PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF TINDARI


English: 

Holy Mary of Tindari
Gift of the Father
You gave light of day
to Our Lord Jesus Christ
by the work of the Spirit.
In your heart as Mother
we trustfully put
our joys and pains, our concerns and promises
all ourselves and our families

Italian: 

Santa Maria del Tindari
Tu dono del Padre
per opera dello Spirito,
hai dato alla luce
il nostro Signore Gesù Cristo
Nel tuo cuore di Madre
poniamo fiduciosi
gioie, pene, voti,
noi stessi e la nostra famiglia. 

*La Madonna del Tindari, or Our Lady of Tindari, is one of the famous Black Madonna images. However, her skin is dark brown rather than coal black.

She is a seated Madonna, representing the "Seat of Wisdom" or "Majesty." Her throne, shoes, and cape are red. Her underdress is dark brown. The statue is adorned with gelt trim. She is crowned by a cylinder hat. Her son, who resembles her, is wearing red.

This Madonna is seated upon a throne with a low back. She holds a toddler upon her knees. As such, this Madonna is Theotokos, the Seat of Wisdom, the Throne of God. From her lap, spring power and wisdom. 

There is an interesting story told about the Madonna del Tindari, which relates to this Sicilian Madonna being called "the Ethiopian." The sanctuary of this Black Madonna attracts many pilgrims yearly and is credited with many healings. Once a woman prayed to Madonna del Tindari, requesting her daughter be healed. When her child was restored to health, this mother made a pilgrimage to the sanctuary in order to thank the Madonna for her petition being granted. Apparently this woman was unaware that Our Lady of Tindari was a Madonna Bruna or Black Madonna.

When this woman spied the swarthy skinned Madonna, she snorted in contempt that this statue was an "Ethiopian."

In Italy, fair or white skin with a blush of red cheeks is a sign of health and great beauty. Several Italian folktalkes involve beauties who are described as "being white and red." On the other hand, dark or swarthy skinned characters are described as being ugly.

Nevertheless, any practitioner of Italian folk magic will state that it is very bad luck to insult some power that has assisted you.

Shortly thereafter, the woman's child fell off a cliff. The woman sorrowfully repented of her irreverence to the Madonna, whereupon the daughter was saved by a divine intervention. The woman was most grateful to the Madonna whose images are both dark and light.

This story continues to be recounted as a cautionary tale against racism. 

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