The citizens of Andorra today celebrated “Our Lady of Meritxell Day.”
Our Lady of Meritxell is the patron saint of Andorra. Its original statue dates from the late 12th century. It was reported that the chapel in which it was housed burned down on September 8 and 9, 1972, and the statue was destroyed. A replica can be found in the new Meritxell Chapel, designed in 1976 by Ricardo Bofill, according to Wikipedia.
US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking in Washington, DC, extended best wishes of President Obama and the people of the United States, to the people of Andorra as they celebrate Our Lady of Meritxell Day this September 8th.
Ms. Clinton stressed that the relationship between United States and Andorra countries continues to thrive, and the American value Andorran contributions to the international community. She highlighted that Andorra is a shining example of what a people can accomplish with a strong commitment to democracy, open markets and hard work.
“I wish all Andorrans a happy holiday and continued success in the coming year.” -Ms. Clinton
The Catalan philologist Joan Coromines says that “Meritxell” is a diminutive of merig, from the Latin meridiem (midday in English). Merig is said to be a name used by shepherds to refer to a pasture with lot of sun.