In Galicia, with miracles

We just went to Galicia, on the north-west coast of Spain, where the rain falls (mainly) and pilgrims have come for centuries to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The draw is the body of St. James, which was being transported by ship in the first century AD. The ship sunk on the rocky coast, but the body was miraculously washed ashore covered in scallops, buried, and then miraculously discovered centuries later by a shepherd following a star to a certain field. Happily, the saint’s body was uncorrupted by time and also happily this discovery came just as Christians in Spain needed a sign of triumph over Islamic occupation. Various other chronologies exist, all miraculous. Commemorative scallops for current consumption are delicious. Maurizio was able to ingest a truly impressive quantity of octopus confections with the lovely Galician wines.

We so wanted to see a nearby church in Muxia on la Costa da Morte (the “Death Coast,” famed for many shipwrecks), because it honored the miraculous stone ship on which the Virgin Mary tooled along the coast, but after slogging through the rain we found the church closed.

Here are some photographs: the exterior of the cathedral of Santiago, the organ, two pilgrims who looked strangely medieval, the rocky coast  near Finisterre (lit: the end of the earth). Note the windmills behind Maurizio. I’ll post more images in later posts. A lovely land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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