Tears of Wonder; Tears of Happiness at the Basilica of The Macarena

Posted on November 1, 2010 by


There are many old churches in Seville as well as the beautiful Catedral that Bill wrote about.  The one church that made an impression on me is the Basílica de La Macarena.  La Macarena is Seville’s most revered image and is the patron of gypsies and the protector of the matador.  I’m not sure you can tell from our pictures but the Virgin has glass tears streaming down her cheeks. 

We visited this church on a Sunday, a few days after visiting Catedral de Sevilla.   The differences are many between the two places. The Catedral is enormous whereas the Basilica is the size of a parish church.  To me, the Catedral is an impersonal, dark and cold place (yes I did like it) whereas the Basilica is small, bright and lively.   From the direction we entered the barrio, we went through the Puerto de Macarena which is a beautiful arch adjacent to an ancient roman wall.  The arch is painted a bright yellow and the church white with a slightly darker yellow.  These colors are used throughout older buildings in Sevilla.  In this picture you can see part of the roman wall to the left of the arch. 

When we entered the church I was awestruck by the beauty, the brightness of the images, and the feeling of love and caring I got from the congregants participating in the celebration of Sunday Mass.  There was such a contrast between the ritual of Mass (which is the same in every Catholic church) and the striking beauty of the environment.  I imagine it’s very hard for the priest to go about his duties with so many tourists entering and exiting the building (not to mention gawking). 

We stayed until the end of the service and then moved forward to get a better look at the images, statues and paintings.  After the service there was a wedding – we stayed to watch the bride walk into the church.  It’s definitely a place that I will remember when I return home.