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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

MARY

DEAR NICOLAS AND ALYSHIA,

 I AM ANSWERING THE REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ABOUT MARY AND TRAVEL AND IMAGES AND PILGRIIMAGES AND CATHOLICISM AND THE VERY INTENSE AND ALMOST NEW INTEREST IN HER POWER THESE DAYS.

I GREW UP VERY STRICT AND ORTHODOX ROMAN CATHOLIC AND ALWAYS HAD A DEVOTION TO MARY AND THANK GOD THAT IT WAS ENCOURAGED BY THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL I ATTENDED.

MY MIDDLE NAME IS MARY AND AT CONFIRMATION I WAS ABLE TO CHOOSE ANOTHER NAME AND I CHOSE BERNADETTE BUT MY DAD SAID, YOU HAVE THE NAME MARY AND THAT WILL BE YOUR CONFIRMATION NAME..HE SAID,"MARY IS ENOUGH."    I NOW SEE THE WISDOM OF HIS WORDS.

SO THAT IS MY JOURNEY, TO REALIZE THAT SHE IS ENOUGH AND IT HAS TAKEN ME SOME 50 YEARS TO REALLY GET THAT.

SO HERE I AM NOW, A RETURNED ROMAN CATHOLIC WITH A VERY INTENSE DESIRE TO KNOW HER, HAVING DONE MY B.A. ART SCULPTURE SHOW TITLED:

THE MYSTERY OF THE VISITATION, MARY AND ELIZABETH BOTH EMBRACING, BOTH PREGNANT.

LITTLE DID I KNOW
 THAT MARY WOULD LEAD ME TO PILGRIMAGES TO HER "SITES" OVER THE PAST 4 YEARS,

THAT SHE WOULD LITERALLY "APPEAR" TO ME AS A GUIDE AND AS "ME",

THAT SHE WOULD TALK TO ME AND TELL ME AS I SAT IN A CHURCH IN FRONT OF HER STATUE IN MEDGEGORGE THAT,"I WILL BE YOUR MOTHER WHEN MRS MEHTA(MY SECOND MOTHER) DIES."

 AND THAT I WOULD GO TO ONE AUCTION IN MY LIFE AND THERE AT THE AUCTION, I WOULD SEE A CARVED STATUE OF HER THAT WAS MAGNIFICENT AND... LONG STORY.... BUT WENT TO THE MAN WHO BID FOR HER(I DIDNT HAVE THE SKILL TO DO IT ALTHOUGH WAITED 3 HOURS SO I COULD) AND THAT NEXT DAY HER "PRICE" WENT FORM 400$ TO 1250$ AND I TRADED MY MOTHER'S TEACHER'S PAINTINGS FOR HER AND SHE WAS CARRIED THROUGH THE STREETS OF SAUGERTIES NY TO MY PARENTS' HOME WHERE I NOW LIVE AND SHE LIVES IN THE "CHAPEL" I HAVE MADE...
HER GLASS EYES AVOID ME WHEN I HAVE DISPLEASED MY "VOWS "OR FAILED TO KEEP THE 10 COMMANDMNETS.


WHAT A MOTHER, WHAT A TEACHER , WHAT A FRIEND MARY IS.

MAY SHE BE HONORED AND RESPECTED BY ALL,

LINDA MARY MONTANO

3 comments:

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  3. dear linda:

    in one of our e-mail exchanges i remember sharing with you the story of the Holy Virgin sleepovers with me during my childhood. She came to my home from higüey, a pilgrimage site east of santiago de los treinta caballeros, where my grandmother fefi had been to pay a visit to La Altagracia, the patroness of the dominican republic. the icon that fefi brought me as a souvenir was a small metal pendant that i housed in an empty powder box. the container was the same as the ones that my mother used to buy for me year after year to give to female teachers as presents at the end of the school term. i can clearly recall the color of the plastic box: white, and the gold lettering embossed on the top, boasting the brand of the product with certain degree of elegance. not much. being slightly raised, had i thought about it at the time, the seal would have made a good texture to rub during my recurrent insomniac nights. these days i can easily make the association between this particular feature and the coarse beads of my wooden rosary. i took Mary to bed late at night. since then, even as a young child, i followed the schedule of the adults in the house. it could have been past midnight when the Virgin, tucked under my sheets, put me to sleep. sadly enough, i don’t remember what ever happen to the Virgin and her homemade home – but i do know that the home that housed Her was eventually put up for sale by my family.

    growing up catholic entailed one to be open to apparitions, anytime, anywhere, and i was no exception. between the ages of five and seven i was to be the host to more than one unexpected guest, the Holy Virgin amongst them. She was revealed to me in the sky at the end of an after school playdate with my neighbors. none of the children who were with me saw Her way up high, framed in one of the three very large ovals that were carved out of the clouds for the sole purpose of highlighting Her presence, along with that of two women who smiled in perpetuity. Mary had a message for me that i was not able hear. i could see her from afar earnestly trying to communicate. what the Virgin wanted to tell me, i never knew. i ran home, to the same house where I had made the powder box abode for the Holy Visitor, to give my mother the missive. mami professed to believe in my encounter, but gradually stopped believing in the subject of my vision.

    before relocating to peterborough, nh in 2007, i never heard of the traveling Virgin of Fatima program. i read a memo about it as i entered Saint Peter’s church at the top of the town. my immediate response was to put my name on the sign up sheet where potential hosts could ask to bring Our Lady to their homes for one full week. more than thirty-three years have elapsed since my encounter with the Virgin and i welcomed meeting again She who appeared to me as a child in the frothy white clouds. one of my current reservations is how to deal with the obvious physicality of the St. Peter’s church Virgin in the midst of my purely spiritual devotion. the Our Lady of Fatima that i am describing is fashioned out of man-made resin, and travels from house to house with an array of earthly positions consisting of an electric votive light, a plastic angel holding a replica of the Holy Eucharist, a big shawl to cover the surface where the Virgin would come to rest, a small doily to go over the big shawl and a cardboard box with videos, novenas, a journal and a tangled mass of free rosaries (pink and baby blue); all of which fit neatly in a green canvas suitcase with wheels. the week She visited me went by somewhat fast. guilt invaded my thoughts- not enough time praying, didn’t bring my host any flowers, left one of the novenas unfinished. the presence of the Visitor only became tangible to me after i brought Her back to the church, and I returned home faced with an urgent call to fill the empty space left by the icon.

    nicolas dumit estevez, december 19, 2009, bronx, ny

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