Poponguine is a small village with a population of 2,500, situated 60 km south of Dakar.
The origins of the shrine date back to 1887, when the French Apostolic Vicar, visiting from Normandy, remarked how much the place resembled his own region, especially the site of the shrine of Lady of Deliverance in Dover. Therefore the Senegale shrine was built with a statue identical to its sister shrine in France.
Some significant events that have marked the history of Our Lady of Deliverance in Poponguine:
- At the inauguration ceremony, 38 youth of Poponguine, of the Serer tribe, were baptized.
- In 1952, Boy Scouts and members of Christian Workers (JOC) came on pilgrimage;
- In 1960 a student pilgrimage was organized, and in 1962, the country’s president participated in the pilgrimage, walking among the pilgrims.
- In 1963 the first national pilgrimage took place, with the presence of 5 bishops and 15,000 participants. During that pilgrimage Senegal was consecrated to Our Lady. This consecration was renewed in 1977.
- In 1989, for the 100th anniversary of the shrine, a special banner read: "One hundred years of fidelity to Christ through Mary."
- In 1992, Pope Saint John Paul II visited the shrine.
Today, the shrine is entrusted to the fathers and brothers of the Community of Saint John and the Daughters of the Heart of Mary.
Attilio GALLI, Madre della Chiesa dei Cinque Continenti, Ed. Segno, Udine, 1997, p. 731-738