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The Flood At Santa Fe






Category: ALONG THE ROCKY RANGE

Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Many are the scenes of religious miracles in this country, although
French Canada and old Mexico boast of more. So late as the prosaic year
of 1889 the Virgin was seen to descend into the streets of Johnstown,
Pennsylvania, to save her image on the Catholic church in that place, when
it was swept by a deluge in which hundreds of persons perished. It was
the wrath of the Madonna that caused just such a flood in New Mexico long
years ago. There is in the old Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Santa
Fe, a picture that commemorates the appearance of the Virgin to Juan
Diego, an Indian in Guadalupe, old Mexico, in the sixteenth century. She
commanded that a chapel should be built for her, but the bishop of the
diocese declared that the man had been dreaming and told him to go away.
The Virgin came to the Indian again, and still the bishop declared that
he had no evidence of the truth of what he said. A third time the
supernatural visitor appeared, and told Juan to climb a certain difficult
mountain, pick the flowers he would find there, and take them to the
bishop.

After a long and dangerous climb they were found, to the Indian's
amazement, growing in the snow. He filled his blanket with them and
returned to the episcopal residence, but when he opened the folds before
the dignitary, he was more amazed to find not flowers, but a glowing
picture painted on his blanket. It hangs now in Guadalupe, but is
duplicated in Santa Fe, where a statue of the Virgin is also kept. These
treasures are greatly prized and are resorted to in time of illness and
threatened disaster, the statue being taken through the streets in
procession when the rainy season is due. Collections of money are then
made and prayers are put up for rain, to which appeals the Virgin makes
prompt response, the priests pointing triumphantly to the results of
their intercession. One year, however, the rain did not begin on time,
though services were almost constantly continued before the sacred
picture and the sacred statue, and the angry people stripped the image of
its silks and gold lace and kicked it over the ground for hours. That
night a violent rain set in and the town was nearly washed away, so the
populace hastened the work of reparation in order to save their lives.
They cleansed the statue, dressed it still more brilliantly, and
addressed their prayers to the Virgin with more energy and earnestness
than ever before.





Next: Goddess Of Salt

Previous: The Death Waltz



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