Tuesday, September 25, 2012

what is wagner in spanish?

Saturday is wedding day in Pátzcuaro.

That should not have surprised me.  After all, Saturday is the traditional wedding day in most western countries where I have lived or visited.

But I ran across this obvious fact by accident.  I trudged up the hill that is crowned by
Pátzcuaro’s basilica -- and was once home to a Purépecha pyramid.

My original plan was to write a post about one of history’s cruel twists.  Nearly as tragic as what Frankie did to Johnny. 

A tale about how the humanitarian imperialist Don Vasco, in the sixteenth century, had hoped P
átzcurao would be the capital of Michoacán.  If he had succeeded his basilica on the hill would have been a cathedral.  A cathedral five times larger than its present size.

Instead, Morelia won the capital marathon.  And P
átzcuaro has a basilica that is the size of a parish church in a respectable village.

What it lacks in size, though, it makes up in honor.  The basilica is the burial place of The Great Man himself.  Along with all of the requisite masonic symbols.

It is also a jewel box of a church.  Enough gold leaf and red paint to titillate a czar.  And to offer a setting for Our Lady of Health.

On Saturday the aisle of that jewel box was decorated with flowers, its center screen was wide open, and its center aisle was red-carpeted for the virginal feet of brides.

There were, of course, the requisite flock of nieces acting as flower girls and getting into practice for their own wedding in the not-too-distant future.

But it wasn’t only the basilica that was dressed up for weddings.

I have always liked this view of P
átzcuaro.  With its almost timeless towers.  At least, towers that represent a timeless faith.

As I was shooting through the arches into the former convent, I caught a bride and groom posing for their wedding photographs.  They are up there at the top of the post.  Even though the bride saw me horning in on her session, she simply beamed.

For almost five centuries, young couples have walked across those stones on their way to join together and raise children in a secure surrounding.  With the help of their God and their family.

I was privileged to be part of that special day with several couples.

I wish them well as they start their lives together.


John Calypso said...

Traditions! Thicker than thieves in Mexico. Nice shot that top one - I thought it was leading to a Tango ;-)

Babsofsanmiguel said...

But Basilica's are homes for the Pope if he wants to utilize them.  Different from a cathedral in the hierarchy. 
Therefore, it is more prestigious to be a basilica.............. to Catholics.

Andean said...

Patzcuaro, which you have pictured, sounds like a lovely place to live and visit. Thanks for the tour. Something to consider... And maybe, we could all eat at Don's....or at least take coooking lessons, of course the former is the better choice  ha  :)

Kim G said...

The shot of the couple is excellent, really. As is the last shot too. I love Patzcuaro; it's really quite enchanting.

When we visited in 2007, F and I stayed near the basilica in a hotel that had a wood-fired water heater. Really. We had to phone the front desk to get hot water, and 20 minutes later it was ready. We also had a fireplace in the room, and overall it was quite charming.

We'll have to go back some day.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we enjoy the convenience of hot water on demand.

Shannon Casey said...

Really wonderful pictures Steve, though you will always get me with pictures of Patzcuaro. I especially like the bride and groom. 
I have always wondered though, particularly in my condition, why you have to climb so many steps to get to Our Lady of Health.

Shannon Casey said...

What I mean is that it is hard to leave a milagro if you can't reach her.

Steve Cotton said...

 I am wiling to bet it did.

Steve Cotton said...

Just what we need.  German popes moving into the neighborhood.

Steve Cotton said...

The town has its drawbacks.  As does Melaque.  But there is plenty to enjoy in both.

Steve Cotton said...

 Fortunately, my landlord provides far better infrastructure.

Steve Cotton said...

The stairs to the back stage would certainly be a challenge.  I should write about that interesting little aspect of the basilica.

Shannon Casey said...

You're right, that would make an interesting post.