was built in 1700. The current buildings are now joined to the left of the chapel, after collapse of the cliff.|
The front of the inn is elongated with three arches lowered, the middle arch, which serves as the entrance is reached by a staircase overlooking the esplanade.
Upstairs, there are also three arches, a circular sundial bears the motto "Adeamus cum fiducia ad thronum Gratiae" (We come with confidence to the throne of grace), presumably to reassure worried host rock mass which dominates the inn.