Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Chemo + Cold = Bad, LFC Wins & My First Favorite Saint.

It is very cold today and has been freezing (but remember that my definition of freezing might be different from yours) all day. I just got up for a long nap and getting up from my warm bed took me some time to actually do. Normally I like this weather and will drink tea or eat something warm to make me feel better but this year I'm not too happy with the cold. The person who, unfortunately, suffers from the cold weather more than anyone in my family is my father because of his chemotherapy.

Okay, moving away from a somewhat touchy subject... as you will see, I am a massive Liverpool FC fanatic and have been for quite some time. Sometimes I have to get up in the wee hours of the morning because they're on GMT (U.K.) time and I'm on PST time. Today they played against Derby. Normally I wouldn't have minded losing a little sleep but I ended up going to sleep at 2 in the morning and I slept less than 5 hours before I was up again. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper this morning. lol. The game was alright. The first half was great. Liverpool was on their game and that goal from Torres was pretty sweet. Second half, aysh... where did my Red men go? They were giving away the ball too much, some players were just... *shakes head*. When Derby scored a goal and tied with Liverpool, I was kind of bummed out but not really surprised. When Gerrard came close to scoring a goal, but missed, I definitely yelled pretty loudly. lol. Steve Gerrard, Gerrard... this man can kick a ball forty yards (or so the song goes). What did I do next time Gerrard was shown on TV? I did the sign of the cross. What happened 2-3 minutes later? He scored the winning goal which caused me to yell out very loudly at nearly 9 in the morning. Good morning, neighbors. lol. Though I am pleased that they got the full 3 points, I wasn't too happy with most of the second half performance. Hopefully they'll work on it for the next match against Manchester City this weekend.

From my favorite Red men to my first favorite saint... Santo Niño de Atocha (Child Jesus). Being of Mexican and Spanish descent, he has been in our household since I can remember. For those of you who don't know who the Santo Niño is... He first appeared in a Spanish town called Atocha. Muslims were taking Christians prisoners in the little town during the 13th century. The prisoners who were devoted to Catholicism were denied food by the Muslims. Soon, little kids (under the age of 12) were able to take prisoners food. Since the women of Atocha knew the majority of the prisoners wouldn't survive the starvation, they prayed to Our Lady of Atocha, asking her to ask her Son for help. Soon after, there were reports of a little boy (dressed in pilgrim clothing) taking food to prisoners who didn't have any children of their own. When the women heard about this, they went to thank Our Lady of Atocha for answering their prayers. When they looked at at the statue of Our Lady, they noticed that the Child Jesus she had in her arms had his shoes very worn and dirty. They replaced his shoes but when they went back to check, they were once again tattered and dusty. They took it as a sign that the Child Jesus was helping the prisoners stay alive. It didn't just end there, either. In other Spanish towns, people would report a young boy in pilgrim clothing bringing travellers their food and anything else they needed to survive. He would travel with them until they were out of danger, and would also guide them to the safest roads. That is how El Santo Niño came to be.

There are two stories about him that take place in Mexico, too. One was of these miners, working on building a town called Fresnillo, who saw a mule coming from the West. They decided to take the crate off the mule but as soon as they did that, the mule ran away. When the miners opened the crate, they saw a silver crucified Christ, but without the cross. Immediately, a church was ordered to be built in a new town close by and it was named Plateros after the silver Christ found. (Spanish lesson: The Spanish word of silver is plata... hence naming the town Plateros.) After it was done, they ordered the image of Our Lady of Atocha to be shipped from Atocha, Spain to Mexico. The statue, along with the silver Christ, has been in the church since then.

The second story: Frensillo became a town for the Spanish miners, who had gone to Mexico, and their families. Within the first weeks of the silver mines being opened, there was a big explosion and the miners were stuck. Their wives went to the church to pray to Our Lady of Atocha. At the same time, a child appeared in the mine and gave the miners water before leading them out of danger. Since then every time there was a problem in the mine, the child would appear and help whoever was in need. Every time this happened, the Child Jesus' clothing were dirty and had little holes on them. It wasn't long before they took him and put him in a little glass case for everyone to see and pray to. He has since been the symbol of the Mexican state of Zacatecas and of miners everywhere.

I was actually very lucky to have visited him (the original statue) when I was about 11 years old (give or take a year or two). The church looks very humble which makes it even more stunning. I went with my parents and my paternal grandmother (may God rest her soul) to Fresnillo and Plateros as part of our vacation. I was happy but very tired because of the bus ride to and from Fresnillo. My grandmother, who was one of the most amazing women I've ever known, lived in a town a few hours from Fresnillo but she still made the trip with us. Unfortunately, I don't remember much of the trip because it's been about 12 years since the trip but I do remember feeling very excited and happy... and I still have the items my grandmother bought for us while we were there. I hope to go back to Fresnillo some day soon. I'll be the first to admit that I don't like going to Mexico because I always seem to get food poisoning or some sort of stomach virus when I'm out there (the foods are quite different from the ones in the U.S.) but I'd be willing to have a tummy ache or two if it meant seeing the Santo Niño again. And for those who want a little more background on him, and see two pictures of the church, here is the link to it. Hopefully I can get a picture of the statue I have of him up later on today (it is now a minute after midnight).

And with that, I conclude my blog for now. I'm still tired, booh, but I have to wait to sleep because I ate not too long ago and I don't like going to sleep with my stomach full. I think I'll try to work on the template for this blog so that it's not too plain. Okay, well, for now... thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

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