Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘La Virgen María’

The sounds of this morning’s Santo Viacrusis (Stations of the Cross) moving closer, brought me into the mostly deserted streets before 9:00 AM.

IMG_4068

A block away, I found Jesús, La Virgen María, a priest, acolytes, the faithful, and a loudspeaker on the back of a pickup truck.

IMG_4064

Led by the children, images of María and Jesús from churches throughout the city had taken to the streets.

IMG_4085

Stopping along the way to pray and sing, the solemn throng made their way to the Cathedral for a farewell encounter between Mary and Jesus.

IMG_4093

It will be a long day for all concerned.  Following the encuentro, they will process back to their churches for a bit of a rest before this evening’s grand Procession of Silence.

Read Full Post »

Late yesterday afternoon a neighbor and I taxied across town to the sweet little Templo de San Matías Jalatlaco for an organ concert presented by the Instituto de Órganos Históricos de Oaxaca in honor of La Asunción de la Virgen María (Feast of the Assumption).  Once there, we ran into a couple of friends.  The combined length of time the four of us had lived in Oaxaca totaled over 80 years (with me being the most recent, at nine years).  I point this out because none of us knew why apples accompanied the image of Mary.  Hmmm…  Could it possibly have something to do with Eve in the Garden of Eden, we wondered?

Of course, the librarian in me couldn’t resist doing a little research.  So, first stop on this morning’s grocery shopping trip to Mercado Benito Juárez, was a stop at Oaxaca’s Cathedral to see if the Virgin there also had apples to send her on her way.  After all, the full name is Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption).  Sure enough, Mary stood among bushels of apples.

The origin of the connection between Mary’s Assumption and apples is rather ambiguous.  In sifting through the various explanations that Google found for me, la Virgen is considered the “New Eve” or “new Mother of men.”  Wow, our speculation wasn’t too far from the mark.  It is also said that when Mary drifted off to her final sleep, the cenacle (room the Last Supper was held) began to give off the scent of flowers and apples and, thus the tradition reminds believers of the moment of La Asunción.

Then there is the pragmatic explanation — this is the time of the summer harvest and “In many Catholic countries Assumption Day marks the period for invoking blessings on vineyards, herbs and plants… [and] In the East, where the Assumption Feast originated, the day is commemorated with elaborate ceremonies for blessing fruit trees and grain.”  European colonists brought apples to the New World and they are abundant this time of year — thus Mary asleep among apples.

No matter the story behind this tradition, the aroma of apples was divine!

Read Full Post »

Good Friday in Oaxaca… Jesús may be the one who they say was crucified and resurrected, but María is never far from his side.

IMG_3412

IMG_3309

IMG_3439

IMG_3313

IMG_3378

IMG_3535

IMG_3363

IMG_3450_copy

From frequent traveler to Oaxaca, Liza Bakewell’s book, Madre:  Perilous Journeys with a Spanish Noun:

One can travel all over Spain and its former viceroyalties and never see as many elaborately bedecked and bejeweled Virgins as one will see here in Mexico — neither in number, nor in glory.  Yes, in Peru there are many famously ornate ones.  In Colombia, too.  Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador have their share.  The Philippines is a runner-up.  But Mexico has all of them beat.  Marian devotion, the worship of the Virgin Mary in all her forms through song, prayer, writing painting, sculpture, and shrines, went wild in Mexico.  (p. 169)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: