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The Deathbed of the Virgin Mary

Religious art is omnipresent in Spain and in Mallorca, thanks to the influence of the Catholic Church and the opulence of its tradition. During the month of August, the festivity of the Mare de Déu d’Agost, also known as Mare de Déu de la Assumpció (Assumption of Virgin Mary), is being celebrated. The festivity is also called Dormició de Maria (Dormition of Mary). A number of churches in Palma as well as others in the outlying pueblos offer some elaborate displays of reclining statues of the sleeping virgin. In case you should be interested, you could consult the website of the Bisbat de Mallorca (Diocese in Mallorca) and click on the emblem L’Asumpcio de la Mare de Déu on the right hand column. There, you can download a leaflet in pdf format giving you detailed information in English, Catalan or Castilian about places and events in churches throughout Mallorca. Activities commenced earlier this week and will continue until August 23rd.

In Palma’s church of Sagrats Cors, Venezuelan artist Milton Becerra (Táchira, 1951) offers a contemporary installation of La Virgen que sueña (The Sleeping Virgin) (see photo). The church is situated behind the Casal Solleric, in Carrer Sant Gaietà, 9, not far from Jaime III in Palma’s city centre. The installation can be viewed daily (August 11th to 20th) between 11h00 and 13h00 and from 18h00 to 20hoo.

A deathbed of the Virgin Mary is also nicely presented in Palma’s La Seu Cathedral, albeit somewhat less modern, and another one at the Monestir de la Puríssima Concepció (Carrer Caputxines, 14), from the first half of the 20th century.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 12th, 2011. The time was 12:44:41.

2 replies »

    • hi there,
      the Bisbat de Mallorca told me, and I quote, “The Golden Legend explains that the Virgin Mary received the visit of Saint Michael’s archangel, three days after her death to announce her imminent transfer. The only demand that Mary dared to formulate was the presence of the apostles during the vigil of her deathbed.
      I hope that helps. Thank you anyway for your thoughts.

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