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Mournful Virgin Marys in Churches on the Camino

#1
Hello All,

Does anyone know the significance of the mournful Virgin Marys that I often saw in the churches along the Camino? They were dressed in black and looking very sad and weepy. I'm just guessing that it represents the Virgin Mary weeping for the death of Christ, but I am not sure.

If you've read my blog, you know that they kind of freaked me out at times while I was on the road last year. I haven't been able to find any links on the web of photos to use as an example.

I'm not talking about the Black Madonna.

Anyone know the significance? Do they have an official name?

Deb
http://www.onthecamino.squarespace.com
 

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Anonymous

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#2
Does anyone know the significance of the mournful Virgin Marys that I often saw in the churches along the Camino? They were dressed in black and looking very sad and weepy.
"It represents the Virgin Mary weeping for the death of Christ." In Hispanic culture (the Spanish speaking world) she's known as "Nuestra Señora la Virgen de los Dolores," or "La Dolorosa."

Best, xm 8)
 
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#4
She's also known as "Nuestra Señora de las Angustias." Yes, those statues can be kinda scary...exactly the effect wanted, to illustrate the agony Mary felt during the passion/cruxifiction of JHS. Many times they're on floats taken out during Holy Week processions. They're also considered works of art. Best, xm 8)
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#5
The Stations of the Cross

I receive Our Lady's Electronic Newsletter from Fatima.
They are in a right spit over changes that are being made to the content of the ceremony of the Stations of the Cross.
If anyone is interested in reading the newsletter I'll be happy to mail it to you. (I don't think this Forum is the place to Post it)
 

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#7
Dolores...that's a friend's name, we call her Lola, sometimes Lolita (not like the Navokob one!) ! :lol: Best, xm
 
#9
Brown Madonna Op Hodenpijl

debonthecamino said:
Does anyone know the significance of the mournful Virgin Marys that I often saw in the churches along the Camino? They were dressed in black and looking very sad and weepy.
(...) I'm not talking about the Black Madonna. Anyone know the significance?
Hi Deborah,
Perhaps there is a relation with the Black Madonna? I've understood that in the early years many (all?) Madonna's were black to symbolize Their connection with Mother Earth, as in fact also Saint James does as a chtonian power and counterpart of Our Heavenly Father.
Today we saw again the Brown Madonna in the beautiful former Jacobus' church Op Hodenpijl, that's a family name in the circles around Charlemagne. This beautifully renovated church just outside the village of Schipluiden has a remarkable history of a few centuries in the low, flat and wet South-Holland dairy country between The Hague and Rotterdam.
We take all our friends there and they're always surprised to find such a gem, but we haven't been able yet to ask where the statue came from and why it is brown. She has a most impressive face!
Geert
See http://www.ophodenpijl.nl/locatie
http://www.ophodenpijl.nl/locatie/4/de_kerk
http://www.ophodenpijl.nl/locatie/335/historie
 

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falcon269

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Camino(s) past & future
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#10
Who is the female Saint who is offering her breasts on a platter? I saw a statue of her in the Gaudi museum in Astorga, and a post card in the church in Villafranca del Bierzo. The name was on the post card, but I failed to write it down.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#12
Saint Agatha is the patron saint for breast cancer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
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Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
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#13
PILGRIMSPLAZA said:
I've understood that in the early years many (all?) Madonna's were black to symbolize Their connection with Mother Earth, as in fact also Saint James does as a chtonian power and counterpart of Our Heavenly Father.
PILGRIMSPLAZA/Geert

You are stretching my vocabulary with every posting. I had to look up 'chtonian' - which spellchecker insists on underlining, although it is in the Chambers Dictionary.

I am assuming, Geert, from your name, that English is not your first language. Am I being very nosy if I ask about your academic background? You seem to know an awful lot about an awful lot!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#14
About.com claims that there are almost five hundred so-called "Black" Madonnas scattered over Europe, the highest concentrations appearing in France and Italy. Many are believed to have miraculous powers of healing and protection. While many of these dark-skinned Virgins are explained away as the result of candle soot or age, most appear to be deliberately created with black skin. Some bear reference to the Song of Songs from the Old Testament:

"I am black, but beautiful, daughters of Jerusalem. Like the black tents of Cedar, like the pavilions of Solomon."

The Black Madonnas are associated with the earth, with darkness, mystery, and most importantly, miracles. Many have theorized that these images and statues hearken back to the worship of the ancient Goddesses Isis and Demeter; indeed, some of the statues themselves are believed to be pre-Christian. Certainly, the image of the divine mother and child-god are older than Christianity, and the tendency of the Catholic Church to borrow, consciously or subconsciously, the iconography of widespread Pagan cults at the time of it's founding is well known.

Tradition says that the black patron saint of the Gypsies, Sainte Sarah, was the Egyptian servant of Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James.
 
#15
chtonian aspects of the pilgrimage to Fisterra

Hi Bridget,

Thank you for your nice and personal reaction! I never use spellcheckers because they drive me crazy and they have no authority anymore. In our country those academics have lost their credibility by constant changing stupid rules, so now quality publishers use their own spelling dictionaries.

Of course chtonian is easier understood adding auto- or allo-, about which groups there is a lot of discussion in our country too by people who've lost their way. Chtonian aspects of The Way of Saint James will be discussed on posts like Georgiana's Gems - 1 - bees and King's companions -1- George Edmund Street on pilgrim-books/topic4442.html and pilgrim-books/topic4519.html.

I'm glad you asked me that question for I've got a similar one for you too. I have no academic background but see myself as a simple Friesian countryboy who can milk cows (at agricultural highschool I dreamed about it as a profession) and a woodsman with some experience in making walking routes wich became my job. As a professional pilgrim I did read a lot of pilgrim's reports and masterworks like The Way of Saint James by the brilliant Ms Georgiana Goddard King and many other connected publications of all denominations. But understanding comes very slowly!

With the Royal Dutch Touringclub I made about 50 walking routes (6-12-18 km's) per year from 1970 to 1974 when I eventually was asked to develop an old long-distance-walk into our national Pelgrimspad. So this was not borne as a true pilgrim's path but it now surely functiones like one. We planted pilgrim's books in 8 walker friendly restaurants and in one of them a lady wrote: I'll keep the memory of this path in my heart forever! Now what greater compliment could one get?
For developing the spiritual aspects of walking in general the European Rambler's Association (ERA/EWV) and the publisher of the topo-guide Stichting Wandelplatform LAW gave me their 22nd European Award for Walkers which stimulated me to make more new pilgrim's paths like our Kustpelgrimspad along the Northsea coast and pelgrimspad Overijssel in our eastern rural country on http://www.pelgrimspaden.nl.

So I do understand little about a lot of things and least about the present pilgrimage to Fisterra. See The Santiago Enigma on miscellaneous-about-santiago/topic3794.html. I do hope you'll join us to find some very simple answers on seven very simple questions.

Now my question to you: do you still need cycle routes to Santiago and are you of Danish origin? In Haarlem near Amsterdam starts a quiet cycle route to SdC with excellent complete guidebooks (in Dutch). The other day I saw on this forum a question from a Danish pilgrim and I wondered if that is you. Please let me know by PM for I have some extra information.

Bon Chemin & Buen Camino!
Geert
 

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