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Legend of the Virgin's Jewel
Transcript of Legend of the Virgin's Jewel
He crossed to a window- but the sacristy was separated from the street by a small patio enclosed by a high wall. The patio was paved, except for a space in the center where a Laocoon or Balete silently wrestled.
The Legend of the
Fernando was a newbie brother-sacristan in Santo Domingo convent in Manila. It was 1620 when he came from Spain.
The night was warm but Bro.Fernando found himself shivering and cannot resist from looking at the window straight to the bowl of milk left by the old man. He was desperately homesick.
The next day he woke up and felt relieved. Hurried down to patio if ever he could talk to the old man and tell him that the bowl was untouched because obviously he was offering something to someone who doesn't exist.
That night our friar kept vigil in sacristy. Pausing at the window upon the pavement, the bowl shone luminous because of the moonlight, remembering the ceremony done by the old man.
Terror tightened at the root of his hair, he fled to the chapel. By the sanctuary light he could barely make out the Virgin on the altar. But her face soared out of the dusk, her fingers curved out of it- the elusiveness of her smiled steadied him.
This was before the day of her great miracles, before 1646. Popular devotion had not yet covered her with precious stones. A poor Queen, he reigned over a poor colony, clad in simple robes and wearing simple crown.
The friar pressed his face against the window. As the moonbeam continued to move, to advance towards the tree, he saw a jeweled serpent slide nearer and nearer to the bowl of milk.
Arrived at the bowl, poised its head high swaying slightly, as if listening and spat the jewel on the ground. Bro.Fernando watched in horror. The jewel slumbered, violet at core, a small rainbow arching above it. The night ended and the serpent went away and the jewel vanished.
He woke up with pain- pain in his whole body. He saw people around talking about him having fever. He kept on telling them what he have seen but no seems to listen. People did the Virgin's veil on him by lifting him slightly and cooling his neck and arms.
He felt asleep afterward. He had this dream that he was with the Virgin. She spoke and the music filled the room. Bro.Fernando became silent and told the Virgin about her looks, about her simplicity. But the Virgin told him that great souls were her jewel and those were enough.
He would find her a jewel, he said. The Virgin laughed and called him a child. He woke up and it was night. The fever had left him. He had his thoughts on his journeys as a soldier before entering the convent.
He dressed quickly and it was not yet midnight. He drew his sword, a sword from his soldier-days. Downstairs in the chapel he prayed to the Virgin to bless him.
He waited for the serpent and when it finally arrived he silently got near the tree. The beast smelled danger and sprang hissing at the friar. Down flashed the gleaming sword, the serpent died.
He staggered to the doorway and had forgotten about the jewel so he turned around and picked up the stone. He went to chapel and cried offering the stones to Mary. The Virgin came down by herself and he ran towards her, dropped to his knees and laid the jewel at her feet. Then, he swooned away.
Meanwhile, a door in the high wall opened and an old man stepped into the patio carrying a bowl of milk and handful of flowers. He put it around the tree and played the flute. The tune finished and he left with a little boy and his goats.