15 December 2020

Our Lady of Candelaria

The Internet, not long ago, had an interesting piece on A Certain Cardinal; it revealed that he still Basks in the Favour of PF! Papa subito?? It seems only yesterday ... but it was at least five years ago ... that the Rorate blog had a video of this selfsame cardinal worshipping the pagan goddess Pachamama (although it did not reveal whether he went all the way and performed the all-important traditional sacrifice of llama foetuses).

I had thought that, after the spread of Christianity in Latin America, this goddess, mother of both the Sun and the Moon (gosh, I bet the midwife needed to stitch her up after that!!), had her cult replaced by that of our blessed Lady the Mother of God sub titulo Candelaria. 

 Before I became too aged to travel as far as Texas, I had the privilege of spending time at our Lady of the Atonement, the splendid Fr Phillips' splendid creation and a marvellous expression of Anglican Rite Catholicism. From there, I was taken to see the superbly restored and beautified Cathedral in San Antonio, with its beautiful Shrine of our Lady of Candelaria. I have rarely seen anything so lovely. I believe the reason for the shrine and the devotion is that early San Antonio was colonised by sons of the Canary Isles, where this devotion was and is strong.

I can recommend it to the Certain Cardinal. If he could row back from Pachamama and try to recover a devotion to our Lady, he could seek permission to celebrate Pontifical High Mass in either the Extraordinary Form or the Anglican Use at the Shrine of our Lady of Candelaria in the Lone Star State.

I'm sure he would find this a much more joyous business that all that grim and gloomy syncretism!

Beata Maria de Candelaria Deipara Virgo et Mater Laetitiae, ora pro nobis.


Michael Leahy said...

Was it any different to what our Pope did above the tomb of St Peter?

E sapelion said...

John Paul II (1985-02-03). "Homily in Cuzco, Peru".
On February 3, 1985, he stated that “your ancestors, by paying tribute to the earth (Mama Pacha), were doing nothing other than recognizing the goodness of God and his beneficent presence, which provided them food by means of the land they cultivated.”
John Paul II (1988-05-11). "Homily in Cochabamba, Bolivia"
On May 11, 1988, he stated that God “knows what we need from the food that the earth produces, this varied and expressive reality that your ancestors called “Pachamama” and that reflects the work of divine providence as it offers us its gifts for the good of man.”

E sapelion said...

I am always uncertain about the boundary between syncretism and assimilation.* Is not Our Lady of Candelaria an invention from Candlemass, itself due to an absorption of Imbolc and assimilation of a pagan goddess with a christian saint. The important thing is to expound sound Christian doctrine through people's prior experience, and offer (according to the prescription of Pope Gregory the Great) a substitute for an existing cultural/pagan event or shrine.
* uncertainty is no bad thing, the self assurance which led Cromwell to abolish Christmas was a BAD THING.

Paul said...

Father, are you going to write about the 2020 Vatican nativity scene?

I recall years ago, an elderly Irish priest saying how some “religious” artists in their “sacred art” can at times seem to almost enjoy getting away with blasphemy under the name of symbolism. He also said it would be a waste of time on most occasions to try to explain why it is often a very difficult thing to take bad religion and make it into good religious art.

Henricus Minor said...

Reminds me of a comment by a learned priest on how Roman matrons perhaps approved the new feast of Our Lady’s Purification, while adding nostalgically “But it’s not quite the same as the dear Lupercalia“.

Banshee said...

If anybody wants to explain to me how a sheep birthing festival (Imbolc) is supposed to be the same as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin (Candlemas), I'm sure it would be very amusing.

Seriously, the more you study what we know about old Celtic stuff, the more you see all this supposed "assimilation" and "syncretism" as a total pile of made-up-ery.

And the "goddess Brigid" is probably only known or remembered because of the saint Brigid, not the other way around. She's a total sad sack who did nothing except marry Bres and have a kid who got killed. So no, I don't think the saint Brigid has anything to do with Imbolc, either, as she's a much more important person than the sheep birthing festival ever was.

coradcorloquitur said...

In response to E Sapelion above: I am not in the least surprised by this interesting information about John Paul II's slippery accommodation of Incan paganism. Many---if not most---of the symbolic gestures and outrageous words of Francis I have a clear, troubling precedent that points directly to "John Paul the Great." No wonder the truly great Marcel Lefebvre considered the ecumenical apostasy of Assize I the sign he needed and prayed for to continue the Catholic Faith and priesthood in the light of sacred Tradition. A certain nefarious American president said that "elections [whether honest or stolen, I might add] have consequences---and so do papal words and actions. We are experiencing some of those devastating consequences today, for they did not arrive without a pedigree.

Chrysologos said...

In pre-evangelisation times the peoples of S America may well have attributed the goodness of creation to Pachamama. This reality St John Paul II acknowledged. However, in these present time, those who believe the one true God to be the source of all must worship solely Him. For a Christian, worship of Pachamama, wherever it might occur, cannot be in any way countenanced.