When the family migrated from the city of Guadalquivir to the capital of Spain, Doa Carmen only asked the Black Pope for one thing: an image of the Christ to pray on bullfights.
EastHoly Thursday the Plaza de San Lorenzo in Seville noIt has been completely extinguished so that the candles of the passage illuminate the face of Jess of the Great Power coming out of her basilica. The brothers, who number in the thousands, now remember the sensations of the penance season from previous years. Anonymous devotees see their cross reflected on their shouldersthe harshness of the reality that they are living in this days of the Covid-19. The carving, created by Juan de Mesa in 1620, is part of the iconography of Seville.
The Christ of the Great Power has always been a reference for the world of the bull.A fraud to ask for, to thank, to venerate. His expression, of sobriety in the face of suffering, is inspiring for bullfighters and the people around them. How many times have they taken refuge in that gesture of pain while continuing to walk forward.
Precisely this year, the Cajasol Foundation has hosted the exhibition entitledIV Centenary of Our Father Jess of the Great Power: Table I sculpted you, Seville made you. The exhibition traversed the four centuries of history also collecting the link between the world of the bull and the Brotherhood. Among other items were the ‘Gabrielas’, which are two silver offering jars of theI knowGabriela, the mother of Joselito, also the capes of Paseo de Armillita, Morante de la Puebla and Gonzalo Caballero and a dress of lights from El Cid.The images of the space dedicated to bullfighting showed Nio de la Palma and Chicuelobaptizing their children. There are many bullfighters linked to this Brotherhood such as Manolo Vzquez (he was part of its governing board), Rafael Ortega, Cagancho or the Calesero who was a Mexican with the soul of Seville.
The exhibition featured the famousreplica of the Great Power that has been located in the chapel of the Las Ventas bullring since the mid-1970s. It is a size ordered byManuel Mejas Rapela to the Sevillian sculptor Rafael Lafarque. The tragic death of Rafaelito, the third of the Black Pope’s children in 1933, caused great sadness in his mother, Carmen Jimnez. Together they decide that the best thing is to put land in between and move with the other six children to Madrid with the only condition imposed by Carmen on her husband: a reply from the Great Power to be able to pray during the long afternoons in which their children fought .
The house of Prncipe de Vergara 3, General Mola later, became a reference for the Madrid fans as a source of bullfighting. The chapel of the house was presided over by ‘He who can do everything’, as the Welcome people refer to it. Every afternoon they fought in Las Ventas they spent as much to say goodbye without knowing if they were going back as to say thank you. An unconditional ritual.During the bullfight, Carmen prayed with her daughter Carmen Pilar and her daughters-in-law Mara Luisa (my grandmother)o Concha (Juan’s wife).All afternoon waiting for the best news: “No news”. Success or failure was what mattered least to them, hoping that they would overcome the constant game with death that is bullfighting without mishap.Antonio Bienvenida was also a Brother of the Great Powerfollowing the devotion instilled: “My father taught us bullfighting and my mother, the faith,” he said publicly.
Before, at the outbreak of the Civil War, the Black Pope protected the sculpture by burying it in the courtyard where they used to fight in the hall. That garden where the children learn all the luck of bullfighting. She remained three years underground, preventing it from being desecrated by the militiamen who on more than one occasion ransacked the family home. In 1976 the family, withAngel Luis Welcome to the head, gave the baroque copy of the Nazareneto the chapel in the Las Ventas bullring that for so many years has seen hundreds of bullfighters pass by asking for their fortune.In 2019 the Center for Bullfighting Affairs of the Community of Madriddecided to restore it at the request of the family. The passage of time had deteriorated the polychrome of the wood – totally darkened -, the textile fabric of the tunic and some members such as fingers or thorns of the crown that had been torn.The work of Marta, Helena and Leonor, the restorers, was fantastic achieving a magnificent result.
In this strange Easter,the Lord has not been able to walk through the streets of SevilleBut he has heard the prayers of many people who need his protection.
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