Santa Cova is one of the most popular and revered attractions at Montserrat. Legend has it that the image of the Mother of God was found at Santa Cova. This was first referred to in text dating back to 1239. This text states that in 880 on a Saturday, close to dusk time there were some shepherd children who saw what is known as a 'great light' fall from the sky. Along with the light there was a 'beautiful song' in the mountain.
The Saturday after the occurrence, the shepherd children returned to the mountain with their parents. The vision occurred for a second time. This continued happening for the four following Saturdays. It was also witnessed by the rector from the nearby town of Olesa. News travelled and the bishop of Manresa heard about the occurrences. He organised a trip to visit the mountain on a Saturday.
During the trip the bishop of Manresa and the people who were with him saw the image of the Virgin Mary in a cave. They tried to take the image in a procession to the city of Manresa but this was not possible. They considered this to be an act of divine intervention. They took it to mean that the image had to be worshipped at Montserrat - it could not be moved.
Ever since this time, the cave has been a site of worship for many centuries. Each year, thousands of men and women make a pilgrimage to pray to the Virgin Mary and ask for her help.