Guapulo is a city in Ecuador where, on December 30, 1696, it is said a miracle took place. that miracle was performed by the Virgin Mary (called the "Lady of the Cloud" by certain communities in Ecuador and Peru). The event became an important part of Guapulo's culture.
In 1696, Bishop Sancho de Andrade y Figueroa had fallen ill, and the people of Guapulo traveled to nearby Quito to see him. They brought an image of the Virgin Mary (taken from the church of Guapulo) with them. As they traveled, the people prayed. Suddenly, the sky opened up and all 500 people saw the Virgin Mary appear within the clouds.
Franciscan friars later founded a sanctuary near the site in Azogues. Each year, they celebrate "Fiesta de la Virgen de la Nube" or "Feast of the Virgin of the Cloud." The tradition was taken up by nuns in Lima, Peru, and continued to spread across Peru and Ecuador. Since then, artists throughout history have honored the Lady of the Cloud in their works.
In 2020, the United States Postal Service featured a painting of Our Lady of Guapulo on a Forever stamp. The painting was completed by an unknown artist in 18th-century Cuzco, Peru. The figures are painted in elaborate royal garments, showing just how important the Virgin mary is to the people of Peru and Ecuador.