Monday, June 12, 2006

My favorite church in Spain, the Basilica of Zaragossa, and not just because it figures prominently in my screenplay about St. Josemaria Escriva. A gorgeous, astounding structure, it is the site in which Mary appeared to St. James standing on the column of a broken down Roman temple. She indicated that a church should be built on the site. And so, the main devotion of the church is to the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Pilar. The people bring all of their cares and worries to the tiny image standing on a pillar in the church.

A great Zaragossa anecdote... The first time I visited Zaragossa a couple years ago, the regional team had just won the national soccer championships. The whole team, led by the mayor and town dignitaries made its way in a procession to the basilica the day we were there to present the soccer trophy to Our Lady of Pilar. Inside the basilica, the little statue had been draped in the soccer colors of the Zaragossa team.

At first I was scandalized. I could only imagine the general ridicule in the secular and religious media in the States, if we ever draped Our Lady in a Boston Red Sox uniform. (Of course, it would be a sacrilege to drape her in pinstripes...but that's different.)

But then I realized that I was the perverse one in Zaragossa for not getting that Mary is mother in every sense to the people of Spain. It's great.

These other two images are from a wall in the basilica in which two bombs are attached to the wall. The bombs were dropped on the basilica by the communists/Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War to try and destroy the people's attachment to Our Lady of Pilar. Well, they kind of just bounced. There are two holes in the roof of the basilica which have been left to show whered the two direct hits crashed through the roof and then the bombs just bounced along the floor of the church and never went off.

Astounding. "For those without faith, no explanation is psossible. For those with faith, none is necessary."

Anyway, I did think as I was walking around looking at the glorious five story green alabaster altarpiece in Zaragossa, if the bad guys ever attack the L.A. Cathedral, please let the bombs go off...


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