KENELM SANTANA LOPES | This morning we attended the Fama of Menino Jesus at Colva.
But this year, we were missing one person.
My mother Clara Ferrao Lopes who passed away earlier this year, had attended the Fama for years, right from her girlhood, till her infirm age. Through her extraordinary life, she had clothed the famous statue with garments of her own making, sung in the choir, helped out at the rituals and taught in a school next door that is dedicated to him. She had a very strong devotion to the Infant and brought his veneration to her marital home at Merces. She enshrined his statue on the renovated altar, insistituted a yearly ladainha to Him to bring the family together in prayer and armed her children and grandchildren with the black and yellow Infant Jesus scapular.
Every year, we would attend the early 5.30 AM service, having left Merces at 4 AM to be sure of seating.
When age made it difficult for her to wait for the kissing of the statue, we had this little act we used to pull off. I used to thrust my long hand right in the path of the priest carrying the statue in procession as it wound down a narrow corner of the Church. The confraria and priest would glare and me and ask me to remove my hand and wait my turn. I would smile apologetically and remove my hand. In this time my mother would have reached out with her frail shaky hands and touched the statue. Then we would go home happily. I would come again myself in the evening for my own turn. I do not know if the priest or confraria noticed this little scam for the last few years.
I did not feel like going this year but my wife of little over a year of marriage insisted we should.
We attended the service this morning in deep mourning in memory of our great loss. In fact, symbolically, in the very same clothes that we wore to her funeral.
I watched my wife Nathania, who had never heard of this devotion before her marriage, give the most profound and reverent bow as the holy statue was lowered from his altar. I will not ask her, but she probably raised her troubles, pain and anguish to the Lord in the same manner as my mother did for many decades.
And so love and worship lives on. Wonderful are Your ways My Lord !