Yesterday, under a full moon…
and clutching our “pan bendito” (blessed bread), we began our pilgrimage. Jueves Santo (Holy/Maundy Thursday) tradition calls for visiting 7 churches (la visita de las siete casas) in the city with one’s pan bendito, which must be kept to offer to guests, should any grace our doorstep. This all relates back to Jesus’s Last Supper, which this date commemorates.
First stop was the nearby Templo de San José, where palm fronds were also distributed and believers used them to brush up and down the statue of Jesus. Hands also ran down his legs and then were used to touch one’s face.
After emerging from the side door of the jam-packed church, we set off for Templo de San Felipe Neri (whose picturesque dome can be seen (left of center) on my blog banner-head).
Next stop was Carmen Abajo…
followed by the far right side chapel of the La Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. A plaque at the entrance of the chapel read, “El maestro esta aqui y te llama” (The teacher is here and calls you) and the multitude seemed to be heeding the call.
We then strolled across the zócalo to the Jesuit, Templo de la Compañía de Jesus.
We changed direction and headed north up the Álcala. Big mistake! A mosh pit (Chris, this WAS a mosh pit) surrounding a Tuna band that was playing in the middle of the street, causing gridlock and bringing us to an abrupt stop. Eventually, following our blocker (my son, the lineman would be proud), we eventually found light and continued up to Preciosa Sangre de Cristo Templo, where we had earlier spent 1-1/2 hours (and it was still going on when we left!) at a mass where the priest reenacted Jesus washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper.
Strolling across the Álcala to Santo Domingo was much less challenging. The aisle to Santo Domingo’s main altar was blocked and we were routed to a side chapel. Hurray, we did it — this made seven churches visited!
However, though bleary-eyed (as evidenced by the photo below), we opted for just one more, Carmen Alto.
Home beckoned… and sleep came easily under the watch of the moon, now appropriately encircled by a halo.
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