A Virgin a Day
December 11, 2011
Day 11 of the twelve days of A Virgin a Day has been a beautiful experience featuring The Blessed Virgin Mary in stories, art and photos. It was created and hosted by my friend Rebecca. You can see more by visiting her blog, recuerda mi corazon.
Tomorrow marks the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Traditionally, on these days, parishioners attend mass and prepare a large and special meal. In the case of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the parish where I grew up, the predominately Italian congregation held a celebration on the streets surrounding the church, complete with a carnival, fund raising booths ran by all of the social organizations within the church, ethnic Italian food booths and a special mass schedule.
Through participationn in this exercise over the past eleven days, I have seen that there is certainly no shortage of material in many forms that features Our Lady. Some folks have mentioned the music. Most famous is probably the Beatles "Lady Madonna" or the title song from the album "Let It Be". I have many albums from many genres and remembered this Reggae tune by Ras Michael. The name of the song is "Marriage in Canaan". If you click on the title of this post, it may play for you. If that doesn't work, there is a YouTube, but it is 8 minutes long so I decided not to load it. Look it up and listen to the rub-a-dub about Jesus and his Mother in a completely honoring way.
|The beautifully ornate Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Statue|
I also came across a couple of photos from the 1950’s of the procession that takes place through the neighborhood streets of Melrose Park, a suburb of Chicago, where a very large statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is carried through the hot asphalt streets by dedicated parishioners. Melrose Park was also home to The Sacred Heart Seminary which hosted a shrine. I found an old photo of people in prayer at that site, and it was labeled Our Lady of Fatima.
|Our Lady of Mt. Carmel being carried through the streets during the procession|
|The Fatima Shrine at Sacred Heart Seminary, Melrose Park, IL|
While searching through the really old family photos that I have, I came across two that I thought were very appropriate to honor my mother, womanhood, motherhood and peace. The first is my mom holding my brother Frank in her arms with my sister Marie standing at her feet with her teddy bear. My brother was born in 1943, so this photo has to be from around that time.
|My mother with my brother and sister, circa 1943|
This second photo, is my Grandmother, Mary Masi Spada with my mom and her Grandchildren. Must be from around the same era. The Mary influence is evident in their names and the fact that both these women, along with my sister when she grew up, all raised families that held together through the years. I believe it is photographs like these that exemplify what the Virgin Mary is to our lives.
|My Paternal Grandmother with my mom, also circa 1943|
In my own collection, bits and pieces of Our Lady of Guadalupe began to come into our home. As I explained in a previous post, Day 5 I believe, there is plenty of kitsch out there. I have my share with this Guadalupe pot holder and a beautiful, but very simply made wooden cross that came from Italy. I’m still searching diligently for that gear shift knob.,
|Guadalupe hot pad|
|Italian made Guadalupe wooden cross|
While browsing the shops and galleries during last years visit to Prescott, AZ, I came across this fantastic rendering of Mary as a Los Dias Icon. I would be remiss had I not included it somewhere in this series honoring Mary.
Besides the objects and gadgets, I purchased this beautiful Mary work of art from Daisy Coba at the annual auction of art that benefits the Oaxaca Street Children, another demonstration of the giving spirit spearheaded by our own Rebecca. Check out the link to the auction and stay informed. There are always many very talented artists donating pieces to raise money for this worthy cause.
|Daisy Coba's Mary|
So, today is a show-and-tell of a few of the objects you would see in my home. Tomorrow, we will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe near LaCrosse, Wisconsin, not too awfully far from my home, and celebrate this Patroness of the Americas in words and photos. I believe we’ll have a special dinner here from the Spadoville kitchen as well. Feel free to stop in. We will eat around 6 PM.