Like a Virgin

It seems like I haven’t seen a Virgin in months. That’s “Virgin” with a capital “V.” Or in Sevilla, La Virgen. There were I know processions regularly throughout the summer but, unlike last year (our first year in Sevilla), I didn’t run around taking pictures of them all. I was very grateful to not have to go very far this morning when at 10:15, San Geraldo said, “There’s a small procession heading this way.”


I grabbed my camera and went from balcony to balcony looking for the best angles and finally decided that downstairs was a better option. So, I threw on some clothes (yes, I was still in bed at 10:15) and popped downstairs. At noon, when we returned from breakfast and the procession had just returned to the streets, I took some more photos.


This particular Virgin was the first one we had seen process on our street after we moved in last year. So today was my second time! I wonder if that means I’m no longer a virgin. No need to respond. First of all, I was no longer a virgin a long (a very long) time ago. Besides, in answer to some questions I had of a sexual nature at the age of 12, my father told me a little (a very little) about the birds and the bees. I didn’t buy a word of it. Actually, he was so embarrassed and nervous, some of what he told me turned out to not even be true! Lesson learned. After that, I just asked my friends.


But back to La Virgen. The Brotherhood of the Holy Cross annually carries “Our Lady of Sorrows” from a couple of streets away at the Capilla del Dulce Nombre de Jesús (Chapel of the Sweet Name of Jesus) for a brief visit to the nearby convent of the Sisters of Santa Rosalía. Around noon, she makes her return trip.


There was no music, just a man with a battery-powered megaphone droning on in Latin the entire time. He offered an odd juxtaposition to the grandeur, elegance, and antiquity of the procession.


I’ve had a rough week (and two days). As if the jet lag and fitful sleep weren’t bad enough, Tuesday evening I came down with a “bug” of some sort, felt awful, and didn’t sleep one minute the entire night. The bug passed quickly, but then I felt as if the jet lag had started all over again. That of course brought on some depression. But, last night I slept (and didn’t wake up until 10:15 as you’ll recall).

It “made me feel… shiny and new.”

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

25 thoughts on “Like a Virgin”

    1. Kristi:
      This really does feel like home. Hell, I've already lived here longer than I lived some other places in my history!

      I don't know about forever, but I hope shiny and new lasts at least a week. Thanks!

  1. Mitchell, I think the older we get, the more difficult it gets to deal with jetlag. Hooping you feel better soon now that you're back home. Took us at least 10 days to feel back to normal after our last trip.

    1. Swedebead:
      You're so right. And not sleeping much for the week in NY sure didn't help. I used to allow a day for every hour of time difference. Maybe I should start allowing a day for every year of my age!

  2. It just occurred to me–why do they take their revered and valuable statues outside where they can be exposed to the elements or damaged?
    I wonder if your flu (or whatever) isn't a bug you picked up in the recycled air of the plane. Plus, I think there is also a degree of depression or post-holiday letdown after a vacation–at least there is for me. So, buck-up, young fella!

    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      They've been doing it for centuries. However, if the weather is bad, the cancel the processions. Holy Week last year had a number of rainy days and quite a number of canceled processions.

      As for the "bug," you're right on all counts. And I'm trying to buck up!

  3. Is this a special "holy day"? Or, as Bob suggested… did that Virgin need a day out of the house? You sure had a good vantage point to take your photos…. As for jet lag… I'll wait until Tuesday when I lose 3 hours to answer that….

    1. Odd Essay:
      I have no idea the significance of 23 September, but my sense sometimes is that every day is a special holy day! Our balconies give us incredible views of the festivities here. Semana Santa last year was amazing. Safe travels tomorrow. Hope you quickly find those three hours!

  4. I can't believe it's been a year…that means I've been checking in for quite some time, since you were still in California…

    Glad you can appreciate the somewhat bizarre rituals of the Catholic Church … as a Catholic by birth, such things always seemed quite normal – until I stopped going to church for some time…then, well the rituals do look a bit silly now. Pretty, but silly.

    1. Frank:
      Not being the "observant" type (to put it mildly), I have to admit that most religious rituals can seem a bit silly to me. But, I love the traditions, the art, and the festivities. And I keep my mouth shut and don't judge. There are people who I'm sure wound find it strange that I like to color-coordinate my laundry when I hang it on the line!

      Thanks for sticking with me!

  5. Hi Mitch! Must be 'something in the air' because we both had a bug last month and it was a doosy!! I guess it does our body some good to have to fight off a bug every now and then. I don't know about that because I hate being sick and am a moaner!!! Whereas Ron doesn't make a peep?!
    Hope you're feeling better and remember it never lasts forever….if that helps.
    Have a great week.

    1. Jim:
      I only know "Hail Mary" in English, so couldn't say for sure. But, if that's what it was, it sure takes a lot longer to say in Latin.

      My bug was mild and nothing like what you apparently suffered through. I'm a bit of a whiner myself (but like to be left alone). Living with San Geraldo, who is no saint when he's suffering, I look like a stoic.

  6. Great pictures. I was fortunate enough to see a similar celebration in Todedo years ago. Have I mentioned that I took eight years of Latin in high school and college? I remember next to nothing.

    1. Stephen:
      Last year, I was nuts trying to not miss one single procession here. This year, I've let quite a few pass by. I still enjoy them, but how many pictures can I take?!?

      I never studied Latin. San Geraldo did. It's not helping him with his Spanish.

    1. Spo:
      There are some people here who feel the same way. But the processions are such a part of the culture that I'm sure they're not going anywhere (except to the streets). I do look forward to Holy Week again. The glitz and pageantry is pretty amazing.

    1. Owl Wood:
      Well, there still are rumblings about what the French took in the early 19th century and then never returned. But, if they are stealing from each other, they're getting everything back within a few hours.

  7. I'm still wide-eyed when I see this cultural phenomenon going on…You know you have a great eye and I do want to know how you made the 1st picture so large….!

    1. Ron:
      I hope I never tire of the pageantry here.

      My new(ish) camera, a Canon IXUS 220HS (I think it's the ELPH 300 in North America), has a broad range. So I can get surprisingly wide-angle shots. It's nothing like the level of Jim's camera I'm sure, but I don't like to have to do much fiddling. It's been amazing. That shot was taken from a third-floor balcony. I even cropped quite a bit of the upper distance (and some from the sides).

Please share your thoughts...

%d bloggers like this: