Above: Zamburinas at Marisqueria Tony
Faithful making the long Camino de Santiago pilgrimage crossing from France through Spain, perhaps a 500-mile hike, wanted to return with a souvenir as proof of the arduous journey afoot. A shell found commonly on the Galician coast just beyond the route’s destination of Santiago de Compostela became that evidence, a variegated or calico sea scallop, zamburina.
Continue reading “Postcard from Zaragoza, Spain: Seductive scallops and marisquerias”
Above, a carving of Saint Michel slaying the dragon tops the baldaquin in the Basilica dedicated to the Archangel.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil, and Satan which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.Book of Revelation, Chapter 12
This part-time boulevardier does not just spend her time “going cafe to cabaret,” as Joni Mitchell sang, she goes to church. Well, sort of. That part of Mass, communion and particularly confession are all avoided. But I do visit tons of churches, appreciative of their architecture, art, role in history and stories of saints and miracles.
Continue reading “Postcard from Bordeaux, France: Churches, saints and bones for All Saints and Souls”
Above, statue of Saint Seurin of Bordeaux
With the withdrawal of Roman protection, Aquitaine became vulnerable to attacks by a host of others – the Vandals, the Goths, the Franks.
According to legends, as Saint Martin of Tours was dying in the year 397, he appeared in a vision to Seurin, a bishop engaged in fighting the spread of Arianism. Saint Martin directed Seurin to go to Bordeaux.
Bordeaux had no job openings for bishop, but, miraculously, the presiding bishop had a vision as well. The Lord directed him to welcome Seurin with open arms. So, the pair met, embraced and entered the church together; Seurin emerged with the title. The timing was fortuitous for the city’s residents, under attack by either Goths or Franks at the time, because Seurin was able to perform numerous miracles to successfully defend the city.
Continue reading “Postcard from Bordeaux, France: Saint Seurin saved the city, but Vikings later destroyed his church”