Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Córdoba: Along Comes Mary

San Geraldo and I took the train up to Córdoba. It's about an hour away from Málaga on the high-speed train. It was our first visit to Córdoba and we wish we had made plans to stay overnight. So much to explore.

READ ON... YOU'LL UNDERSTAND HOW SHE FEELS.

For now (because I'm so tired), I'll tell you about one chapel inside Córdoba's Mezquita (aka, the Great Mosque of Córdoba... aka, the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady). I'll share much more in the coming days.

Fortunately, we did our research and, therefore, arrived as early as we could at the Mezquita. Still it was bustling. Tour groups —busloads — kept arriving. Late in our own independently taken audio tour (number 16 on the 27 stops along the way), we were inside an important chapel that became overwhelmingly crowded with two different tour groups.

EVEN THE STATUARY APPEARED STRESSED. (SERENITY NOW!)
THE CROWDS STARTED TO MAKE ME DIZZY.

Before we made our escape from the touristic frenzy, San Geraldo looked at the statue prominently placed at the center of the chapel's back wall.

"WHAT'S SHE DOING WITH A BOOK?!?"

"She's got a book," he said. "What's she doing with a book?!?

He then muttered, "Is that supposed to be Mary?"

Clearly he had missed something during the audio tour.

I whispered, "We're in the Chapel of Santa Teresa. That's supposed to be Santa Teresa." (Note: Santa Teresa de Avila, 1515–1582, was a prolific writer.)

"Ohhhhhh," San Geraldo laughed."I wondered why she was dressed like a nun."

AND, FINALLY, AT ANOTHER CHURCH... ALONG COMES MARY.


15 comments:

  1. I was so well trained that I knew that was Saint Teresa as soon as I saw her!
    Cordoba could be on your 'return visit' list after all these festivities are over.....far from those maddening crowds.
    Now I see why Mary appeared to have a splitting headache!

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    1. Jim:
      Córdoba is definitely on the return visit list. I now know how to recognize Santa Teresa (she looks like the virgin Mary, except with a book).

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  2. Is there a university in Córdoba? I believe that one of our local universities (the Catholic Saint Louis University) has its study-abroad program for Spanish in Córdoba.

    Looking forward to more on your visit! (I love your Seinfeld references, by the way :)

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    1. Judy:
      I know of two: Universidad de Córdoba and Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, We walked by some of the schools of the Universidad de Córdoba.

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  3. St. Teresa is also the first woman to be recognized as a Doctor of the Church. There are several now, but when Pope Paul VI made her one back in 1970, it was a big deal. Before that, people thought only men could be Doctors (which means teacher, not physician) because, according to St. Paul, women were not supposed to instruct men. Pope Paul pointed out that facts were facts and that Teresa had been teaching men and women for centuries through her writings. His declaration basically recognized what was already the truth.

    You can tell San Geraldo, however, that many statues of Mary as Our Lady of Mount Carmel depict her wearing essentially the same religious habit that Teresa has on, with the exception of the style of the veil.

    See? Who needs a tour guide when you can tap your friendly know-it-all blogger!

    Cordoba is amazing. But if you are going to give me a once-Muslim place, give me the Alhambra.

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    1. Michael:
      Still haven't gotten to Granada. Looking forward to it. I thought of you while I was out walking. That photo showing Mary is on the church attached to a monastery of the Discalced Carmelites.

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  4. So very beautiful, thank you for sharing! I can't imagine having to deal with so many tourists...Terre Haute isn't a huge tourist destination y'know. I know, I know, it puzzles me as well.
    You pick the best music. =)

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    1. Jacquelineand....
      We've usually lived in heavily touristed cities but never in Terre Haute! This isn't even tourist season in Córdoba, but it's probably a little busier right now because we're building up to Holy Week. I would love to go back in winter to see the Mezquita again with less crowds.

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  5. It seems this cathedral is very interesting.

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    1. Gosia:
      I found the mosque more fascinating than the cathedral. But the cathedral on its own is very impressive.

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  6. Ah, the 'Assumption of Our Lady'. This doctrine, announced so recent as 1950 as being incontrovertibly and literally true (proclaimed 'ex-cathedra' by Pope Pius XII, therefore in an infallible capacity) requires all Roman Catholics to believe that Mary was assumed, BODY and soul, into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.
    Even as a devout teenager I kept imagining her taking off, launched something like a Saturn rocket, her blue and white robes wafted by the winds, which would have done little to protect her from the chilliness of the altitudes even long before she entered the vacuums of space. Still, with someone no less than God Himself giving her a helping hand I trust she enjoyed the 'ride'.

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    1. Raybeard:
      I still would like to know what "our lady" assumed.

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  7. I've been to the Grand Mosque in Cordoba and seen the cathedral inside. Is this where you were? That church in the middle of a mosque looked so bizarre.

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    1. Stephen:
      That's the place. I've got a blog post in the works. I agree about the church. I was much more fascinated by the mosque.

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  8. Good point re 'assumed', Mitch. Who are we to ask?
    But seriously, I suppose the word's being used transitively - Christ ascended into Heaven whilst Our Lady WAS assumed into that place which, by inference. must be SOMEWHERE in a physical sense. I've wondered quite a lot whether Papa Pius XII, and later Popes, regretted the inclusion of Mary's actual flesh and blood in that proclamation. It's rather an awkward notion to explain away, having all sorts of unwanted theological ramifications.

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