Literary heritage


Countless pages have been dedicated to La Virgen de la Esperanza and to the magnificent spectacle of popular religious fervour generated each year by La Hermandad de la Macarena as its procession moves through the streets of Seville in the Madrugada of Good Friday. A selection of these texts is presented below:

( )In my glass the moon so round,
so tiny, laughs and quivers.
Pepín: right now in Seville
they’re dressing the Macarena.
Pepín, my heart is perforated
with eyelets of moonlight and sadness.( )

Federico García Lorca: : Tardecilla del Jueves Santo (Little Afternoon of Easter Thursday), 1924. , 1924. ( )

¡Virgen de la Esperanza!¡Macarena!
¡Virgen de la Esperanza!¡Macarena!
And an explosion of sunlight and harmony,
and an abundant flow of joyfulness…
And a feeling that the entire soul is full!!

¡Virgen de la Esperanza! In your dark
divine face the day of Seville
draws all its light from your poetry…
A crystal morning, a calm and tranquil afternoon.

Alas! With no love, with no faith, there is no way
when your heavenly image appears
swaying amid the incense in the distance!

Oh, and for my Seville, that has everything,
while El Señor del Gran Poder offers it
Faith and Charity…. You offer it Hope!

Manuel Machado: A Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza (Sevilla: Madrugada del Viernes Santo) (To Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza (in the Madrugada of Good Friday)

“Outside the church a single miraculous hand squeezes the gold from the early morning taverns and orange groves. And a high-towered procession rises up on the horizon.
Then…. the people, and the city, once again know themselves to be saved from downfall. And the last survivors will go to watch the entrance of La Macarena

Antonio Núñez de Herrera: Sevilla: Sevilla: Teoría y realidad de la Semana Santa (Theory and Reality of Holy Week), 1934., 1934.

Hail, Macarena,
Mother of Sevillians,
Peace and life!

She who alleviates all pain and sorrow;
She who, with Her hands,
heals all wounds!

Hail, light of heaven,
eternal star and eternal dawn
of good fortune!

She who accedes to every wish;
the divine giver
of hope!

Hail, Mother Mary,
full of grace;
Soul of Andalusia,
sun of La Macarena!

(For consolation):
Why do you cry, Mother of Mine,
so beautiful and so afflicted,
if in the whole of Macarena
there is no-one who would not offer his life
to take away your grief?

Joaquín y Serafín Álvarez Quintero: Salve a la Virgen Macarena (Salve to the Macarena Virgin), , 1930.

In white wine, in rosemary,
in a whitewashed facade,
I see you whenever I wish to,
iris of the early morning!
Safe and protected there in your quarter
(may only Macarena protect and guard you)
a breeze which burns without fire,
a carnation from where
all the afternoon’s gold
draws its most secret perfume.

Juan Sierra: María Santísima (Most Holy Mary), , 1920.

“…when the night seems totally consumed in the most austere penitence and all is weeping, grief, sorrow and death, La Macarena – grace, joy, the flower of our city and the smile in our soul – suddenly rises up, unexpected, overwhelming, unbridled, crystalline and glowing, surrounded by quivering lights and rocking to a rhythm of angelic bells and silver, laughing, alive, at once both human and heavenly”.

Joaquín Romero Murube: Sevilla en los labios.(Seville on One’s Lips).

I would adorn you with neither orange blossom nor crescents.
I would leave your beauty just as it is
to make your weeping more tragic
and your joy more baroque.

The Southern Cross shall be your Cruz de Guía,
the nebulae shall weave your mantle.
You will come to me, splendour of Good Friday,
ethereal Giralda, glory, silverwork.

Tears, no: joy, for your sorrow
is air beneath the Macarena moon,
a river which slips away through your fingers.

-Let me stay close to the wall.
Don’t cry out my weeping to her, Sevillians.
Let it reach her through her fingers.

Aquilino Duque: La calle de la luna (Street of the Moon), , 1958.


-Virgen de la Macarena
look at me, look how I come,
so bloodless that even
my dark colour has turned white.
( ) With your necklaces, bind up
this concave wound,
for my life is ebbing away
through the eyelets!
( ) Please, Virgin, please
let me return blood-filled to Seville
and proudly lead my cuadrilla
along the Alameda.

Rafael Alberti: Joselito en su Gloria (Joselito in his Glory).

“…and thus the brothers, imbued with pious arrogance because they know they are the owners of the city’s most beautiful, most venerated, most magnificent image, pour through those labyrinthine streets like a victorious army carrying its trophies, hungry for acclaim, flaunting elegance and grace. And one lifts his hood because he is proud to be recognised among the members of the Brotherhood; and another showers the Virgin with compliments because he considers being a member of the Macarena tantamount to having sworn allegiance as Her knight errant…”.

Luis Martínez Kleiser: La Semana Santa de Sevilla (Holy Week in Seville), 1924.,

“When the sons of the famous quarter see their beloved Patron appear beneath the old monumental gateway, which still stands next to the Roman walls, enwrapped in Her magnificent green velvet mantle and with her small hands covered with rings, a unanimous cry of joy bursts from their mouths and a mystical ecstasy invades their hearts”.

Benito Más y Prat: : La tierra de María Santísima (The Land of The Most Holy Mary), , 1925.

My Mother of Hope,
Bride of the macarenos!
The one with night in Her eyes!
The one with grace in Her body,
sequin embroidered
like that of a bullfighter!
The prettiest in the quarter!
Take me with you to heaven
and show those things
to me, for I am a macareno.

Fernando Villalón

&ldquoThe Madrugada of Good Friday has faded away.
From there behind the towers, lit up like the day’s masts, on the march towards the green orchards of La Macarena, the bugles of La Virgen de la Esperanza can be heard wafting joyfully through the air as She is borne home amid the exhilarated members of Her Brotherhood

Rafael Laffón: Discurso de las cofradías de Sevilla (Exposition of Seville’s Brotherhoods), , 1941.

“At the end La Macarena rises up, in Her trail of light. The tears have scarcely dried on Her face, and she glows, consoled by the heat of so much love. The applause becomes frenzied. SHE glides past in her radiance, like a slow moving comet, leaving behind her the peacock’s tail of her eyed green mantle with its fiery train, before vanishing into the darkness of the Cathedral…”.

Joseph Peyré: La Passion selon Séville (The Passion according to Seville), , 1951.

The same as always she remains.
She rarely leaves her home.
But when she does she passes beneath
the arch and makes the wall bloom with flowers.
Thus adorned, like
a bride on the balcony.
The people look no further than
Her face and hands.
She always repairs disappointments,
this lass from San Gil,
who they say
is nineteen again every April.

Joaquín Caro Romero: Canción de cumpleaños, (Birthday Song), 1969.

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