Tuesday, September 30, 2008

...To the Chapel...

I'm not generally a traditionalist, but at this last minute (4 days left), I'm trying to incorporate "something old, something new," etc. Here's my something blue, though I'm still not exactly sure if it will be in my hands, in my bouquet, or pinned under my dress:
I don't go in for much religion, but rosary beads are just beautiful, and I have many sets. I bought these in Fatima, Portugal a couple of years ago, and carry them with me, usually in my purse, nearly all of the time. Fatima is a place where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared many times to a group of children in the early 1900s. The tree where the apparitions took place is still there, surrounded by a stone wall. People from all over the world make pilgrimages there to pray for healing, and to light candles in honor of loved ones. Most of the pilgrims are women, as this is a location dedicated to giving thanks and praise to Mary, not Jesus Christ. Women walk, or crawl really, on their knees along the worshiping path, which is plenty long enough to leave permanent scarring. My friend's stepmother guided us there, and she showed us the scars on her own knees. Regardless of your faith, or lack thereof, Fatima is an impressive place. Just outside of the church grounds, there are rows of vendors selling everything from blessed statues and holy water to plastic toys and clothing. Everything is up for negotiation, so I needed a translator just to make the purchase.

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