Organisation and Initial Operation

The Association of the daily gift of visiting the Blessed Virgin or COURT OF MARY, was divided into CHOIRS or groups composed each of 31 associates. Each associate visited the Virgin in the name of the entire Association, not only in the name of the people of their Choir, but of all the associates of all the Choirs.

Each Choir functioned the same way. The images of the Blessed Virgin that they wanted to celebrate and visit in that town were chosen, and a list of said images was made, numbering them from 1 to 31, so that each day of the month had its fixed image. In the case of not having enough for each day, they were repeated, starting from the first.

Afterwards, they proceeded to raffle which image each associate should visit. Two bags were used, one in which the numbers from 1 to 31 were included and the other in which the ballots were put with the written name of each associate that made up the Choir. Then a ballot with a name and another with a number was taken. In the ballot of the name, the number that was drawn was noted and looking at the list of the images of the Blessed Virgin to visit, the image of the Virgin that they had had to visit was also written. Some alternate associates were also appointed if there were not 31 associates in that population, or in case some fell ill or could not visit.

Among the 31 associates in each Choir, one was designated to be the director or person in charge of conducting the raffle each month, as well as to notify the director of the entire Association when there was a sick or deceased associate, in order to entrust God and the corresponding votes for him.

In 1840, in addition to Madrid, this devotion was already well established among other places in Palencia, Almería, Écija province of Toledo, Orihuela and Murcia, and in the province of Alicante: Elche, Torrevieja and Novelda. And in 1848 in all of Spain there were 189 Choirs, which meant more than 5,800 members.

Evolution over time

Throughout the years, the functioning of each Choir established in the different towns evolved. In many cases, they were formed as Confraternities independent of that of Madrid, in other cases the devotion was integrated into a Parish or remained in a chapel, although in all cases they continued to profess a deep devotion to the Virgin Mother of Beautiful Love.