The Las Lajas Cathedral is located in Southern Colombia and built in 1916 inside the canyon of the Guaitara River . According to the legend, this was the place where an Indian woman named Maria Mueses was carrying her deaf-mute daughter Rosa on her back near Las Lajas (”The Rocks”). Weary of the climb, the MarÃa sat down on a rock when Rosa spoke (for the first time) about an apparition in a cave. A few days later, the child Rosa disappeared from her home. After looking everywhere, the anguished Maria guessed that her daughter must have gone to the cave. The child had often said that the Lady was calling her. Maria ran to Las Lajas and found her daughter in front of a noble Lady and playing affectionately with a Child who had come down from His mother’s arms to let the girl enjoy His divine tenderness.Fearful of ridicule, Mariakept quiet about the episode. But she and Rosa frequently went to the cave to place wild flowers and candles in the cracks of the rocks.
Months went by, with Maria and Rosa keeping their secret. Finally, one day the girl fell gravely ill and died. A distraught Maria decided to take her daughter’s body to Las Lajas to ask the Lady to restore Rosa to life. Moved by the sadness of Maria’s unrelenting supplications, the Blessed Virgin obtained Rosa’s resurrection from her Divine Son. Overflowing with joy, Maria returned home. It was not long before a crowd had gathered to hear what had happened. Early the next morning everyone went to Las Lajas, each one wanting to check the details for themselves. Studies of the painting showed no proof of paint or pigments on the rock – instead, when a core sample was taken, it was found that the colors were impregnated in the rock itself to a depth of several feet. The legend spurred the building of this Amazing Church.
The Church is of Gothic Revival Architecture and was built from January 1, 1916 to August 20, 1949, with donations from local churchgoers, replacing an old nineteenth-century chapel. The name Laja comes from the name of a type of flat sedimentary rock similar to floor tiles found in the Andes Mountains. There was a claim that an apparition of the Virgin Mary was seen. The image on the stone is still visible today.