Posts Tagged ‘Catholic saints’

Our Lady of Guadalupe Tree, carving of the Virgen de Guadalupe in a
cottonwood in Albuquerque, taken with my mother-in-law’s iPhone,
October 2008, photo © 2008-2009 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

healing from inside
the heart of a cottonwood
nuestra señora

The story goes that in 1970 a parishioner of the 300-year-old San Felipe de Neri, Albuquerque’s oldest Catholic parish, carved the image of the Virgen de Guadalupe into the open wound of an ancient dying cottonwood. The Virgen saved the tree’s life.

Hundreds of people, many tourists, pass the cottonwood each day—it stands behind the church, which is in Old Town—without ever knowing that Nuestra Señora is hidden inside.

I took my mother-in-law, Celia, to see the tree one day in October of last year. We had just visited another sacred spot, a hidden chapel, also dedicated to the Virgen de Guadalupe, to pray for Celia’s recovery. She is a private woman, and this is the first time I’ve divulged on red Ravine that for the past four years she has been fighting a deadly form of lung cancer called Small Cell Carcinoma. 

Celia completed the latest round of chemotherapy in November, and last week she got a clean bill of health. I’ve been holding on to this photo since our visit last year; I wanted to post it today as a way of thanking the saints and the universe for Celia’s remission.

Today many people I know confront challenges. Illness, job loss, matters of the heart and spirit. For all of you and all of us, may the Virgen de Guadalupe bring solace and healing.

The cottonwood’s scar is closing, and soon the carving will be locked inside. I’ve been told that the carver’s son is seeking a way to remove the carving without harming the tree. I wonder if the best course would be to allow the Virgen to become the tree, as she is already.

-related to posts haiku 2 (one-a-day), Mary In Minnesota (haiku for yb), Virgin Mary Sightings, and The Virgin Mary Appears On A Bug.

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We moved into the new house yesterday. I’ve been unloading all my saints and folk art. I’m not sure where to put everything, so I’m sticking things wherever I find a decent spot for them, just to get them out of the way.

I put one of my carved wood statues from Guatemala in a perfect-sized shelf in our bedroom. The shelf has cubbies for several statues. I was thinking maybe I’d put all my collection in that area.

This particular one I got a long time ago at an auction. I liked how big her eyes were, like maybe you’d just walked in and caught her off guard. Here’s a not very clear picture of her:

Santa Scarita

This morning when I got up, I noticed she had moved. I fell fast asleep while Jim read in bed. I guess he got to thinking she was a little spooky. Maybe she reminded him of those portraits like my grandma used to have where the eyes followed you all around the room. Maybe Jim started to feel like my wooden saint was staring at him.

Here’s what she looked like when I saw her this morning:

Santa Scarita’s Back

I guess I’m going to have to reconsider where she goes exactly. Or, maybe she can stay in the bedroom with us and spend daytime watching over the room and nighttime staring at the wall. We’ll see.

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Doodling the Santo Nino, all rights reserved, ybonesy 2007
Santo Niño, pen and ink of Santo Niño de Atocha, patron saint of prisoners and persons in danger, doodle © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

Santo Niño de Atocha descriptions

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