Friday, November 24, 2006

Ramblings from Seville: The Virgin

In Seville it seems that every road has a church, all adorned with icons of the Virgin Mary. The power of the Catholic church is strong here, and the power seems to be embodied within the many images of the Virgin. The adoration of the Virgin is striking, a man who never attends mass is still feircly protective of the Virgin. This morning I sat in one of the most ornate back-street churches, where the Virgin stood above the alter framed by waterfalls of glittering gold. Many men just popped in on their way to work for a minute to cross themselves in front of the lady in question. Seville is unafraid of its emotions. It’s difficult for me to understand coming from a culture where the imagery of the church resides behind the hustle and bustle of modern day life and scepticism. I don't "belive". Yet today, as I wondered in and out of the incense infused churches, I felt a peaceful contemplation, a little bit sad, lit a candle or two, and put some of my Euros into the Virgin's collection box.

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