Ahava and Blessings
As we approach our Novena to our Lady of Guadalupe which starts on the 8th of April, there have been so many signs of the presence of the Black Madonna sustaining humanity with her loving embrace. Of course, she is always here for us, but I do believe powerful messages will be given to us by many apparitions coming our way.
I woke up earlier than usual today so I could surrender to my spiritual practice and work on the writing of my fourth book. When I finished chanting the Magnificat in Aramaic I burned a beautiful blend of herbs and resins called Thorn that I purchased in Starchild in Glastonbury while I was there for our Magdalene Retreat. This blend opens us up to receive José de Arimathea. The statue of the Black Madonna in my altar was calling to me and I sat to receive her messages. Her message was so simple and profound. She said: Today you will receive a gift. I could actually hear these words.
At about 12,30 in the afternoon I stopped with my work and went to meet someone special. I was meeting my lovely cousin which I hadn´t seen in almost 20 years. Growing up together we were so close, spending our summers together as girls and teenagers. We went through many dark nights of the soul together and our bond was and is deep, beyond space and time. Life takes us on different journeys and on this one she was visiting Spain for a few days.
I was excited and so happy that I was going to meet her daughter and that she was goin to meet my daughter. And of course, the excitement of being reunited. After the hugs and the initial catching up, she gave me a gift. When I opened it, it was a special bracelet with the image of Our Lady of Suyapa, a Black Madonna known as La Morenita. I knew of her, but I really didn´t know her story.
Learning about her story and apparition has moved so much within me that I just had to share it with all of you.
The story of our Lady of Suyapa began on a Saturday in February of 1747. It is told that a local peasant, Alejandro Colindres, was on his way back to the village of Suyapa (Honduras) after a long day of gathering corn. As night fell, he decided to spend the night near a ravine about halfway to Suyapa. When he laid down on the ground, he felt a hard object, perhaps a stone, under him and tossed it far away. Upon lying down again, however, he found that the object had returned. He placed the object into his bag and discovered, in the morning, that the object that had returned to him was not a stone, but rather a small carved image of Our Lady.
He took the statue home with him and set it up on the family altar in his mother's house. There it remained for the next 20 years.
By 1777, a chapel was constructed for the statue. The first shrine of our Lady of Suyapa was blessed in 1780.Many miracles have manifested by those who go on pilgrimage to visit the statue and pray to HER.
La Morenita (the Dear Dark One) is carved in cedar wood, and measures less than 2.5 inches in size. It is believed that the carving is very old, and possibly done as a devotional item by an unknown, amateur artist. She has an oval face and straight, shoulder length hair. Her hands are joined in prayer and she wears a light pink robe. The statue is covered by a dark cloak trimmed with golden stars and adorned with valuable jewels.
The statue of the Virgin of Suyapa has a group of lay caretakers, all male, known as the Orden de los Caballeros de Suyapa (The Order of the Knights of Suyapa), founded in the 20th century. They are responsible for caring for the image, and the small chapel. Just the image of these men guarding, protecting and taking care of the Divine Mother warms my heart.
Black Madonnas are traditionally carved in wood, just as the Hebrew Goddess Asherah was carved in wood, in the trunk of a tree.
The story of the Black Madonna in Mallorca is similar, as many other stories.
One day a boy named Lluc, who was a shepherd, noticed a strange light coming from a rock and when he went to investigate he found the Black Madonna.
He took it to the priest at Sant Pere d’Escorca church, but when worshippers came to see her the next day she had disappeared. Lluc found her in the same spot as the previous day and took her back to the church a second time, but again she returned to the mountains overnight.
The priest at Sant Pere d’Escorca church believed that the Virgin Mary wanted to stay where she was, so a chapel was built for her and thousands of pilgrims came to see her.
And of course, for our Lady of Guadalupe, a temple was built for her as she requested to Juan Diego.
She is here with all of us, La Morena, the Dark One, more than ever. Let us open up and receive her messages. And I ask you, what are the messages you have received from these stories. I know there is also a story like this near where you live.
And so the Black Madonna´s message manifested: today you will receive a gift. Dearest and Beloved Morenita, today I received many gifts.
The next live retreat will be a Magdalene Black Madonna Retreat and I am so excited to share this information with you soon.
I hope the story of Our Lady of Suyapa has touched your heart as it has touched mine. I will be wearing the bracelet with her image for a while and so excited to show you in our Community Gatherings.