Being a preacher of a festival is always a work in which equally concur gratitude and responsibility.
One has to acknowledge it in trust for the neighbors to address this wonderful job, but also has the task to try to summarize in a few minutes all that it represents a district and a festival.
But neither the district of the Virgen de las Huertas is a space between the fertile anonymous lorquina geography or our fair girl is a celebration more to the cultural heritage of this city.
So the preacher in this beautiful evening has been fortunate to appear before you is a complicated task ahead, which is built on a reasonable doubt, then how can gloss over in a few words so many times lived in the Virgin of Huertas, how to gather in a brief speech all the admiration that the neighbors wake up in one?, and, above all, how to talk about our patron without being possessed of that sweet love from the heart of any lorquino springs when he recalls his Virgencica?
So many things, many times and have so much love that spring from the grateful voice who enjoys the honor of being invited by the residents to undertake such a lovely work.
And since we proclaim is to announce, broadcast, reporting the good news of celebrations and joy that poke through the calendar, I want, in the quiet night Lorca, that is my cry a song to this neighborhood, their neighbors and, especially, our Virgen de las Huertas, to collect the mixture of feelings from childhood that have sprung up in me for these lands, that is, at last, after all, a sincere example of great love to a corner of Lorca and to a part of its history.
Emerge in me deep feelings for all that to the Virgen de las Huertas concerns, feelings forged in early childhood and have grown with me over all the years of my life.
But I can not boast of that feeling, believe me unique or special, as all Lorca profess a passion, a love that unites us and makes us unique: we share an ineffable something that is more than love and devotion and our feet firmly leading to the Patron.
How not to shudder to a neighborhood that also protects this divine figure and celebrated with tremendous joy the arrival of your holiday?
But this admiration is not coincidence or chance, but is deeply linked to the most exciting episodes in the history of our city and all those events that have shaped Lorca as the unique place it is today.
Let's go back to the past, move forward by the glaring lines of history and imagine this place devoid of all that civilization has built.
Go back seven hundred sixty-five years, raising the foundations of the square and the convent and the land we grow the vast garden Lorca.
The year is 1244 and the Infante Don Alfonso, who would give the title History of Wise King, comes to this place with one goal: to take the fortress of Lorca.
Imagine horses rest after the long journey, the tents popping up everywhere and flags and banners raised to the warm southern sky, hoping the heat of battle imminent them back to life.
Prince brings an ancient carving that, hidden in Zamora, survived the Muslim rule.
The father Morote scene portrays us as follows:
"After fixing the Royal Shop, which served as the Oratory, is placed in the middle of the Altar is so beautiful and lovely image, and Aras offering their religious worship and sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts, surrender and consecrate their hearts to Mother of Mercy, invoking in that image so sacred. "
Alfonso Virgin implores their protection to address the battle, and trusting in her, making the castle, perhaps, as legend, protected by Marian miracle, perhaps, for his expertise in fighting.
After the conquest and "recognizing the Prince Wise as Morote father says," The big benefit received from the hand of the Lord through the intercession of the Mother of God, commonly manufactured determined to feel the Holy Temple in that picture same place where they heard the prayers of those pious princes and those brave soldiers. "
Ortega's father described in his Chronicles that "after this city became the Prince, about the many grants that are deigned to cross, was undoubtedly the greater the let the Holy Image, pledge as their real effect.
Grateful and faithful citizens of Lorca, manufactured to a shrine holy image (...) that falls east of the city, distant a quarter of a league of its walls. "
On the same site occupied by the tent of the Royal Chapel built the primitive chapel, which had, as Morote, with over twenty yards and just under ten meters wide and a narrow door entry topped by a tower, all decorated with poly-lobed arches work, Arabic style.
At its inauguration attended by most illustrious men of the Kingdom, making a solemn procession in carrying on their shoulders the holy image of the Virgen de las Huertas, as we continue today.
Years passed and in 1466, by papal decree of Pope Paul II, settled in so pious Franciscans site, confirming its founding in 1467 by the Bishop of Cartagena.
But in 1653, the disastrous flood that swept our city suffered the shrine, leaving only the PietĂ which is still standing in the hallway.
However, love the image of the Virgen de las Huertas made the temple soon rise again from the ground, the remains of the early chapel were used to build the chapel for the image of the Virgin, while the tower served as the foundation of the new tower.
Would be lifted in 1670 when the cloister and the stairs to the top, seven years later would make the chapel of the Virgin, and well into the eighteenth century would the antecamarín.
But the centennial history of our church does not end there: the seizure in 1835 and the subsequent purchase by Bartolomé Ortiz, pastor of St. Patrick, Antonio Pérez de Meca, Count of San Julian, and Eulogio Saavedra, who devoutly returned to the Franciscan Convent ; the fall of the tower in 1901 and subsequent uprising, with the construction of the chapel of the Counts of San Julián and Benlliure headstone, and in 1936 the destruction of sculptures and altarpieces during the fratricidal war that divided Spain into two which was the old image of the Virgen de las Huertas.
It has never been easier to persistence of the convent life.
Natural disasters, times of hardship, fate, have threatened the foundations many times during the slow passage of centuries.
And yet here is, standing up again and again on its very foundations.
Elevation at night, that provokes our feelings.
Here is the beloved home of our Patron, which has given shelter to the feeling of thousands of Lorca, as Alfonso X, in her trust, believe in her, to her we deliver.
Lorca Whenever faced a battle, the warriors implored the Virgin.
When drought gripped our garden, farmers implored the Virgin.
Each time a problem dogged the thought of any Lorca, the piously implored the Virgin.
As the Father wrote Morote, of all the wonderful properties in the city, none have enjoyed as Lorca
"Torre and mysticism of the ancient Royal Alcázar Real, miraculous image of Our Lady of Huertas (...) that let the wise king in his conquest.
For what else is that high smooth ivory column of her neck that a tower through which people manage life and admire her beauty whose face the Angels?
Is this the Alcazar Holy Image, placed in the middle of the gardens and pleasant gardens, desert of Zion, he made fun of God's garden, where they managed souls, praising his Creator, the joy and happiness, banish from this site groaning and pain. "
Had plenty of reason for this noble historian, because what better protection for Lorca so loving a Mother?
What better guide to light your look serene?
What greater comfort to feel worthy of protection?
What better, I wonder, to be his children and meet with joy to celebrate in his honor?
Because the greatness of Lorca is that it is the result of different people throughout the ages, men and women different, however, have always shared the same devotion to our Patron.
My words have been grounded until the beautiful legends about the constitution of our convent gave us feathers illustrious scholars like Vargas, Ortega or Morote, who in modern history has judged not to be too much, it is said, "faithful to reality."
Now I want to tell you what I experienced first hand a few years ago.
In the late nineties, a little more than a decade, I had not yet entered the political scene, and could not even dream that someday Lorca deposited their trust in me to be Mayor of Lorca, an honor that I enjoying two years.
At that time I was Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Region of Murcia and from that position, I took one of my priorities as restoring the great artistic heritage that houses our Convent.
We are all familiar with the priceless treasure guarded works for this church, works like the paintings of the Church of the Virgin antecamarín or that "plastic sermon" of such beauty and perfection as decorating the staircase of the Tota Pulchra.
The sorry state in which the infrastructure were harboring these texts are addressed from the Department made a series of works that contributed to improving the state of this historic place.
I remember, for instance, how were the wooden foundations own Tota Pulchra, rotten and about to sink.
During the course of the restoration was much what I learned about the ancient origins of this monastery.
But remember with appreciation an episode that marked the restoration and that made us change our judgments about the history of this sacred place.
He had spent a day in Madrid, where I had to move around for work for a series of meetings.
It was night and I was traveling to Lorca driving when my phone rang: it was Miguel San Nicolás del Toro, the archaeologist in charge of the restoration of the Convent.
"Paco, where do you walk?" I asked, and I felt a certain nervousness in the voice of this man, what surprised me in it, always so calm.
"I'm coming down from Madrid," I replied, "Is that something happened?" Because I was fearing the worst: that a serious problem had occurred during the restoration.
What time will you be Lorca? "I do not know, at dawn.
But what? "," Come to the Virgen de las Huertas when you arrive, it is time. "
So let me Miguel, with doubt in the mind, leading to Lorca without knowing what had happened.
It was two or three in the morning when I came back to Lorca, and came straight to the convent.
At the door I expected Michael and the rest of the crew of the restoration.
But they were not nervous, but that the concern had been replaced by a smile on every face.
We entered the temple, shining flashlights, and there I discovered they had made the discovery.
During the work had been found, hidden behind a wall, three poly-lobed arches, with a traditionally Arabic, and after one of them, a narrow corridor.
Those arches, walled in on some of the restoration of the Convent were those who had described Vargas and Morote, those of the original chapel.
The legend, so often called into question, so often criticized, we had proved to be true.
The convent had been built on the remains of the first temple.
Almost eight years later found that the first town historians say the truth. "
But much still remains for us to discover the Convent of the Virgen de las Huertas.
Its walls are guarding ancient historical secrets about our city and our history.
So we need to reclaim the home of the patron as one of the most interesting sites of Lorca and Murcia, and as a worthy goal deserves all the tourist attention.
My commitment to this goal is total, and I can assure you that with time, we will continue to clarifying the truths of the convent, which, after all, are an inescapable part of ourselves.
So when I think of the future, not distant, but imminent, and recreation will be how the entrance to the neighborhood of the Virgen de las Huertas, I can not believe that this new concept that will revitalize both tourists Lorca themselves more accessible and have a lovely fresh arrival to this place.
With the complete renovation of the Alameda de la Virgen de las Huertas and the covering of the Rambla de los Patos will create an ideal corridor to facilitate access to the same square of the Wise King in which we live.
Moreover, with the creation of greenways, starting from here, embrace the garden Lorca, will our beloved church as the core of excellent itinerary where we can enjoy the benefits that this part of southern Lorca offers.
Is this an imminent project, as mayor and as Lorca, I think it will be essential to further strengthen the ties that should link the city center, this district and the districts of the garden.
I can imagine on nights like this the new access path to the Virgen de las Huertas, the Lorca down to celebrate his fair girl, enjoying all the wonders of the holidays we offer and, above all, enjoying the look of our Patron.
Because, as Eulogio Saavedra wrote on September 8, 1861 in the newspaper El Lorca:
"Gala Day is today and joy for our people, because it celebrates one of those special occasions where the piety, the glories of the country and attend the tradition of consumption in the villages to promote general enthusiasm."
Well said Saavedra, general enthusiasm for what we have for this show Lorca firmly anchored in our city, and since 1685 has been held, since the Council of Lorca got the feast of St. Martin was moved to this date coincide with the feast of Our Lady.
From then until now, Lorca have met in these first days of September in our neighborhood kids have played with rubber balls, we tested the nougat and anise and the elderly, we have participated in the ceremonies in honor the Virgen de las Huertas and we joined in the procession, just as our ancestors did during the opening of the original chapel.
Therefore, we could not understand Lorca without enjoying the holidays so well made.
Therefore, as Mayor, and Town Crier and as Lorca, I congratulate and thank all those who you work for both these parties are possible.
It is my appreciation for the Neighborhood Association, the Women, the Youth and Senior Citizens, the Songs and Dances of the Virgen de las Huertas, the Franciscans, the Convent Porters, the Pipe and Drum Band "Blessed Fray Pedro Soler "and, of course, the Brotherhood of the Virgen de las Huertas.
Without you is not that the fair girl was very different, no, it would not exist.
Thanks for joining and creating this celebration, for welcoming us with kindness, to do whatever you do to make us feel at home in this house all Lorca.
The night has continued, unabated, as this proclamation, which now runs his last lines, has been developing, sharing with you their secrets and feelings.
At the beginning I confessed that a preacher must always professing gratitude for allowing him to be the voice that announces the good news of the festivities.
Now I can say is much more what I feel inside me, rather than gratitude, more than gratitude.
What wakes me for having had the opportunity to be here is something you can not put into words.
For allowing me to participate in this celebration, I thank you.
Having heard what this neighborhood, the Convent and the Virgin pose for me, thank you.
For trusting me, I give, heart, thanks.
I am and will always be indebted to you all.
And for our Virgen de las Huertas, just find a right way to say goodbye and parted with it all this evening.
I will take as our own the words of the Song of Songs to say:
"O Mother of love, with mercy dwell in the gardens, the friends with love and devotion you hear: let us hear your voice."
Please let us hear your voice and guide our steps into the world.
Because trust in you.
Thank you, thank you very much.
Source: Francisco Jódar