Saturday, January 30, 2016

Some Candlemass thoughts





I am just back from a winter holiday in the Canary Islands.

 As I looked out from the balcony of my rented holiday flat I wondered what was the story behind the cross on the beach and the mural close by.

It turns out we were staying at an important historical site. Back in the days before the Spanish conquest, two Guanche shepherds discovered a statue of Our Lady. Echoes here of the discovery of another Black Madonna,  Our Lady of Lluch.


The statue was kept for a while in a nearby cave. To this day there are cave dwellings in El Socorro. Once again there are echoes. On one hand, the cave in Bethlehem is one and, on the other, the sheer ordinariness of the dwelling - he became flesh and dwelt among us.
After a number of years the image was relocated to  another cave on the sea shore. A mile or so north around which has grown the Town of Cadelaria. The original image was was lost when a tsunami swept into the cave and carried it out to sea in 1826.  
The present day image is a copy.

It is very grand. Both Virgin and her son appear overdressed for the occasion. But the basilica in which they now reside is airy and peaceful. Somewhere to come apart and rest awhile.









I liked it that the guardians of the shrine still take childrens' spiritual development seriously. I guess Mary did!






Best of all I liked the cave where the statue used to be kept.
And the bronze statue that resides there.
Its more ordinary! Less fussy!











In the statue Mary has a candle in her right hand - hence the the name Cadelaria .
She, through the mystery of the incarnation has,
indeed ,brought light



The feast day of the Virgin of Candelaria is Candlemas  to be celebrated here in the UK tomorrow!


I like it that the snowdrops are out around the ruins of the Church of St. Mary, Hautbois

Among the names given to the snowdrop is Candlemas Bells!