Our Lady of Walls

Drifter massacred locusts

I’ve just rung the Pope to report this Marian vision, drifting across a nearby wall in low autumn sunshine. I think it’s a whole lot more convincing than the Rev Andrew Nutter’s 1994 Our Lady of Yankalilla because it uses natural lighting and thus appears only in certain seasons, reaffirming religion’s role in keeping time ticking along.

The statue is, of course, Barcelona’s Nostra Senyora de la Mercè, on top of the eponymous basilica. This is the lady who, according to the council, encouraged Jaume I and his mates to go off and kill some Moors in the thirteenth century and then reappeared conveniently in the seventeenth to slaughter a plague of locusts. (Locusts were often seen as mini-dragons, and the Moors were popularly supposed to have left behind dragons when they headed south, but I don’t know if there is a connection.)

However, the interesting bit is always what the council doesn’t tell you. A book (which someone appears to have walked off with) notes that the statue is a relic of the dictatorship: it seems that after the war the authorities thought they’d kill a number of locusts with one cast, carted off bronzes of nationalist and socialist leaders from the Ciutadella park, and converted them into one big bad mother of a vulture-virgin. And she’s still there, being crapped on by the pigeons.

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  1. Fr Andrew Notere (one website spells it Nutter, which was his original name before it was changed)…Hmmm I wonder why he changed his name?

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