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Divine Presence in Spain and Western Europe 1500-1960

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William A. Christian

Chapter 1. Toribia del Val and the Mysterious Wayfarer of Casas de Benítez

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  • 1 . Bitel and Gainer, “Looking the Wrong Way,” and Lisa Bitel, personal communication, June 1998.

1For several years the medievalist Lisa Bitel and the photographer Matt Gainer attended the monthly visions of María Paula Acuña, a mother of six in her fifties, in the Mojave Desert of California. I went twice, taking students. Typically, hundreds of Latino-American pilgrims would be waiting when María Paula and her female acolytes arrived in a van. A procession on foot would pause when María Paula had her vision of Our Lady of the Rocks and people took pictures of the sky. Then later at the cult site the seer would report the Virgin’s message and deliver a more general homily, take questions and bless the pilgrims individually. This had been going on for almost twenty years, with intermittent mentions in the press and on television. But when, in 2008, Bitel called the Diocese of Fresno, a spokesman dismissed the visions as “a non-event.”1 A great many such vision “non-events,” episodes unregistered, unrecognized, inconclusive and soon forgotten, do not enter history.

  • 2 . The other sites of visions that appeared in national newspapers between July and October 26, 1931 (...)
  • 3 . “los retrasados mentales que aún creen en ’las apariciones’ y esperan el milagro... [como] la rea (...)
  • 4 “¿También en Cuenca?” República (Cuenca), Oct. 26, 1931, 1. (In the section “Martillazos” which is (...)

2In the summer of 2009, a search in online historical newspapers turned up an account of a religious vision published in República, a Center-Left weekly in the conservative Spanish provincial capital of Cuenca. It is dated October 26, 1931, six months after Spain became a Republic and days after parliament voted for the separation of Church and State. For at least thirty years Spain had been deeply divided between believers and disbelievers more militant than ever. In those first months the press, some with wonder, others with scorn, had carried reports of apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Ezquioga in the Basque country and a number of other places.2 In August, for instance, República had referred to “the mental retards who still believe in ‘apparitions’ and await a miracle... the flock that follows the scheming clergy... [as a result of] so many centuries of superstition and servitude.”3 Three months later, the editor was bemused to learn of an apparition earlier in the year in a far corner of his own province.4

In Cuenca Too?

Yes gentlemen, it’s true. Cuenca too has had apparitions. In a small village of La Mancha, Casas de Benítez, when she was gathering broad beans, Toribia “La Vaquera” [the Cowherder]—we are told by some gentlemen native to the village—looked up and met the humble, supplicating, and somewhat pitying gaze of a Señor with a full beard who asked for a handful of beans. The seer moved to pick more, but the apparition asked for some she had in her apron. She did as he asked, and complained about the prolonged drought. The apparition, with a certain compassion, raised his eyebrows, opened his eyes wide and told her: “This drought is lasting only because people want it to. Let them take San Isidro out in procession from Casas de Benítez and the Virgen de la Cabeza from Pozoamargo, join the two of them in the place known as La Poza, and Niagara Falls would be a mere watering can compared to what will come down.”
After saying this, and before “The Cowherder” could recover from her astonishment, he disappeared.
The good woman was evidently able to convince the authorities of both villages, in spite of the fact that they were Republicans—this was after April 14—because sure enough, out came both of the saints in procession, accompanied by about five thousand persons from neighboring towns, all with their umbrellas in search of a miracle. But, oh, the irony of fate, the sky which that day started out cloudy, leading the most devout people to expect the pseudo-miracle, cleared up as soon as the time came, so people had to use their umbrellas to ward off the sun-god, who smiled in satisfaction at his prank.

  • 5 And accessible because the Centro de Estudios de Castílla-La Mancha offers the region’s historical (...)
  • 6 Telephone conversation, Marisol Llamas García (b. 1939), Casas de Benítez. “La abuela Toribia era (...)

3Casas de Benítez, an agricultural town of 1,500 inhabitants at that time, was located at the southern limit of the province. News from the town was rare in the press of Cuenca. It was only in the context of the new Republic, only after apparitions in general had become fodder for ridicule, only after a delay of five months, and only, one should add, because it did not rain, that República published this note. It is a fluke that the story made it into print in 1931 and is available today.5Was there really a Toribia who said she had had a vision, and did the processions really take place? Yes, there was, and yes, they did. A friend in Madrid had a cousin in Casas de Benítez; he called her, and she in turn quickly located Toribia’s granddaughter, Marisol Llamas, now in her sixties. The story that Marisol told me over the phone was what her mother and older sister had told her:6

  • 7 The word she used was Dios, but when I asked for clarification she described, not God the Father, (...)

Grandmother Toribia went to Mass frequently, though she wasn’t overly pious. She believed in God a lot. She did not know how to read and write (nor did my father and mother). What appeared to her was something like Christ,7 with a beard and long hair. There was a big drought, and the one with the beard said that they should take out San Isidro and Santa María de la Cabeza, and it would rain. [When the two processions met] there was a gust of wind, a kind of whirlwind, and it did begin to rain. [As Marisol said this, a man in the background, a neighbor, commented, “But it hardly rained at all.”]

  • 8 “pero tenía el pelo largo, y el San Isidro lo lleva recogido.” I asked her whether it was a Christ (...)

4Within the family, Marisol said, the consensus was that it was Christ who appeared, but that was left open. I asked whether the stranger asking for broad beans could have been Saint Isidro, who typically has a beard and long hair. But Marisol was quick and firm. “No, Saint Isidro has his hair pulled back, and the stranger’s hair was loose, like Christ’s.”8

5In February 2010, my friend Miguel, his cousin Marilina, and I visited Marisol and her husband, who had retired to Casas de Benítez after working in Madrid, Germany and Catalonia. Over cake and coffee she retold the story. Then we all drove out to the area halfway between Casas de Benítez and Pozoamargo where the processions met (Fig. 1).

  • 9 José Toledo Ortiz (b. Sept. 15. 1920), telephone conversation, Feb. 9, 2010, Casas de Benítez.
  • 10 Honorato García (b. May 16, 1920), telephone conversation, Feb. 9, 2010, Madrid.
  • 11 Salud Toledano Serrano, age eigthy-seven, Casas de Benítez, in telephone conversation with Pascual (...)
  • 12 Martínez, Tradiciones y costumbres, 115–16. There is no mention of the procession in the Casas de (...)

6Subsequently I talked by telephone to two elderly men who had been in the procession as children. They were firm that although everyone carried umbrellas, it had not rained when the images met. One said that on the day of the procession some hail had fallen elsewhere but had spared Casas de Benítez.9 The other remembered that they sang hymns in the procession, that it drizzled a little when they were leaving town and that a man named Mingarro sold sparkling water from a cart.10 The town’s unofficial historian is Pascual Martínez, a retired nuclear engineer who now lives in Madrid. It was he who pointed me to these men and made a call on my behalf to a woman in Casas de Benítez who would have been eight years old in May 1931; she remembered that a Mass had been said when the two images met, and that her father boosted her up on his shoulders so she could see the priest.11 Martínez himself had mentioned the procession in one of his books, based on interviews in the 1970s, but no one had said anything to him about a vision. They had recalled the verses sung for rain, that it was a hot day in May, that the Pozoamargo priest delivered a sermon when the processions met, and that it did not rain.12

Fig. 1. Marisol Llamas, granddaughter of Toribia del Val, at the procession meeting zone, La Poza, Casas de Benítez (Cuenca), Feb. 8, 2010. Photo: the author. By permission, Marisol Llamas.

  • 13 “Toribia decía que había visto la Virgen de la Cabeza, y fue ella que organizó la procesión,” José (...)
  • 14 “Toribia cultivó una huerta con tomates, habas muy cerca del pueblo en el Camino de San Clemente. (...)

7As to the vision itself, one of the men I talked to said he had a vague idea that Toribia was involved, and the other said, “Toribia said she had seen the Virgen de la Cabeza, and she was the one who organized the procession.”13 The woman, who turned out to be the widow of one of Toribia’s grandsons, was precise about the imprecision of the vision, quite in keeping with the newspaper report:14 “Toribia had a garden with tomatoes and broad beans very close to town on the road to San Clemente. There a man appeared to her, possibly God, Christ, or an angel. It was when she was gathering broad beans. Everybody talked about it.”

  • 15 Casas de Benítez Municipal Archive, 1932 voters list; she died at the age of sixty-four in 1938, o (...)
  • 16 Marisol Llamas and Pascual Martínez, personal communications. The enterprise still exists, run by (...)

8Toribia del Val was sixty-three at the time of her vision.15 She, her husband and her children had been brought to the town as a young family to care for the cattle of the town’s major landowner, an enterprising man who also operated water-powered electric generators in the region. Her husband was one of hundreds of employees or laborers of the landlord, and her family was far from the town’s center of power.16

  • 17 More particularly at a location known as Las Periconas.

9While there was some disagreement about the place where the processions had met, the consensus of people from Casas de Benítez and Pozoamargo is that it was indeed in the area known as La Poza.17 Everyone placed the events in late April or May, because only then were the broad beans in season, and that is when rain would have been needed for the other crops. Thus the vision would have been close to May 15, Saint Isidro’s feast day, when it was the custom to eat raw broad beans with slivers of salt cod at the bull fights.

  • 18 El Sol (Madrid), May 30, 1929, 6, “Estragos del tormenta,” by a reporter who visited Casas de Bení (...)

10The people of Casas de Benítez and the surrounding towns might have been primed, in a way, for the vision by a traumatic experience in May 1929, when in fifteen minutes an intense hailstorm, with a racket like an airplane motor, completely destroyed the town’s crops. If during Toribia’s procession hail fell elsewhere and spared Casas de Benítez, then the result was not all bad, though hardly what was promised.18

  • 19 For a Republican description of the fears supposedly aroused by the clergy in the municipal electi (...)
  • 20 El Corresponsal, “Quero—Casos prodigiosos,” El Castellano (Toledo), May 16, 1931, 2. ’para impetra (...)
  • 21 According to República (May 25, 1931, 3), nearby Vara del Rey, on May 12, on the occasion of an en (...)
  • 22 In April, May and June, accounts of apparitions of the Virgin were reported in the press in the no (...)

11The event/non-event in 1931 was also close to the proclamation of the Republic on April 14 and the burning of churches in Madrid, Málaga and other cities by anticlerical rioters on May ll.19 So it would not be surprising if Toribia’s vision or the two towns’ response to it had a political side. A rain procession held in the town of Quero, 120 kilometers to the west, in the week before May 16, asked for Mary’s intercession for rain but also her “mediation for the good of the Church and of Spain.” And during supplications, there were miracle cures of a man bent double by arthritis and a woman in great pain from a broken ankle.20 In early May, in various parts of New Castile, people were invading game preserves to plough up the land and hunt. In many towns competing Republican political parties were being formed, both by laborers and schoolteachers, on the one hand, and landowners, on the other. In Casas de Benítez the new town council was elected on an expressly non-partisan slate, but in the following months there was violence nearby, and Socialists were making demands of the town council.21 In much of Spain, a mood of anxious epiphany among Catholics was the counterpoint to the mood of revolutionary hope among the poor and the intellectuals.22

  • 23 Marisol Llamas, interview by telephone, Nov. 8, 2010.

12One remarkable aspect of recollections of those I spoke to was how matter-of-fact they were about Toribia’s vision. While the procession was a memorable break in the routine worth reporting, Toribia’s vision was not something anyone had bothered to mention. Although the people of the town surely had varying degrees of skepticism at the time, some people thought Toribia was a little special for her vision. Two remembered that she handed out, every Easter, small unleavened flat and round tortas to everyone leaving the church. This was her personal caridad, a custom dating from the Middle Ages that still survives in that zone on some feast days, generally the result of town-wide vows. She seems to have made her own vow to hand them out as a result of her vision. At least one family put away the Toribia’s flat cake for use against the evil eye, particularly to protect their children.23

13What then makes this story, the mere skeleton of a tale, interesting?

14One reason is that this is a missing story, and we all, historians or otherwise, have to deal with the basic issue of how much we are not being told. People did not mention Toribia’s vision to Pascual Martínez, he thinks, simply because he did not know to ask about it and they did not consider it important. Were it not for that stray, long-forgotten newspaper report, Toribia and her visitor would not have entered the written record, as it was a non-event for everyone in Casas de Benítez I talked to.

  • 24 Christian, “Islands in the Sea.”

15By the same token, it may well be that many, probably most, extraordinary contacts with the supernatural go unreported and remain personal, or family- or community-bound. Were it not for an improbable combination of factors, and in particular the prominent news of apparitions of Ezquioga, this too would never have been published. It is therefore a precious example of the number of apparition and rain procession stories that do not get told, and those aspects of the untold stories that make them not newsworthy.24

16For one thing, Toribia had no proof of her vision. By definition, visions require special evidence to be believed. In medieval Spain, this evidence typically included some kind of bodily mark or anomaly: a hand stuck to the cheek, a mouth that could not be forced open, or the presence of some token from the other world. From the sixteenth century on, when the Inquisition looked down on visions, the evidence was the images themselves that sweated or bled and were visible to all. In modern apparitions from La Salette on, the signs were variously: trance-like states in which seers were seemingly impervious to burns or pin-pricks; the seeming infusion of languages like Aramaic or Latin; or the demonstration of visions by celestial anomalies—the sun spinning, haloes around the sun, cloud-pictures like crosses in the sky. And in all periods the sign could be some vehicle for sudden, miraculous healing, like the discovery of a healing spring. In Toribia’s case the sign would have been the downpour which did not happen, and her vision stands in particular for those we will never hear about because they lacked confirmation.

17Just as this was a vision unconfirmed, so it was a rain procession with a new procedure which did not produce rain. Rain processions had their special prayers, local customary itineraries, protocols, and petitionary hymns. Toribia, or her visitor, were attempting an innovation in local procedures by having images and processions from two towns meet.

18The choice of these images was important, for although people tended to confuse her with the Virgen de la Cabeza, a version of Mary, the patron saint of

  • 25 Del Río, Madrid, Urbs Regia, 93-118; María Assumpta Roig Torrentó, “Coexistencia.”

19Pozoamargo was Santa María de la Cabeza, San Isidro’s wife. Isidro the Ploughman lived in the Madrid region in the thirteenth century, and his canonization in 1622 was a confirmation of Madrid’s new power as Spain’s court city. Thereafter the cult of Isidro and his wife spread across Spain, complementing or supplanting other saints who were agricultural specialists.25 Somehow it must have made sense to join husband and wife, separate in neighboring towns, to open the floodgates of heaven.

20The joining of male and female supernatural had a long history in Spain, in New Castile, and even in Casas de Benítez, where the most dramatic moment of Holy Week was the encounter in the street of the image of Christ with the image of Mary. In most places the meeting takes place on Good Friday, when Christ carries a cross. In Casas de Benítez, it took place at three o’clock on Easter morning, with the Christ resurrected.

  • 26 “junto al sagrario.” Zarco Cuevas, Relaciones, 222 [1578], at Carrascosa del Campo, in this case, (...)
  • 27 Marcos Arévalo, “La religiosidad popular.”
  • 28 The annual custom dates from at least fifty years ago, may have originated in a rain procession, a (...)

21Often, but not always, Spain’s supplicatory processions included a female figure, generally the Virgin Mary, and Christ or a male saint. The standard procedure in many places was to bring a powerful image of Mary or Saint Anne from a shrine, and place it on the main altar of the parish church “close to the tabernacle,”26 as one account in 1578 made explicit, so that the image would intercede for the community with God. In one city they habitually brought the Virgin from her rural shrine, and placed her before Saint Joseph, the co-patron of the city, thus joining husband and wife as at Casas de Benítez.27 Similarly, two hundred kilometers southwest of Casas de Benítez, every year on May 8, Saint Joseph is still, even now, brought from one town to meet the Virgen del Rosario brought from another. The two processions meet knee-deep in a river on the border.28 So the innovation Toribia requested was not outlandish (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2. Our Lady of the Rosary and Saint Joseph meet in river, Villamayor de Calatrava and Tirteafuera (Ciudad Real), May 1, 1984. Photo: Cristina García Rodero. By permission.

  • 29 The most spectacular example in the Diocese of Cuenca was the concentration of special images from (...)
  • 30 Christian, Religiosidad local, 148; for Achas, Pontevedra, photographs of Cristina García Rodero; (...)
  • 31 For example, Nocito (Huesca) and Valtablado del Río (Guadalajara). See Christian, Religiosidad loc (...)

22The idea of joining images from different towns is of course not exceptional either.29 Throughout Spain, there are shrines with days on which villages bring their images, and at some, there are ceremonies in which the images ritually greet and take their leave of one another.30 The convergence of processions from villages for rain likewise has a long tradition, particularly in the zones where there is a chronic shortfall, where scores of towns meet at one shrine or another.31

  • 32 Dorothy Noyes (personal communication) suggests as examples Raimon Casellas’ novel, Deu-nos aigua, (...)
  • 33 República, July 13, 1931, 1:
    Un cura sin influencia
    ¡Oh Cristo de la Salud,
    hijo del Verbo bendito!
    Ec (...)

23While unsuccessful visions and rain processions were not normally news, the Republican newspaper of Cuenca had every interest in emphasizing the failure. For the previous thirty years, at least, rain processions had been a demonstration of divine power for Catholics, a butt of ridicule for freethinkers.32 In July, República had already printed on page one a satirical verse about the failure of insistent prayers for rain in another village in Cuenca. There what finally came was not rain, but hail that destroyed the crops, and some of the townspeople allegedly sought to destroy the image of Christ responsible.33 The procession of Casas de Benítez and Pozoamargo was especially vulnerable to disappointment and ridicule because the stranger predicted a downpour that would occur at a given time and place.

  • 34 For early modern Spanish rain processions in general, see: Faci, Aragón, passim; Cortés Peña, “Ent (...)

24This was not the normal expectation. Historically, communities made a graduated series of responses to drought, starting with prayers and processions in the church or cathedral, the display of relics or images for veneration, movement of images from one church (often a rural shrine) to another (the parish church or the cathedral) for a nine-day stay, and the joining of one image with another. In early modern Spain in some places the images or relics were bathed in springs, streams, or rivers. And everywhere if the drought persisted there could be increasing degrees of public penance. In this graduated series some responses could be made over and over, and it was simply a matter of praying, praying to different saints, or praying more fervently, until the drought ended.34

  • 35 The “relaciones topográficas” of Phillip II (1575–1580) asked for the motives for town-wide vows; (...)

25Reports of these processions in shrine histories and town and city chronicles like those of Seville and Barcelona do mention failures in passing. For failures were part of a serial trial and error diagnosis to identify the saint willing to help the town, typically moving up from specialized lesser saints to more important and more generally powerful images or relics. When all else failed, the town would try saints hitherto ignored or forgotten, and present more extreme penitential behavior and displays of emotion. The question was not whether the prayers would eventually work, but which saints, accompanied by which penitential practices, would prove effective. The discovery of an unexpected saint whose intercession led to rain in a spectacular manner could lead to a new vow for the observance of the saint’s day or the day the saint produced rain.35

  • 36 References in Faci, Aragón: 1: 131 procession to Fraga to return the image of El Salvador to the T (...)
  • 37 Faci, Aragón, 1: 108 for Tarazona, с. 1737, “Quando sale así venerada esta S. Imagen, pone la devo (...)

26The processions themselves could be fraught with excitement. Miracles such as those in Quero in 1931 occurred in rain processions throughout the early modern period. They were understood as a side-effect of collective prayer and penance that opened the heart of the divine. An eighteenth-century survey of shrines in Aragon includes several examples. In 1703, during a procession to return an image of Christ, loaves of bread distributed to participants seemed to multiply. In 1710, as an image of Mary being brought to town passed by, a dying woman was healed. In 1713, a Protestant soldier converted after seeing the results of rain processions at a Marian shrine. In 1737, a blind woman gained her sight as an image of Mary returned to its shrine. In another town no one was injured when a bridge collapsed just after a procession with an image of Mary had crossed it, and then there was a downpour when the image reached the church in town.36 And in a diocesan seat in the 1730s, when the crucifix of the Franciscans was carried in rain processions, “they put the children who have hernias in the middle of the street, and many are cured when the Holy Image passes over them.”37? In early modern Spain, rain processions were also one of the prime times for images to exude miraculous sweat, as we see here outside a town in Andalusia in 1698 (Fig. 3).

  • 38 Missions in Guadamur in El Castellano (Toledo) May 29, 1909, 3 (auxiliary bishop and ex-minister o (...)

27In early twentieth-century New Castile, there were two kinds of Catholic newspaper reports about rain supplications: those that simply mentioned the fact that they were in process, and those that celebrated their success. The processions interrupted or immediately followed by rain were cited as proof of God’s power, the force of prayer, and a demonstration of the special protection of the town by the saint it called upon for help that corresponded to the town’s confidence and love. If the procession was successful, there would generally be a solemn Mass sung in thanks, followed by a celebratory procession to return the image to the shrine, and a final, often emotional homily. In cases of spectacular success, a collection might be taken and preachers from Madrid or the diocesan seat brought in for the sermon, an orchestra hired for the Mass, and outside, municipal bands hired for the procession.38

Fig. 3. The miraculous sweating of the Christ of Burgos in a petitionary procession for rain on April 27, 1698. Oil on canvas, c. 1698, artist unknown. Church of Nuestra Señora de la Expectación y Santuario del Sumo. Cristo de Burgos, Cabra del Cristo Santo (Jaén). Photo: Pedro Gila. By permission, Pedro Gila, the Parish of Nuestra Señora de la Expectación, and Diocese of Jaén.

  • 39 Cortés Peña, “Entre la religiosidad,” for conflicts in Toledo and Reinosa. A serious comparative s (...)

28The processions were generally civic acts, requested of town councils first by farmers, sometimes through brotherhoods, and paid for by town and city govern-merits, with the mayor and town council leading the procession. The town council would request prayers for rain from the town clergy, and, not without occasional conflict, the clergy would set the schedule and the protocol for the supplications.39

  • 40 See Christian, Religiosidad local, 81–82, 146–47 for Ajofrín text. Caridades (ceremonial food hand (...)

29The Catholic newspaper reports generally praise the preacher and emphasize that the processions were comprehensive, including the humble and the wealthy. There is a deep history for this, for in the early modern period, both annual processions made because of vows and processions made because of an urgent necessity were considered to require the full participation of the community to be effective. This participation was variously achieved by fining households that did not send a member or offering incentives of indulgences or food.40 However, by the twentieth century there is a crucial difference. In a radically changed ideological landscape, Catholic newspaper reports of weather amenable to prayer surely served for believing readers to reconfirm the very existence and power of God.

  • 41 Miramón, “Gallur: Acto Civil”: “El pedrisco, las cosechas, la sequía, etc., han sido manejados por (...)

30Conversely, for the left, prayers for rain (or for rain to stop, or to avoid hail) were part of a long-term strategy of the clergy, seen as cynical manipulators who used weather as social control, a strategy whose de-construction could be a way to raise the consciousness of peasants and rural laborers. As a village correspondent for the socialist weekly of Zaragoza wrote in December 1932, “Hail, the harvest, drought, etc. have been manipulated by [the clergy] in their belligerent sermons to scare the poor peasant [into thinking] that God was punishing him for straying from the path of righteousness. And if the opposite should happen, hah! then God was rewarding with generosity his submissive lambs.”41 The writers of this Republican literature tended to be liberal professionals whose knowledge of agriculture was at best theoretical. In their attacks on the rural clergy they often ended up ridiculing the peasantry as well.

31In addition to its value as a procession without rain, an innovative procedure that did not pan out, and a vision unconfirmed, Toribia’s vision was unusual in its time for who she was, what appeared to her, and how they interacted.

32Toribia’s vision was unlike that of the other seers we know about in 1931, who were by and large children or adolescents who seemed to have been influenced by the modern visions of Lourdes and Fatima and subsequently Ezquioga. News of these famous visions was available in a variety of ways—whether pious magazines, local grottos, pilgrims’ reports, holy cards, postcards, magic lantern shows or films. Instead, Toribia’s story was a throwback to older patterns: apparitions of saints and Mary to anonymous, often marginal laypersons in the countryside of Spain and Southern Europe in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries requesting processions to solve local group problems. Most of those visions that are documented with notarized testimony occurred in the context of epidemics. Once the seers had convinced the authorities, the procession was made, the sign was in some way confirmed, and a new connection was set up between the town and the divine.

  • 42 Christian, Apariciones, 244–48; Christian, “Six Hundred Years”; Caciola, Discerning Spirits; Ellio (...)

33The documented events of this kind, several of them from New Castile, in which the seers are men or children, stand for a large number of undocumented ones, many of which survive as legends, in which the seers were adult laywomen, who throughout the medieval and early modern periods were taken less seriously by Church and civil authorities.42 Perhaps this is another reason why Toribia was unnewsworthy and undocumented: she was a mature married woman.

  • 43 Christian, Apariciones, 199–236: in 1514 (when a shepherd saw Saint Roch), 1516 (when the same she (...)

34The Inquisition closed down this system for contact with the divine at the start of the sixteenth century, prosecuting among others lay seers in towns 60 to 80 kilometers to the northwest of Casas de Benítez.43 But most of the documented late medieval cases differ from Toribia’s in that the beings that appeared were clearly not human: they were diminutive, the size of statues, or gave off powerful light or had special powers.

Fig. 4. The vision of an angel, Ayora, engraving in Perales, Memorias de la aparición de un ángel en la Villa de Ayora (Murcia, Juan Vicente Teruel, c. 1810), from a painting by Vicente López Portaña.

35However, some involved male figures in human guise, subsequently assumed to be angels. A case similar to that of Toribia (the seer this time an older woman in her garden, and the solution a procession) was believed to have occurred in Ayora, 100 kilometers southeast of Casas de Benítez. There an older woman named Liñana supposedly arrived at her garden off the main road to the north to find a young man who told her to tell the town authorities to hold an annual procession to that spot in order to end the plague. When she said they would not believe her, he wrote a message on her hand. The story, said to take place in January 1392, was known by the end of the sixteenth century. A painting of the Guardian Angel of Ayora by Vicente Lopez in 1802 hangs in the parish church, and on the site of the vision there is a chapel to the Angel.44 (Fig. 4)

  • 45 In Jafre (Girona) a young blue-clad wayfarer asked a ploughman how many highway crosses there were (...)
  • 46 By the early sixteenth century, the people of Ajofrín near Toledo believed that a vision similar t (...)

36This encounter did not involve drought. Nor did a less similar but better documented one in 1460 in Jafre, Catalonia, in which a wayfarer, also in the context of an epidemic, indicated that water from a spring would heal people.45 Droughts do not seem to have generated quite the same level of anxiety or the same level of documentation as epidemics in which death was imminent. But with people actively casting about for a helper, it should not be surprising that some rain processions originated in visions as well.46

37The story from the town of Piera in Catalonia is similar to that of Casas de Benítez (the seer an elderly woman, the vision a male wayfarer who asks for food, the context a drought, the solution a procession). The original Sant Crist de Piera, burned in the Spanish Civil War, was a striking image from the late fourteenth century or early fifteenth century of a Christ in agony. It was taken out from the parish church in procession in time of drought, and only in time of drought, from at least 1691 on. A photograph captures a key moment in a rain procession around 1905, as the image comes out of the church in the presence of a bishop and numerous priests from surrounding towns who have come with their parishioners (Fig. 5).

  • 47 The account here is from Crospis, Camí espayós (1764), and from Compendio histórico (1833), 1–5; b (...)

38In the story, as told in Piera since at least the 1700s,47 during a drought that had lasted two years, a youth dressed as a poor pilgrim knocked at the door of the virtuous widow María Lleopart, who lived in a hamlet 12 kilometers from the Piera center. He asked for alms or bread, but she said she had not even a crust. The pilgrim told her that the Lord would provide rain if they held a solemn procession with a particular image of Christ that lay abandoned in a corner in the hospice of Saint Francis on the edge of Piera. The pilgrim said as proof she should look in her pantry. She knew there was nothing there, but the youth insisted. She went inside and found there was indeed bread, but when she came back out the pilgrim had disappeared. Lleopart told the priest and the town authorities in Piera, who located the image and took it out in procession on April 28. This eighteenth-century print shows the Christ, the procession, and in the right foreground, a pilgrim with wings pointing the farmwoman to the Christ (Figs. 6-7).

Fig. 5. The Christ of Piera leaving shrine for rain procession, c. 1905-1910. Photo: Sagarra.

Fig. 6. Sant Crist de Piera. By permission, Biblioteca de Catalunya.

Fig. 7. Sant Crist de Piera, detail of apparition. By permission, Biblioteca de Catalunya

39In almost all of these apparition narratives, the encounter takes place outside of town, in a space for gardens, sheep, and wayfarers, and the message draws the citizens of the town, with their images, out into the countryside. Away from the town, the townspeople embody their polity, unprotected by buildings, and are vulnerable to the elements, like a hermit crab out of its shell. Their society, in careful hierarchy, is made visible to them and made available for depiction in these prints and paintings (Fig. 8).

  • 48 “con este motibo le parecio fomentar que le auia rebelado algunas cosas y entre ellas que auia de (...)
  • 49 Ibid., 103. “Hallándose guardando una dehesa de la Villa de san Esteban en Andalucía por el mes de (...)

40Stories like these clearly influenced a transhumant shepherd from Taravilla in the Diocese of Cuenca, Francisco Martínez, age thirty-four, in his attempt to become a shrine keeper and alms gatherer. According to his confession to the Inquisition in 1728, a pilgrim asked him for water, and “this led me to spread the idea that the pilgrim had revealed certain things to me, among others that it would rain as surely as the holy Christ I wore was sweating blood.”48 For months before the Inquisition was called in, he had been telling everyone the invented story, even a notary public who wrote it down.49

Fig. 8. Sant Crist de Piera, detail of procession. By permission, Biblioteca de Catalunya.

Last November, I was guarding pastureland in Villa de San Esteban in Andalusia in which a flock [from the town of the notary, Molina de Aragón], was going to winter. One evening, as I finished saying my Rosary and three Credos seated in the doorway of the farm compound near the pastureland, I heard a voice and turned to see a pilgrim who asked in God’s name for a little water. I answered, “I wish that the Lord would send water for the fields as he keeps it in springs for sinners,” and went inside and brought out a full earthenware pitcher. He drank about a quarter of it. And when I came out again, I asked him if it had rained where he had come from. And he said that in some places it had rained, in others no, and that in this area it would rain around Saint Lucy’s day.

41Martínez claimed the pilgrim went on to reveal that the crucifix that Martínez was wearing would bleed and that there would be a great miracle wherever Martínez was on Ascension Day, and then departed. When Martínez went inside he found that the pitcher the pilgrim had drunk from had refilled miraculously.

  • 50 Ibid., 103–104. ’como de diez y ocho años poco mas, o menos, muy rubio de cabellos, zejas, y barba (...)

42Asked what the pilgrim looked like, Martínez described what seems to be a painting or statue, in fact a kind of pilgrim version of Vicente Lopez’s painting of the Angel of Ayora:50 “He was about eighteen years old, with very light hair, eyebrows and beard, wearing a tunic that was purplish white—how it was cinched I did not notice—with black eyes turned toward heaven, cheeks white and rosy, feet bare and without hose, and holding a pilgrim staff topped by a well-worn ball.” He also described a Caravaca cross on the pilgrim’s cape.

43From late medieval visions to the stories of Ayora and Piera and the fabulations of Francisco Martínez we recognize a kind of lineage. The naturalness of the way the people of Casas de Benítez, Pozoamargo and the surrounding towns considered, weighed, and acted on Toribia’s vision, and the nonjudgmental openness of its people now when reporting and discussing it, leads us to suppose that there were other such episodes, in a longue-durée dialogue between story and event.

Fig. 9. “Apparitions in Toledo; a boy from Burguillos says Jesus Christ appeared to him four times.” Estampa (Madrid), May 25, 1935.

  • 51 Sánchez-Ocaña, “Apariciones en Toledo.”

44And indeed there was a similar vision in a town in the same region, near Toledo, four years after that of Toribia, and one year before the Spanish Civil War. The Madrid illustrated weekly Estampa reported a mysterious visitor with news of water.51 The encounter took place outside the village of Burguillos, 12 kilometers from Toledo and 165 kilometers northwest of Casas de Benítez. It too was a very local event, and it had even fewer repercussions; as far as I or the seer’s family know, no other publication mentioned it. Estampa padded out its somewhat anticlimactic story with photographs of the seers of Ezquioga, Beauraing, Fatima, and Lourdes (Fig. 9).

  • 52 “Para quien es el agua que coges?” “Tiene agua ya el pozo? Pronto la tendrá.” He appears to have h (...)

45On Monday of Holy Week, a sixteen-year-old boy, Fausto del Castillo, was helping some young men who were digging a well, and they sent him to a spring for water. There, he said, he encountered an old pilgrim, erect and silent, with a long gray beard and white hair, wearing a brown habit and sandals. The pilgrim made two abrupt inquiries and one observation52 —“Who are you getting that water for? Does the well have water yet? Soon it will,”—and walked off downstream.

  • 53 “Es Jesucristo! Es Jesucristo!”

46The next day the pilgrim was at the spring again, this time barefoot, wearing a purple habit. He asked again about the well, again said it would give water, and asked for a drink, drinking three times from a tin cup. He told Fausto to go to Mass the next morning and hear it on his knees. This time Fausto told his family (his parents had a grocery shop) and friends, saying over and over, “It is Jesus Christ!”53 Half of the town believed him, the other half was skeptical.

47On Wednesday he heard Mass as instructed and went to the spring with his young brother and a friend who had made fun of the visions. There was no one there, and they filled the water jug, but on the way back, when his friend was laughing, Fausto felt a blow to his cheek and fell unconscious, the jug breaking. The workers revived him, and further along he met the pilgrim, who said the slap was for not going alone. There were marks of fingers on Fausto’s cheek, and people came from the surrounding towns to hear his story, but he was glum and taciturn.

  • 54 “Yo te diré lo que deseo, no me tengas miedo.”

48The next two days he stayed home, but when he went out early on Saturday to feed the family horse, the pilgrim was on the road, and the boy pleaded to know what he wanted. “I’ll tell you what I want. Don’t be afraid of me.”54 But that turned out to be Fausto’s last vision, and when the reporter and photographer came from Madrid and talked to his family, he was morose.

  • 55 Elena had imagined them as harvesting wheat instead of digging a well.

49In June 2010, I went to Burguillos with a friend who is an anthropologist, her friend who lives in Toledo, and a friend of her friend who lives in Burguillos. There we talked to Elena del Castillo, Fausto’s niece, who told the story as she knew it before I showed her the magazine article, which she knew about but had not seen. Her mother, Fausto’s sister, died when Elena was fourteen. Elena’s father and his two brothers were the ones who in 1935 had been digging the well and had sent Fausto for water.55 Elena was told by her father that Fausto had come back frightened from the spring, saying he had had an apparition of a friar and that the water jug had broken. One of her uncles had gone to check, and had seen no one.

  • 56 Díaz Hernández, Burguillos de Toledo, 135.

50Elena had a photo of Fausto in a Republican military uniform, and it is published in the town’s photographic history book.56 As in Casas de Benítez, in Burguillos all the images in the church were burned. When Franco’s troops took Toledo, two of Elena’s uncles, the two who had been digging the well with her father, were imprisoned and later taken out and shot. Fausto went into exile in France and came for visits only in the 1970s. They never dared ask him about his visions, and he never mentioned them to his wife and children, who read the article in a library in Toledo and went to see the spring, but had not brought up the matter with him. Whatever else Fausto had to tell he took to his grave.

51How do patterns like these span centuries? What links these disparate places and times is what was a minority topos. As far as I know the pattern is unidentified and uncollected in the voluminous pious literature on saints, shrines and miracles. Is this lack of attention because such visions were too rare, or far apart in time or space, or because rain visions as opposed to plague visions tended not to be recorded? People see and hear strange things all the time, but how is it that they see and hear things so similar—similar enough to be recognizable, and with enough individual touches (broad beans, the filled bread cupboard, the writing on the hand, the full pitcher, the broken water jug, the slap marks on the face) to make each distinctive?

52First of all the basic scenario of wayfaring strangers is common to the entire period from the Middle Ages to the Spanish Civil War. Among other wayfarers who were strangers to varying degrees (transhumant shepherds, harvest laborers, beggars, Roma, peddlers, tinkers, and later also traveling salesmen, fair people, itinerant photographers, circus and theater troupes), individual pilgrims, perhaps crossing New Castile on the way to Guadalupe or Santiago, would have been the least likely to have passed by before. In this sense they were the strangest of the strange.

Fig. 10.“Basque Country; Pilgrim to Saint James of Compostela at Ron-cevalles.” Photo: Ouvrard. Postcard sent from Biarritz in 1904.

  • 57 “y se visten, y ponen abitos de romeros y peregrinos, de esclavinas y sacos de sayal, y otros paño (...)
  • 58 Diario Español (Tarragona), Aug. 3, 1947, 3: “A pilgrim in Tarragona. Our offices have been visite (...)
  • 59 As to the medieval Hungarian pilgrim/hermit San Wentila (d. 890), in Punxin, Galicia. The chapel o (...)
  • 60 The relics left by a sick pilgrim who died in Escalonilla in the early sixteenth century (Faci, Ar (...)
  • 61 On the longue durée of the pilgrim’s potential for sacrality, see Spaccarelli, A Medieval Pilgrm’s (...)

53But most Spaniards for the last five hundred years at least would have known what they were immediately from their dress, the same as that of the popular Saint Roch. In 1590 the Crown attempted to cut down on vagabondage by forbidding the use of traditional costume for Spanish pilgrims, but still permitting it for foreigners. It included “a cape and habit of rough woolen cloth, a broad hat with insignias and a pilgrim’s staff.”57 Well into the twentieth century (and, with the revival of the pilgrimage to Santiago, now all over again), there were classic, bearded pilgrims like this one photographed at Roncesvalles around 1900.58 (Fig. 10.) In my circulation through shrines in the 1960s, people still recalled them. There was an idea that they might be holy, like marabouts or the mendicant friars with similar habits, and there are local cults based on actual pilgrims, women as well as men, whether dedicated to pilgrims themselves as saints59 or to relics or images they left behind.60 On my own walk to Santiago in 1965, even without a habit or a beard I was treated with considerable respect and curiosity.61

Fig. 11. The corporal works of mercy. Antonio María Claret, Catecismo de Doctrina Cristiana, Barcelona 1852, 440.

Fig. 12. Give drink to the thirsty. Claret, Catecismo, The corporal works of mercy, detail.

54The deep penetration of these ideas among Spaniards can be seen from a catechism of Antonio María Claret, with numerous printings from 1848 until the 1936 Civil War. The seven Corporal Works of Mercy include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, and giving shelter to pilgrims. Claret's catechism came illustrated with woodcuts and commentaries that exemplify the kind of Biblical grounding, prevalent in earlier clerical discourse, for the patterns we have been seeing (Fig. 11).

Fig. 13. Give shelter to pilgrims. Claret, Catecismo, The corporal works of mercy, detail.

  • 62 Claret, Catecismo, 443. ’Piensa que cualquier pobre representa a Jesucristo; no serias tú el prime (...)
  • 63 Kamen, Phoenix and the Flame, 181.
  • 64 For a description of Alfonso XII washing and kissing the feet of twelve poor men in the presence o (...)
  • 65 Pedrosa, “Calderón y La Oración del Peregrino.”

55The man asking for drink (as at Burguillos) has a halo, and the commentary explains it is Christ before the Samaritan woman at the well at Sicar, who does not know who he is and turns him down (John 4:10) (Fig. 12). The commentary admonishes: “remember that every poor person represents Jesus Christ; you would not be the first person of whom Jesus Christ, in the guise of a beggar, asked for alms.”62 In Spain this conflation of beggars with holy people was enacted in various ways. In Caldes de Montbui a brotherhood had twelve beggars walk in its annual procession to represent the twelve apostles until the custom was banned as irreverent and profane in 1771.63 But throughout the twentieth century on Maundy Thursday priests and bishops washed the feet of beggars who represented the twelve apostles, as King Alfonso XIII did in a grand annual ceremony until he went into exile in 1931.64 And the idea that pilgrims or beggars, asking door to door for alms or food, might be Christ or a male saint was expressed throughout Spain every year in the Christmas begging requests of children, known as “The Pilgrim's Prayer.”65

  • 66 Claret, Catecismo, 444–45. ’La quinta es: dar posada al peregrino. El n° 5 representa al patriarca (...)

56The three pilgrims asking for lodging have wings, and the commentary is worth citing at length:66

  • 67 Luke 24: 13–17.

The fifth [Corporal Work of Mercy] is: to give shelter to the pilgrim. Picture n° 5 shows the Patriarch Abraham giving lodging to some pilgrims that he thought were men who were in fact Angels of the Lord. God so valued Abraham for this act of mercy that he promised nothing less than to make him the father of numerous descendents and shower him with worldly and spiritual benefits. This is how God rewards the acts of charity so pleasing to him and the Angels! The inhabitants of the castle at Emmaus, as well, thought that it was a man, a pilgrim to whom they gave lodging, but in fact it was Jesus Christ himself, resurrected three days before,67 just as Saint Gregory thought he was giving shelter to three pilgrims and then found they were angels. Happy are they who do such works of charity, for God in turn will give them eternal lodging in his heavenly palace.

57Pilgrims are absent both in the biblical passages and in the Golden Legend stories about Saint Gregory that Claret refers to. In Spain, this conflation of wayfarers and pilgrims is perhaps due to the number of pilgrim wayfarers. And surely by Claret’s time it is affected by the very strength of the Spanish pilgrimangel stories we have examined.

  • 68 See the cases of, for example, Villalba del Rey (Cuenca), seventeenth century, San Carlos del Vall (...)
  • 69 For Aragon, the accounts in Faci, Aragón, of the Christ of Calatorao; a broken crucifix put togeth (...)

58In early modern New Castile there was another topos, which seems to have developed in the seventeenth century of pilgrims (subsequently thought to be angels) who left paintings or charcoal drawings of crucifixes on the walls where they stayed, which in turn became the basis for shrines.68 Elsewhere in Spain, as in Mexico, the topos, which applied to some of the region’s most revered crucifixes, was that at some time in the distant past a pair of pilgrims had come, offered to make an image, retired to an enclosed room for three days, and disappeared, leaving the new image in the room.69 These stories gave a heavenly pedigree to already revered images, and seem to have been the seventeenth-century equivalent of the older notion that certain images had been painted by Nicodemus or Saint Luke.

Fig. 14. Feed the hungry. Claret, Catecismo, The corporal works of mercy, detail.

59Claret’s biblical model for feeding the hungry is Christ feeding the people on the mount where he delivered the beatitudes. This distribution of loaves is itself a model for the distributions of charity food at Spanish shrines made because of vows, for those handed out during some of the rain processions (we even saw that the multiplication of these loaves was a side-miracle in one procession), and indeed for the charity flat cakes handed out by Toribia every year at the Casas de Benítez church. In this perspective, Toribia feeding the stranger Christ broad beans and her fellow citizens torta on the day of Christ’s resurrection were of a piece (Fig. 14).

  • 70 Blacker, “Folklore of the Stranger,” 165.
  • 71 Ibid., 163.
  • 72 Prof. Éva Pócs kindly identifies examples in the Catalogue of Hungarian Folktales as AaTh 750A and (...)

60The Casas de Benítez, Piera Ayora, and Burguillos stories seem to show a deeper, more universal pattern from fairy tales. It is like stories of beggars, men or women, who ask for alms or food, and then turn out to be fairies who grant three wishes as a reward for generosity, following patterns identified by folklorists.70 The folklorist Carmen Blacker, who writes of a similar pattern in Japan, summarizes the European pattern: “a noble, holy Stranger wanders about the world disguised as a beggar, rewarding kind treatment with blessings and requiting unkind treatment with curses.”71 We know of examples from Hungary as well as Spain, in which Christ stops to ask a cowherd for a cup of water and rewards or punishes him according to his response.72

  • 73 Martínez, Tradiciones y costumbres, 213–14. Salud Toledano Serrano, by telephone with Pascual Mart (...)

61Similarly in Casas de Benítez the belief exists that Roma women begging door to door can cast an evil eye on children if they are refused. One means of protection in the village that Pascual Martínez reports was for children to wear a small pouch around the neck with a piece of bread in it, and in the late 1930s some of the bread used was Toribia’s.73

  • 74 Other apparition stories in Spain contain episodes of the Saint or Mary punishing the seer for not (...)

62In the cases we have studied the notion of punishment by the mysterious stranger is largely implicit. Toribia, after all gave the broad beans, Fausto at Burguillos and Francisco Martínez the shepherd gave water, and María Lleopart was ready to give bread. But the visitor at Burguillos knocked Fausto unconscious because he brought a disbelieving friend. The biblical models contain examples of rejection as well. The Samaritan woman at the well did not give the Christ/visitor water. And two of the angels welcomed by Abraham went on to Sodom, where people wanted to sodomize them, and after this final confirmation of its iniquity the city was destroyed. Spain, like much of Europe, has many locations where towns were reputedly destroyed or sunken in lakes as divine punishment, and since the Middle Ages the countryside has been strewn with villages abandoned for one reason or another.74 In light of all this, and after the devastating hailstorm two years before, some people in Casas de Benítez and Pozoamargo may have asked themselves not only what they had to gain if they followed Toribia’s instructions but also what they had to lose if they did not.

  • 75 Blacker, “Folklore of the Stranger,” 166.
  • 76 For Christ and the twelve apostles, Delpech, “Devine qui vient”; for twentieth-century begging, Ga (...)

63Addressing the puzzling similarities between European and Japanese stories of this nature, Blacker speculates whether there might be some common deeper, older prototype. “A traveling god, for example, who is expected to descend into the village from his own world at a fixed season, and who requires the correct ritual of hospitality and offerings to dispense the seasonal blessings that the village needs; a god who will, further, if the correct ritual is denied him, blast the offending village with curses.”75 Here she may have reached too far, for the basic situation of the supplicant wayfarer is so common and the notion that outsiders can have special powers so prevalent (and so useful for wayfarers to cultivate) that such patterns could arise independently in distant cultures. Indeed, this opening (and here we are smack-dab in Natalie-Davis-land) has been amply cultivated by tricksters from afar in all cultures, from the bandit Christ and his twelve disciples that circulated in sixteenth-century Spain confessing and purloining, to the picaresque freeloaders that led to the banning of pilgrim habits, to the kinds of fake princes, con-artists and mysterious strangers described along the Mississippi by Mark Twain. Such impostures thrived for the same reasons that people had visions of pilgrim angels and stranger Christs and that others believed them when they said so. As a stranger from afar who has knocked unannounced on many doors, I can testify to the generous legacy of sacred hospitality in Spain. And the beggars who bless and curse according to how they are treated derive their authority from the same matrix.76

64The pilgrim/angel, the stranger/Christ, the youth/angel are ambiguous beings, half human, half divine, appropriate messengers for heavenly instructions. Their visits to New Castile in the “real” time of 1460 in Jafre and the 1930s in Casas de Benítez and Burguillos, in the oral traditions of Piera and Ayora, and in the 1 727 fabulations of the shepherd Francisco Martinez are examples of one remarkably durable way that Spaniards have reported connections to heaven. Others in recent years include bright or lovely ladies to prevent the plague, the furious army of Diana, still seen in Galicia, ghosts who need help to get out of purgatory, and, as almost everywhere in the world, the recent dead who bring comfort and affection.

65As Natalie Davis has shown, stories are more than disembodied folktales from a never-neverland devoid of time or place; they are patterns for seeing, hearing, and behaving. These patterns sometime become more evident when the real-life version does not quite end as it should. “History” is made up of recognizable events that, once recognized, are therefore recorded. Toribia’s and Fausto’s stories suggest the value of examining non-events—things not normally recorded because they do not conform to recognized patterns and therefore in which “nothing happened.”

66Speaking of which, when Miguel, his cousin Marilina, Marisol and her husband and I went to La Poza to take pictures of the spot where the two processions met in 1931, it rained (Fig. 15).

Fig. 15. Rain on La Poza, Casas de Benítez (Cuenca), February 8, 2010. Photo: The author. By permission.

Notes

1 . Bitel and Gainer, “Looking the Wrong Way,” and Lisa Bitel, personal communication, June 1998.

2 . The other sites of visions that appeared in national newspapers between July and October 26, 1931, aside from the many in Gipuzkoa, Alava and Navarra associated with Ezquioga, include Rielves (Toledo) and Guadamur (Toledo) in August, and Orgiva (Granada), Guadalajara, and Sigüenza in September. See Christian, Visionaries, ch. 7.

3 . “los retrasados mentales que aún creen en ’las apariciones’ y esperan el milagro... [como] la reata que sigue a los intrigantes clericales... [después de] tantos siglos de superstición y servidumbre”. in Giménez de Aguilar, “La revolución que hay que hacer,” Aug. 10, 1931, 2. Mandrágora, “De la España fanática del siglo XX,” Aug. 17, 1931, 5, similarly referred to “inferioridades mentales,” and the poet León de Huelves Crespo, speaking at a Radical Socialist rally in Villarrubia de Santiago, declared, “In our Republic we should avoid having liars who invent miracles and imbeciles who believe them” (La Libertad [Madrid], Nov. 17, 1931. 10; en nuestra república debemos evitar que haya mentirosos que inventen milagros e imbéciles que los crean).

4 “¿También en Cuenca?” República (Cuenca), Oct. 26, 1931, 1. (In the section “Martillazos” which is signed “La Redacción“):
Sí señores, sí; también en Cuenca ha habido apariciones. En un pueblecito de la Mancha, Casas de Benítez, y en ocasión de hallarse cogiendo habas, Toribia « La Vaquera »—cuentan unos señores naturales de dicho pueblo—al levantar la cabeza, encontróse con la mirada humilde, suplicante y un poco conmiserativa de un Señor con toda la barba que le pedía un puñado de habas. Apresuróse la susodicha vidente a cogerlas, solicitando entonces el aparecido se las diese de las que llevaba cogidas en el mandil. Hízolo así, al mismo tiempo que se lamentaba de la pertinaz sequía. El aparecido, un tanto compasivo, enarcó las cejas, abrió de desmesuradamente los ojos, y díjole:
— Esa sequía es porque quieren. Saquen en procesión a San Isidro de Casas de Benítez y con la Virgen de la Cabeza de Pozo Amargo, los unen en el sitio llamado La Poza y las cataratas del Niágara serán una simple regadera, comparadas con lo que va a caer.
Dicho esto, y antes de que reaccionara « La Vaquera » del asombro, desapareció...
Sin duda, la buena señora se dio tal arte para convencer a las autoridades, de ambos pueblos, que, a pesar de ser republicanas—esto era después del 14 de abril, allá que van ambos santos en procesión, acompañados de unas cinco mil personas llegadas de Sisante, La Roda, Casas de Haro, Casas de Guijarro y aledaños, provistas todas de sus correspondientes paraguas en busca del milagro. Pero, ¡oh ironías del destino! El cielo que amaneció nublado aquel día, dando lugar a que saboreasen los más creyentes el pseudo milagro, apenas llegada la hora empezó a despejarse de tal forma que la vuelta hubo de hacerse bajo el paraguas por miedo... a las inclemencias de Febo que sonreía satisfecho de su burla.

5 And accessible because the Centro de Estudios de Castílla-La Mancha offers the region’s historical newspapers in keyword-searchable pdfs online, one of the first panregional initiatives of its kind in Spain.

6 Telephone conversation, Marisol Llamas García (b. 1939), Casas de Benítez. “La abuela Toribia era mucho de misa, aunque no beata. Creía mucho en Dios. Era sin estudio (como mi madre y padre tampoco). A la abuela Toribia se le apareció es como si fuera Dios, con barbas y pelo largo, y había tanto sequía, y el de las barbas dijo que sacaran a San Isidro y Santa María de la Cabeza, que llovería. Y se subió una ventisca, y entonces empezó a llover” [a neighbor’s voice: “pero no llovió ni nada”].

7 The word she used was Dios, but when I asked for clarification she described, not God the Father, but the figure of Christ.

8 “pero tenía el pelo largo, y el San Isidro lo lleva recogido.” I asked her whether it was a Christ dressed in a certain color, like the purple-robed Christ the Nazarene bearing a Cross in nearby Sisante, whose shrine people from Casas de Benítez visit with vows, but she had no idea of his dress or that he carried anything.

9 José Toledo Ortiz (b. Sept. 15. 1920), telephone conversation, Feb. 9, 2010, Casas de Benítez.

10 Honorato García (b. May 16, 1920), telephone conversation, Feb. 9, 2010, Madrid.

11 Salud Toledano Serrano, age eigthy-seven, Casas de Benítez, in telephone conversation with Pascual Martínez, Feb. 21, 2010.

12 Martínez, Tradiciones y costumbres, 115–16. There is no mention of the procession in the Casas de Benítez Town Council minutes, and the parish archive was burned in the Civil War. The parish priest of Pozoamargo, Miguel Ruíz Orozco, found no mention in the parish records there (personal communication, Oct. 3, 2010).

13 “Toribia decía que había visto la Virgen de la Cabeza, y fue ella que organizó la procesión,” José Toledo Ortiz, Feb. 9, 2010.

14 “Toribia cultivó una huerta con tomates, habas muy cerca del pueblo en el Camino de San Clemente. Allí se le apareció un hombre, no se sabe si Dios, Cristo, un ángel. Era cuando Toribia estaba cogiendo habas. Fue la comedilla del pueblo,” Salud Toledano Serrano, Feb. 21, 2010.

15 Casas de Benítez Municipal Archive, 1932 voters list; she died at the age of sixty-four in 1938, of a heart condition, according to the towns’s civil register. Courtesy of Pascual Martínez.

16 Marisol Llamas and Pascual Martínez, personal communications. The enterprise still exists, run by the then owner’s grandson, in his nineties, but it does not have records of employees in the 1930s, many of whom would have had only verbal contracts in any case.

17 More particularly at a location known as Las Periconas.

18 El Sol (Madrid), May 30, 1929, 6, “Estragos del tormenta,” by a reporter who visited Casas de Benítez (“todo el término de este pueblo ha quedado destrozado“) and surrounding towns.

19 For a Republican description of the fears supposedly aroused by the clergy in the municipal elections in April, see Basilio Martínez Pérez, “...Y la aldea tembló...,” and for nearby Republican satisfaction at the burning of churches in Madrid on May 11, the cartoon and the poem by Rafael Alcázar Manzanares on page 3 in Amanecer (Tarancón) June 1, 1931.

20 El Corresponsal, “Quero—Casos prodigiosos,” El Castellano (Toledo), May 16, 1931, 2. ’para impetrar de su intercesión la lluvia benéfica para los agostados [sic] campos y pidiendo su mediación para el bien de la Iglesia y de España.” Similarly, some time before 1925, a crippled woman was cured after insisting on being carried to a rain procession of the Virgen de la Salud in Borox, according to El Castellano May 25, 1925, 3.

21 According to República (May 25, 1931, 3), nearby Vara del Rey, on May 12, on the occasion of an enthusiastic election ralley, was completely Republican—“en su totalidad republicana.” The Casas de Benítez council minutes for April 17, 1931, for which I thank Pascual Martínez, read: “The gentlemen listed were elected by popular vote without any political aspect by the will of the townspeople” (Los señores nombrados fueron elegidos en elección popular sin matiz alguno politico por voluntad del pueblo). According to Martínez, most were firm Catholics. The pre-Republican mayor, José María Ruíz Ballesteros, stayed on as the second lieutenant mayor, and became mayor once more on August 15, 1931. On August 23, the council unanimously denied a petition from the head of the Socialist Casa del Pueblo for an independent commission to examine the council expenses during the dictatorship from 1923 to 1931. The council allegedly opened the account books to public examination from August 10 and approved them on August 28. There were political clashes between two Republican parties in nearby Villalgordo del Júcar at the end of July 1931 that included a carnivalesque procession of women and children drawing two men playing accordion and guitar in a bread-delivery cart which ended in the intervention of the Civil Guard and one death by gunfire (Diario de Albacete, July 29, 1, July 30, 1). See also Martínez, Noticias históricas.

22 In April, May and June, accounts of apparitions of the Virgin were reported in the press in the north of Spain for Mendigorría in Navarra, and Torralba de Aragón in Huesca, Christian, Visionaries, 14-16.

23 Marisol Llamas, interview by telephone, Nov. 8, 2010.

24 Christian, “Islands in the Sea.”

25 Del Río, Madrid, Urbs Regia, 93-118; María Assumpta Roig Torrentó, “Coexistencia.”

26 “junto al sagrario.” Zarco Cuevas, Relaciones, 222 [1578], at Carrascosa del Campo, in this case, the image of Saint Anne.

27 Marcos Arévalo, “La religiosidad popular.”

28 The annual custom dates from at least fifty years ago, may have originated in a rain procession, and is referred to as a rogativa, or supplicatory ceremony.

29 The most spectacular example in the Diocese of Cuenca was the concentration of special images from every town, including San Isidro from Casas de Benítez and Santa María de la Cabeza from Pozoamargo, for the canonical coronation of a Cuenca city image of Mary in 1957. See Álvarez Chirveches, Crónica.

30 Christian, Religiosidad local, 148; for Achas, Pontevedra, photographs of Cristina García Rodero; Lisón Tolosana, “Aspectos del Pathos.”

31 For example, Nocito (Huesca) and Valtablado del Río (Guadalajara). See Christian, Religiosidad local, 149; Bellpuig de Urgel, Gelabertó Vílagrán, La palabra del predicador, 199.

32 Dorothy Noyes (personal communication) suggests as examples Raimon Casellas’ novel, Deu-nos aigua, majestat! (1906), and the play by Joan Puig i Ferreter, Aiguas encantades (first produced in 1908).

33 República, July 13, 1931, 1:
Un cura sin influencia
¡Oh Cristo de la Salud,
hijo del Verbo bendito!
Echanos un poco de agua
que, por aquí, estamos fritos.
Esto, Henarejos, te pide
con toda su devoción,
y aunque llegue hasta los huesos
danos un gran remojón.
Y así, un día y otro día,
el buen capellán clamaba
para remozar los campos
que, abrasados, se secaban.
El Cielo oyó los clamores
de tan terco interceder,
y un pedrisco asoló todo,
sin dejar con qué encender.
E indignados los del pueblo,
con sigilo, y sin hablar,
al Santo Cristo bendito
lo quisieron estrellar.
(Histórico)

34 For early modern Spanish rain processions in general, see: Faci, Aragón, passim; Cortés Peña, “Entre la religiosidad” and “Dos siglos”; López, “Las rogativas públicas”; Peris Albentosa, “La religiosidad instrumental”; Romeu Figueras, “Folklore de la lluvia”; Sáez de Ocariz, “Climatología y régimen de lluvia”; Zamora Pastor, “El estudio de la sequía”; Kamen, The Phoenix and the Flame, 36-39, 180–81. For examples of preacher’s casuistics when processions for rain were ineffective in eighteenth-century Catalonia, Gelabertó Vilagrán, La palabra del predicador, 190–202.

35 The “relaciones topográficas” of Phillip II (1575–1580) asked for the motives for town-wide vows; about 4 % of those with a reason remembered were for rain (Christian, Religiosidad local, 45, 62-3).

36 References in Faci, Aragón: 1: 131 procession to Fraga to return the image of El Salvador to the Trinitarian monastery in Torrente; 2: 25 Belchite, Na. Sra. del Pueyo, 1710; 2: 67 Ariño, Na. Sra. de los Arcos, May 1, 1737; 2: 481 bridge, Hecho, Na. Sra. de Escabués; 2: 522 Protestant in Uncastillo, Na. Sra. de los Bañales, 1713. For examples from New Castile, a crippled five-year-old girl healed by the statue of Na. Sra. de la Alcoba passing in a rain procession in El Casar de Talavera, in Viñas y Mey, Relaciones... Toledo, I:253, reported in 1575; and the rain of a milk-like substance in 1664 during a procession of thanks for rain in Auñón (Guadalajara), Castellote, Libros de milagros, 81–82.

37 Faci, Aragón, 1: 108 for Tarazona, с. 1737, “Quando sale así venerada esta S. Imagen, pone la devoción a los Niños quebrados enmedio en las calles, y quedan curados muchos, al passar sobre ellos la S. Imagen as si venerada.”

38 Missions in Guadamur in El Castellano (Toledo) May 29, 1909, 3 (auxiliary bishop and ex-minister of war at thanks ceremony), in Urda, in El Castellano May 31, 1921, 3.

39 Cortés Peña, “Entre la religiosidad,” for conflicts in Toledo and Reinosa. A serious comparative study of the different rituals for rain prayers and processions with a sense of critical zones and geographical variety remains to be written.

40 See Christian, Religiosidad local, 81–82, 146–47 for Ajofrín text. Caridades (ceremonial food handouts), in ibid., 57–58, 78–82, and in Faci, Aragón, 1:129-30, Torrente (Fraga), 1703; 2: 486 (с. 1737) Belsue (Na. Sra. de Linares), 3: 119 Fañanás (Na. Sra. de Bureta) 1737.

41 Miramón, “Gallur: Acto Civil”: “El pedrisco, las cosechas, la sequía, etc., han sido manejados por ellos en sus discursos bélicos para atemorizar al pobre campesino de que Dios le castigaba por haberse desviado de la senda del bien. Y si sucedía lo contrario, ¡ah! entonces, Dios sabía premiar con largueza a sus sumisos corderos.”

42 Christian, Apariciones, 244–48; Christian, “Six Hundred Years”; Caciola, Discerning Spirits; Elliott, Proving Woman.

43 Christian, Apariciones, 199–236: in 1514 (when a shepherd saw Saint Roch), 1516 (when the same shepherd saw Our Lady of the Sorrows) and 1523 (when a young married woman saw Our Lady on her doorstep at night).

44 Perales, Memorias, shrine website http://www.valledeayora.net/tradicionpopular/elangeldeayora/index.htm, seen Feb. 22, 2011.

45 In Jafre (Girona) a young blue-clad wayfarer asked a ploughman how many highway crosses there were in the town and then said there should be more, revealed the healing properties of a spring, and finally gave as proof of what he said the imminent death of a baby. The death he predicted was confirmed by the tolling of the church bell as the farmer made his way to tell the parish priest about the message. The shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Spring that resulted still exists. Testimony about the visions was taken when the shrine was built in 1461 (Christian, Apariciones, 173–80).

46 By the early sixteenth century, the people of Ajofrín near Toledo believed that a vision similar to that of Toribia was at the origin of their annual long-distance rain procession. A damsel appeared to a herdsman in the Montes de Toledo, asked him “what people were talking about and what their needs were” (qué era lo que se decía o trataba en el mundo y las necesidades que había), told him to go to Ajofrín and ask for an annual rain procession, and provided a proof so he would be believed (his staff fixed to his hand). Full text in Spanish, in Christian, Religiosidad local, 280–83.

47 The account here is from Crospis, Camí espayós (1764), and from Compendio histórico (1833), 1–5; both are based on oral accounts and place the story five hundred years before.

48 “con este motibo le parecio fomentar que le auia rebelado algunas cosas y entre ellas que auia de llober de la misma suerte que el santo christo que tenia sudaba sangre.” The original Spanish text in Christian, “Francisco Martínez,” 104; in the translation, I have changed the voice from reported to direct speech.

49 Ibid., 103. “Hallándose guardando una dehesa de la Villa de san Esteban en Andalucía por el mes de noviembre del año proximo pasado en la que auia de pastar una manada de Don Antonio Velazquez vecino y rexidor perpetuo de [Molina de Aragón], una tarde de dicho mes, estando sentado en la puerta de un cortijo que estaba cerca de ella al concluir la devocion que tenía de rezar el rosario y tres credos, oio una voz. Y buelta la cabeza a ella vio un peregrino que le pidio le diese por Dios un poco de agua. Y que le respondio que asi el Señor la imbiase para los campos como la mantenia en las fuentes para los pecadores. Con lo que entro en el cortijo y le saco una cantarilla de barro a modo de jarra llena de agua. Y que el vebio hasta un quartillo. Y buelto a salir le pregunté si abia llobido por las partes de donde benia. Y que le dixo que en partes abia llobido y en partes no, y que en aquella tierra lloberia por Santa Lucia.”

50 Ibid., 103–104. ’como de diez y ocho años poco mas, o menos, muy rubio de cabellos, zejas, y barba con tunica entre blanca y morada zenida por la cintura sin saber con que, los ojos negros y inclinados al cielo, las mexillas blancas y encarnadas, descalzo de pie y pierna, con un bordon en la mano al remate una bola el que estaba usado.”

51 Sánchez-Ocaña, “Apariciones en Toledo.”

52 “Para quien es el agua que coges?” “Tiene agua ya el pozo? Pronto la tendrá.” He appears to have had the demeanor of a no-nonsense schoolmaster.

53 “Es Jesucristo! Es Jesucristo!”

54 “Yo te diré lo que deseo, no me tengas miedo.”

55 Elena had imagined them as harvesting wheat instead of digging a well.

56 Díaz Hernández, Burguillos de Toledo, 135.

57 “y se visten, y ponen abitos de romeros y peregrinos, de esclavinas y sacos de sayal, y otros paños de diuersas colores, y sombreros grandes con insignias y bordones” Prematica, En que se prohibe (1590) f2 verso.

58 Diario Español (Tarragona), Aug. 3, 1947, 3: “A pilgrim in Tarragona. Our offices have been visited by the penitent of St Roch, Jerónimo Barrachina, who proposes to visit all the shrines in Spain. Barrachina is a native of Alcoy, and his pilgrimage is the result of a promise. He also intends once he has fulfilled his promise to walk to Rome to prostrate himself before the Pope.” Yugo (Almería), Aug. 8, 1947, 4: “Yesterday we were visited by the pilgrim Vicente Maestre, who is circulating through Spain and has been in all the main provinces with a total of 10,773 kilometers. He is a native of Petrer, in the province of Alicante, where he is heading now. He began to walk through our nation in 1945, pausing mainly in cities and villages where he tells about his pilgrim mission.” The Catalan anthropologist Joan Prat walked the Camino de Santiago in the summer of 2010, and among the characters he came across was a perpetual pilgrim who lived from alms. He had walked the route seven times, and confessed to Prat he was totally fed up with it. Prat, “¿Por qué caminan?

59 As to the medieval Hungarian pilgrim/hermit San Wentila (d. 890), in Punxin, Galicia. The chapel of Loreto, in La Almunia de Doña Godina (Zaragoza), was allegedly founded in the seventeenth century by a Catalan pilgrim, Jaime de la Carrera, who brought the image and stayed on as a hermit (Pérez, Historia Mariana, 5: 288). We read in La Época (Madrid), July 20, 1888, 3: “La Verdad of Tortosa says that the road that that leads to the cave where a pilgrim woman of truly exceptional conduct is staying has become a true pilgrimage route. The infinite number of persons who visit her, generally women of all conditions, tell stupendous things about the pilgrim woman. According to them, her life is so austere and penitential that she tortures her body with rough sackcloth, sleeps outdoors, and only eats potatoes cooked just in water. The alms she receives, after covering her minimal expenses, she distributes to the poor, and by nightfall she has not a penny left for the next day. What is more, she confesses and receives communion every day.”

60 The relics left by a sick pilgrim who died in Escalonilla in the early sixteenth century (Faci, Aragón, 1: 3 82–83); the images of the Crucifix and Na. Sra. de los Dolores of Alcañiz left by the pilgrim Juan de León in the early 1570s (ibid., 1: 72–75).

61 On the longue durée of the pilgrim’s potential for sacrality, see Spaccarelli, A Medieval Pilgrm’s Companion and “La ideología de la peregrinación.”

62 Claret, Catecismo, 443. ’Piensa que cualquier pobre representa a Jesucristo; no serias tú el primero a quien el mismo Jesucristo, bajo la apariencia de un mendigo, pidiese una limosna.”

63 Kamen, Phoenix and the Flame, 181.

64 For a description of Alfonso XII washing and kissing the feet of twelve poor men in the presence of grand dames and the wives of ambassadors, see Dy Safford, “Crónica de la moda: En Palacio,” ABC, April 2, 1920, 9–10. The report, mostly concerned with the fashions worn by the spectators, concludes “when we see all the greatness of the earth incarnate in our monarchs, kneeling before the poor, who represent Jesus Christ... a voice inside us tells us that Spain will not succumb, as other nations have, to the dominion of those who want to govern without God.” (al ver todas las grandezas de la tierra encarnadas en nuestras Monarcas, de rodillas ante los pobres, que representan a Jesucristo... una voz interna nos dice que España no sucumbirá, como otras naciones, bajo el dominio de los que quieren gobernar sin Dios). The last of the royal ceremonies took place April 2, 1931 (ABC, April 3, 5, 19–22). In Cuenca in 1928 the bishop washed the feet of twelve old men watched by a large audience that included the City Council (El Día de Cuenca, April 6, 1928, 1). Gaya Nuño, Tratado de mendicidad, 160–62, reports the Lavatorio ceremony in the cathedral of Jaén in 1953 and his subsequent conversation with the beggars, who were paid 2 pesetas each.

65 Pedrosa, “Calderón y La Oración del Peregrino.”

66 Claret, Catecismo, 444–45. ’La quinta es: dar posada al peregrino. El n° 5 representa al patriarca Abrahan que da posada a unos peregrinos que él pensaba ser hombres y en realidad eran Angeles del Señor; y fue tanto lo que Dios apreció a Abrahan esta obra de misericordia, que por ella le prometió nada menos que hacerle padre de una numerosa descendencia y prodigarle abundancia de bienes espirituales y temporales. ¡Así premia Dios las obras de caridad a él y á los Angeles tan gratas! También los habitantes del castillo de Emaús juzgaron que era un hombre, un peregrino a quien daban posada, y en realidad era el mismo Jesucristo resucitado de tres días; así como aconteció a San Gregorio, que creyendo hospedar unos pobres peregrinos, se halló que eran Angeles. ¡Felices, sí, los que en tales obras de caridad se emplean! porque Dios les dará también eterna posada en su palacio celestial.” We find the model of Abraham’s exemplary lodging of three wayfarers, to whom he offers water so they can wash their feet, bread, milk, and meat (Genesis 18: 1–19) as a model for charity and hospitality in numerous early modern Spanish works, for instance: Diego de Estella (1524–1578), Tratado de la Vanidad del Mundo (Toledo 1562); Alfonso de Cabrera (1549–1598), Sermones; José Ortiz Cantero, Directorio Catequístico (1766, 253), etc.

67 Luke 24: 13–17.

68 See the cases of, for example, Villalba del Rey (Cuenca), seventeenth century, San Carlos del Valle, c. 1640, and Cristo de Tembleque, 1689, in Christian, Religiosidad local, 236, 238, 338-39. For New Castile, this pattern is absent in the shrine stories reported in the Relaciones Topográficas of 1575–1580.

69 For Aragon, the accounts in Faci, Aragón, of the Christ of Calatorao; a broken crucifix put together by a mysterious pilgrim in Gelsa; the Santo Crucifijo de los Milagros in the cathedral of Barbastro, made by two pilgrims; in Boltaña the Crucifix in the iglesia colegial, made by two foreign pilgrims; in Alcolea, a crucifix made by a single pilgrim; and in Alcorisa, an image of San Sebastian made by a pilgrim during the plague. For elsewhere, Na. Sra. de Desamparados (Valencia) image made by three youths, Villafañe, Compendio histórico, 192–93; Na. Sra. del Coro (Lleida, Clarisas) made by foreigners, Sánchez Pérez, El culto mariano, 141–42; Na. Sra. de las Nieves, Hondon (Alicante), two or three pilgrims work for three day’s ibid., 290; Na. Sra. de las Maravillas, Pamplona, stranger left for monk July 16, 1655, Sánchez Pérez, El culto mariano, 250–51; Na. Sra. de la Luz, Lucena (Córdoba) two youths leave and disappear, ibid., 357–58, Na. Sra. del Tránsito, Zamora, two Santiago pilgrims work for two days, late sixteenth century, ibid., 409–10. For Mexico, William Taylor, personal communication.

70 Blacker, “Folklore of the Stranger,” 165.

71 Ibid., 163.

72 Prof. Éva Pócs kindly identifies examples in the Catalogue of Hungarian Folktales as AaTh 750A and 750B (MNK 750A Ix, MNK 750B Ix). And François Delpech, “Devine qui vient,” 182, points to similar tales in Spain and the Motif K 1811 (Gods or Saints in disguise visit mortals) (I thank José Manuel Pedrosa for this reference).

73 Martínez, Tradiciones y costumbres, 213–14. Salud Toledano Serrano, by telephone with Pascual Martínez, Nov. 9 2010; her grandmother kept Toribia’s torta for use in evil eye prevention pouches.

74 Other apparition stories in Spain contain episodes of the Saint or Mary punishing the seer for not obeying instructions or fulfilling vows, as at Santa Gadea del Cid (1399), where the visionary boy was beaten by monks on Mary’s orders, Ecija (1436), where Saint Paul made the seer boy mute, and El Miracle (1458), where the seer boys died of the plague as a sign of what would happen to all infants, and at Cubas (1449), Jafre (1460), and El Torn (1483), where towns were threatened with the plague if they did not obey. Christian, Apariciones, passim. For folklore of towns punished, Maurer, “German Sunken City Legends,” and Lacarra, “El Camino de Santiago en la literatura.” I thank José Manuel Pedrosa for these references as well.

75 Blacker, “Folklore of the Stranger,” 166.

76 For Christ and the twelve apostles, Delpech, “Devine qui vient”; for twentieth-century begging, Gaya Nuño, Tratado de mendicidad.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1. Marisol Llamas, granddaughter of Toribia del Val, at the procession meeting zone, La Poza, Casas de Benítez (Cuenca), Feb. 8, 2010. Photo: the author. By permission, Marisol Llamas.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-1.jpg
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Légende Fig. 2. Our Lady of the Rosary and Saint Joseph meet in river, Villamayor de Calatrava and Tirteafuera (Ciudad Real), May 1, 1984. Photo: Cristina García Rodero. By permission.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-2.jpg
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Légende Fig. 3. The miraculous sweating of the Christ of Burgos in a petitionary procession for rain on April 27, 1698. Oil on canvas, c. 1698, artist unknown. Church of Nuestra Señora de la Expectación y Santuario del Sumo. Cristo de Burgos, Cabra del Cristo Santo (Jaén). Photo: Pedro Gila. By permission, Pedro Gila, the Parish of Nuestra Señora de la Expectación, and Diocese of Jaén.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-3.jpg
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Légende Fig. 4. The vision of an angel, Ayora, engraving in Perales, Memorias de la aparición de un ángel en la Villa de Ayora (Murcia, Juan Vicente Teruel, c. 1810), from a painting by Vicente López Portaña.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-4.jpg
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Légende Fig. 5. The Christ of Piera leaving shrine for rain procession, c. 1905-1910. Photo: Sagarra.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-5.jpg
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Légende Fig. 6. Sant Crist de Piera. By permission, Biblioteca de Catalunya.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-6.jpg
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Légende Fig. 7. Sant Crist de Piera, detail of apparition. By permission, Biblioteca de Catalunya
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-7.jpg
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Légende Fig. 8. Sant Crist de Piera, detail of procession. By permission, Biblioteca de Catalunya.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-8.jpg
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Légende Fig. 9. “Apparitions in Toledo; a boy from Burguillos says Jesus Christ appeared to him four times.” Estampa (Madrid), May 25, 1935.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-9.jpg
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Légende Fig. 10.“Basque Country; Pilgrim to Saint James of Compostela at Ron-cevalles.” Photo: Ouvrard. Postcard sent from Biarritz in 1904.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-10.jpg
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Légende Fig. 11. The corporal works of mercy. Antonio María Claret, Catecismo de Doctrina Cristiana, Barcelona 1852, 440.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-11.jpg
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Légende Fig. 12. Give drink to the thirsty. Claret, Catecismo, The corporal works of mercy, detail.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-12.jpg
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Légende Fig. 13. Give shelter to pilgrims. Claret, Catecismo, The corporal works of mercy, detail.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-13.jpg
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Légende Fig. 14. Feed the hungry. Claret, Catecismo, The corporal works of mercy, detail.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-14.jpg
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Légende Fig. 15. Rain on La Poza, Casas de Benítez (Cuenca), February 8, 2010. Photo: The author. By permission.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1927/img-15.jpg
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