corner view :: Easter
We spent Easter weekend as guests of friends in the hill town of Introdacqua in the Abruzzo region of Italy, where we were able to participate in some of the religious festivities of Holy Week, most notably a tradition that began in the 1800's: La Madonna Che Vèle (che Vola).
Following mass on Sunday, a statue of the resurrected Christ is first led up the street full of the faithful, until he reaches the piazza where he awaits patiently. (Ironically, he's poised just near one of the only bars in town. I'm not convinced it's completely by chance. Caffe' anyone?) Soon afterwards, La Madonna appears at the bottom of the same street, dressed in black (missed that picture) and soon begins to make her way up the street.
When she sees Christ, her black robe of mourning is quickly shed and she is joyfully hurried up the street on the backs of four chosen men amid the cheers of the crowd until she reaches the piazza where she is united with Him. She is so quick that she appears to be flying, hence the name "The Madonna Who Flies."
The emotion was tangible.
Afterwards a (much slower) procession of both statues, led by the parish priest, along with the gathered faithful winds through the streets of the village, complete with recitation of prayers together.
And then it was time for Easter lunch! Oh, the lamb!