Could you explain the story surrounding the beginning of the Virgin of Covadonga devotion and what practicing it looks like?
The very beginning is kind of lost in time. The earliest chronicles mention the veneration of a small statue of the Holy Virgin carrying in her left arm the Baby Jesus and a rose in her right hand. The people of the zone (back then named Ongar and then "romanized to Onis") went in pilgrimages to venerate the Holy Virgin in the cave (its a small cave where a cascade is born and then turns into one of the largest rivers of the Principality).
When the moors invaded Hispania, the Astures retreated to that area because is a mountainous (sp) area and difficult for horses, which was the strength of the moors, and the main leaders refuged themselves in the cave. Tradition says that the Virgin spoke in dreams to Pelayo, the main leader and told him that with the Cross they would win against the Moors. So they decided to stay and fought the Battle of Covadonga in 718 which is considered the start of the Reconquest.
After that and up to this date, the veneration of the Holy Virgin of Covadonga is, we could say very orthodox, hymns are chanted, there pilgrimages and processions, lots of Rosaries, everyday Mass in the Cave and in the Basilica built in the base of the Mountain, and in the day of her celebration (September
we love to make the mountains tremble with Bagpipes, drums, and all kind of Celtic instruments! Here in Mexico, in the Church of Our Lady of Covadonga, sometimes we can get together some Pipers to play to her. Ah something nice is that to get to the cave one has to wask through a tunnel...maybe 300 meters long full of candles to both sides, that the people light in devotion, is a wonderful place.
As far as I am aware, no Ecumenical Council has condemned it. There is a paralell tradition that says it was carved by Saint James (Santiago) after the apparition of the Holy Virgin in Zaragoza (Virgin of the Pillar), and it has been part of the second road to Santiago, but that story I dont know it very well.
God bless and thanks for answering!