The Traslado of the Virgin de los Desamparados
What are some good ways to demonstrate your Catholic faith?
2. Give generously to the poor
3. Go to church as often as possible
4. Throw your children against a huge statue
This past Sunday at 10:30am, during a procession known as el Traslado, the statue of the Virgin of the Desamparados (Our Lady of the Abandoned) was moved from its Basilica (location) to the Cathedral (location). It’s a distance of only about 200 meters, and was one of the most insane religious gatherings I’ve ever seen.
The word “insane” might be a bit strong. But hysterically crying as a gigantic wooden virgin statue is carried by? Crowd-surfing in the hopes of touching a piece of virgin-cloth? I don’t know.
But those people who literally threw their little girl over the crowd and against the statue: they’re nuts. I don’t feel like compromising about that.
And because of the maniacal spectators, it was an incredible experience. From the balconies, thousands of rose petals rained down onto the streets. The surly men transporting the Virgin buckled at times, stressed by both the statue’s weight and by the desperate throngs of people trying to get a touch, but they never dropped her.
True, the main emotion I felt was cynical incredulity, but it would be a lie to say I wasn’t a little touched. The traslado was insane, and insanely beautiful…