The Virgin wept to see the destruction of the monastery. First lightning and now the earthquake turned it to ruins. Thank God the chapel escaped harm so the monks and pilgrims still can come and pray.
“But what will happen to my poor monks now?”
“Please, you must return to your grave, sister. You are entertaining this terrible delusion and worse, perpetuating it among the living.”
“Who are you? How dare you speak to the Holy Virgin Mary that way.”
“Oh please. You are Maria Rosario. I’m your brother Filipe. We both died in a plague centuries ago. You were only thirteen when you perished. It has maddened you.”
“My brother…then I…”
“You keep manifesting yourself here and silly fools think you are their blessed Virgin. Stop it. Miriam, wife of Yosef couldn’t have been a virgin all her life as the Catholic legends state. Come. Return to your rest.”
I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing challenge. Today, Pegman takes us to Pena, Portugal via Google street maps. The idea is to use the image and location as an inspiration to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is exactly 150.
As usual, I consulted Google and Wikipedia and discovered Pena Palace has an interesting history. According to tradition, construction of the chapel began after an apparition of the Virgin Mary was seen. Pilgrimages to the site have been occurring since the Middle Ages.
Interestingly enough, about five months ago, I wrote a similar tale that was also critical of the system of Saints called The Fall of the Saints. I do consider myself a religious person but according to many Christian and Jewish authorities, it is highly unlikely that Miriam (Mary) remained a virgin all her life.
So I developed an alternate (fictional) explanation for such “visions”.
Oh, the monastery was damaged by lightning in the 18th century and destroyed in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. Obviously it has since been rebuilt.
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.