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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another Day Off- Worst Miracle Ever

So tomorrow I get another day off of work.  Have I mentioned before how I never work?  We had three weeks off in July and came back last week.  Last week we had Wednesday off.  Second week back and we get Thursday off.  We'll also have August 15th off (mother's day), plus a few days in September, a whole week in October...  Anyways, this post is not about that.

It's about TOMORROW- El Dia de la Virgen de los Angeles.  This is when the very religious people of Costa Rica show their faith by walking from all over the country to the Basilica in Cartago.  The last couple kilometers they do on their knees.  Why to this specific location?  Well because this is where the virgin, La Negrita, appeared.  And this is where it makes me laugh.

The virgin had the worst miracle ever.

Here's an actual story I found online, with perhaps a little less sarcasm then how I would tell it: (copy and paste to make it bigger if you want to read it)

"La ciudad de Cartago, como muchas otras en la época colonial, segregaba a los bancos de los indios y mestizos.  A todo el que no fuera blanco puro se le había prohibido el acceso a la ciudad, donde una cruz de piedra señalaba la división y los límites.  Estamos en los alrededores del año de 1635 a 1639, época de la aparición, el perímetro de la ciudad apenas llegaba a unas 400 varas de la plaza.


Aquella pequeña ciudad compuesta de cuadrantes con pocas casas y grandes solares. A unas 700 varas de la plaza, cerca de este punto estaban diseminadas una pocas casas muy humildes y se le llamaba La Puebla de los Pardos, por el color de la piel de sus habitantes.


Juana Pereira, una pobre parda (se desconoce si era, india, mestiza o morena), se ha levantado al amanecer para, como todos los días, buscar la leña que necesitan en su hogar.  Es el 2 de agosto, fiesta de la Virgen de los Ángeles, y la luz del alba que ilumina el sendero entre los árboles, le permite a Juana descubrir una pequeña imagen de la virgen sencillamente tallada, como de una cuarta de grande, (20 centímetros) visiblemente colocada sobre una gran roca en la vereda del camino.  Con alegría, la mujer, recogió aquel tesoro, sin imaginar que otras cinco veces más lo volvería a hallar en el mismo sitios, pues la imagen desaparecía de armarios, cofres. En una ocasión, sorprendida fue en busca del cura de Cartago, a quien con asombro le contó la historia y le entregó la imagen; el sacerdote tomó la figura y la guardó en una caja, con el fin de analizarla con cuidado una vez que tuviera tiempo.


Al día siguiente la imagen ya no estaba dentro de la cajita.  Cuando Juana fue al monte a buscar leña como era su costumbre, nuevamente allí sobre la misma piedra, se encontraba la imagen oscura.  Juana corrió donde el cura y este, acompañado de otras personas, fue hasta el breñal, desde donde condujo a la imagen en procesión hasta la iglesia parroquial depositándola en el sagrario parroquial, para regresar tenazmente a la roca  donde había sido encontrada.


Era la quinta vez que la Virgen se manifestaba de esa manera y comprendieron que allí en ese lugar debería homenajearse a la Virgen construyéndole un templo."


So the story goes like this: some girl finds a statue on a rock.  She likes it and takes it home.  The next day she can't find it.  Turns out it had "miraculously" returned to the rock where she originally found it.  She took it again and again and it kept going back to its original spot.  So obviously this was an apparition of the virgin and they decided to build the Basilica where the rock was.


Does anyone else think that story sucks?


Well anyways, now every August 2 tons of ticos make a pilgrimage to the Basilica.  Some people walk for days, weeks even, to get there.  Some just take the bus and then go on their knees through the church.  When I was studying abroad, my tica mama went to the Basilica and walked on her knees through the church in hopes that her grandson wouldn't have allergies anymore.  I'm not sure how that turned out.


I've never even been to the Basilica, but hey, I've seen lots of churches.  I guess I'll have to see if before I leave, but.. que pereza!


Oscar told me this next part, so if it's wrong blame him!

Up until the current president, Laura Chinchilla, August 2 was not a mandated day off.  But Laura Chinchilla changed it to a mandated day off since she was named the "prodigal daughter of the Virgin" by the Basilica.. committee?  I don't know how that works.  In return, she defends the church and continues to suppress gay rights, abortion, etc.  But hey, we get August 2 off!

So tomorrow, toast to La Negrita!  Thanks for the day off, babe!

(It's a little hard for me to find pictures on the internet, did the best I could!)

Walking on knees through the church

Ticos come out in numbers!

In the church


The Basilica in Cartago

1 comments:

Jimena said...

so here is an unconfirmed story I've always been told by my family. There was a large indigenous city in the area named Cot, and the Catholic church was having trouble reeling them in.
very conveniently, there happens to be a miracle, and the main protagonist happens to be indigenous (the girl who finds the statue) and the timing happens to coincide with an indigenous celebration.
lo and behold, a nice way to draw indigenous people into the official religion.
:)