Nossa Senhora da Penha de França
A 19th century Portuguese engraving of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Peña de Francia, Spain.
According to legend the statue was discovered by the monk Simon Vela after Mary appeared to him in a dream. She told him to go to the mountains, where it had been buried to protect it from destruction by the Moors, who were opposed to the veneration of images.
The monk followed Mary’s directions and eventually found the statue with the help of some shepherds. He built a small chapel on the site, which soon become a place of pilgrimage.
Our Lady of Peña de Francia is usually depicted with a man and a lizard at her feet. One day a pilgrim fell asleep on the side of the road, overcome with fatigue. While he was sleeping a large snake approached him. Before the snake could reach the man a huge lizard jumped over him, as if to warn him. The man woke up and managed to kill the snake before it could attack.