O Sainte Marie-Jacobe, priez pour nous.
O Sainte Marie-Salome, priez pour nous.
O gardeures de la Provence, priez pour nous.
The priest intoned the words in deep, liquid accents, his voice echoing from the ancient stone church in the remote village of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, in the Camargue region of Southern France, where the waters of the Rhone River meet the Mediterranean Sea in a wild, wide, flat expanse populated by black bulls, pink flamingos, and white horses.
“O, Saint Mary-Jacobe, pray for us.”
“O, Saint Mary-Salome, pray for us.”
“O, guardians of the gates of Provence, pray for us.”
I could feel the words resonating through me, bringing sudden, hot tears. The people gathered in the small village square repeated the priest’s chant, their voices rising above the low, white-washed houses into the sunlit sky, out towards the shimmering sea where legend tells us the two Marys had drifted two thousand years ago in a boat without rudder or sail.
Continue reading “Our Ladies of Sea, Earth, and Sky by Joyce Zonana”