Thursday, September 30, 2010

Feast of Our Lady of Penafrancia

The devotion to Our Lady of Penafrancia marked its tercentenary this year. The procession is one of the most well-attended in the Philippines, and in the province of Bicol, where this image is most fervently venerated and where she is known as 'Ina'-- Mother -- the celebrations take on an incredibly emotional character. It's said that a pagan Chinese sculptor once killed a dog and used its blood to stain the wood used to make the image; the sculptor then threw the carcass into the river. The Lady, probably incensed at the poor creature's death, brought it back to life; whereupon the dog was said to have immediately jumped out of the water, as if nothing had happened.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Iesus Mulierum Salvator

I took this photo nine months ago, during a visit to our province of Batangas. My grandfather was due to receive an award from the Archdiocese, to be conferred immediately after the second Mass of the day, at 6.30 in the morning. This crucifix, I am told, has quite a bit of history; it was reportedly featured on national television in the Nineties, after some miraculous cures were attributed to it. A remarkable moment of serendipity was when the two women at the foreground entered the scene, just as I was about to take the photograph. The seeming nonchalance of the younger girl in the blue shirt contrasts well with the stoic piety of her grandmother. The church where this was taken, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, was recently declared a pilgrimage site.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Friday in Corleone, Sicily

Oracion para tumbar los trabajos negros

Found on a rather questionable site. To be honest, it sounds a lot like the prayers my grandparents used to pray over me when I was but a child. My Spanish is a bit rusty, to please bear with the translation. That, and I lack sleep (thesis, ugh).

En el nombre del Padre, del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo, por el poder de la Santísima Trinidad y por el poder del Creador, tenga por virtud y poder de desechar encantamientos, brujerías, hechicerías y todo mal, dado, tirado o tomado en cualquier maleficio.

Por el poder del Creador, por el poder de San Cipriano y el redentor, por el poder de la Santísima trinidad y de mi Angel Guardián, por el poder de todos los Santos, mis enemigos quedan derrotados, que el espíritu Santo sea mi ayuda y me guarde de los malos espíritus. Señor haz que las armas de mis enemigos o enemigas, fueran hombres o mujeres, grandes o pequeños, si traen armas no me lastimen, sus ojos no me vean, sus lenguas desatadas no me ofendan, que ni diablos, brujos o brujas, polvos, velas, mala suerte, encantamientos, malos espíritus, sean reventados antes de llegar a mí. Que si soy perseguido los pasos de mis perseguidores sean clavados con clavos y crucetas. Cárceles y calabozos, candados y cadenas y grillos que encierran o aten mi cuerpo, revienten como reventaron los rayos y centellas, cuando Jesús expiro en la Cruz. Que mi cuerpo sea cubierto con el manto sagrado de la Verónica, para luego ver la redención del mundo. Amén.


In English:

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by the power of the Most Holy Trinity, and by the power of the Creator, have I the virtue and power to dispose of  enchantments, witchcraft, sorceries and every evil, given, cast, or taken in whatever curse.

By the power of the Creator, by the power of Saint Cyprian and of the Redeemer, by the power of the Most Holy Trinity and of my guardian angel, by the power of all the saints, may my enemies be defeated, and that the Holy Spirit be my help and my protector against evil spirits. Lord, grant that the weapons of my enemies, be they men or women, great or small, if they should bring weapons, that they do not harm me, that their eyes no not see me, that their loose tongues do not offend me, that neither devils, witches and sorcerers, powder, candles, bad luck and enchantments, evil spirits, are loosed before reaching me. That if I pursued the footsteps of my pursuers they may be bound my nails and crosspieces. May prisons and jail cells, locks and chains and shackles that bind or fix my body, burst like thunder and lightning as thunder did burst when Jesus expired on the Cross. That my body be covered by the holy mantle of Veronica, then to see the redemption of the world.