Virgen de la Esperanza Macarena
"My abuela Aurora sat in this darkened church, at the feet of the Virgen de la Esperanza Macarena, the effigy of the Holy Virgin artfully carved from sweet-smelling sandalwood and ancient cedars. Carved as if its heart were flesh, and on it were etched all the expressions of human grief. I can almost hear my grandmother ruminate on how in 1658, nearly complete, the statue lacked only one last intercession when the artist, la Roldána, finally administered the special preparation. Carefully, la Roldána measured, mixed, and dispensed the elixir known as encarnado, a color that gives the impression that the wood has become incarnate. Here, in la Macarena, are the Seven Sorrows made flesh in a mother’s body."
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