January 17, 2013 by ebostick1212

You know you live in a religious city when you constantly come across street names like ‘Amor de Díos’ (Love of God) or ‘Reyes Católicos’.  When you know about 1,000 Marías, and even some Concepcións, Asuncións, and Immaculadas.  When the entire city shuts down for a week to celebrate the death and subsequent ascension of Christ.

Or you could live in Los Remedios, where almost all the streets are named after Virgins

Or you could live in Los Remedios, where almost all the streets are named after Virgins

I cannot compete with this kind of religiousness.  I mean, I was raised as an Episcopalian…a religion that most comedians around the world refer to as ‘Catholic Light’ or ‘Diet Catholic’.  I can’t name the Twelve Apostles, and the last time I took communion was six years ago.

To be fair, most people I know here have a similar attitude.  They grew up going to church, but don’t go now…but still, the is a dedication to the Catholic traditions that remain in them.

While I don’t really identify with this intensity,  I can definitely appreciate it.  One tradition that I love, in spite of being a diet Catholic, is the importance of the Virgin.  Mary, in Spanish tradition, is arguably just as important as Christ.  She manifests herself in different places…the Virgin of the Macarena, the Virgin of Rocío, Our Lady of Hope in Triana.  These ladies are subject pilgrimages and parades on a yearly basis.

The Virgen del Rocío on her yearly pilgrimage to Almonte

The Virgen del Rocío on her yearly pilgrimage to Almonte

Our Lady of Hope, in Triana

Our Lady of Hope, in Triana

These Virgins take their form as life size statues, artfully detailed and full of emotion.  For example, the Virgin of the Macarena, considered Sevilla’s pride and joy, has salty tears falling down her face.  One can almost feel her pain and sorrow, a result of Christ’s crucifixion.


*from Canal Sur

I love this visceral connection to something so abstract.  The fact that people practically fawn over a statue.  It is something I have never witnessed before, but I find it very interesting, and there is something beautiful in  Sevilliano’s dedication.

One thought on “Religiousity

  1. […] of Spaniards are Catholic, and I think I may unintentionally be becoming one via osmosis.  I can’t help but love the pageantry of the Catholic church.  I looked at it in sort of a skewed way, as it isn’t my faith, but I have slowly but surely […]

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