LET’S START at the beginning, because I’m from where I’m from. Mother of the Sevillians, sun of the Macarena and soul of Andalucia, the Alvarez Quintero brothers called Hope in the exceptional Saeta in the form of Salve a la Virgen de la Esperanza, to which Joaquin Turina put music. And they didn’t lie. But the pearl of San Gil, being a universal devotion, has no patronage aspirations other than the neighborhood that gave it its last name, turning it into an invocation along with its name: Esperanza Macarena.
For this reason, relying on the illustrious precedent of Munoz and Pabon, Macareno to the core as well as promoter of the canonical coronation of the Virgen del Rocio, this modest Macareno joins from here the request of the residents of Almonte to claim that the Virgen del Rocio, coinciding with the Mariano del Rocio Jubilee Holy Year, is proclaimed Patron Saint of Andalusia. Thus, it would be recognized what the most widespread and lively Andalusian devotion -from Almeria to Huelva- deserves; and what a Pope -John Paul II, during his visit to Rocio on June 14, 1993- certified as “the center of Andalusian Marian devotion”. The Church has doctors, it was said to indicate that a question was left in the hands of experts. Well, John Paul II was a doctor of theology as well as Pope and Blessed. The thing is clear. and the ball,
The Almonte petitioners of the proclamation say that “devotion to Our Lady of Rocio floods every corner of our Andalusian land, being the most deeply rooted and most widespread in Andalusia, far surpassing our borders.” History and the present prove them right. Its past dates back to the times of Alfonso X el Sabio, when it was Santa Maria de las Rocinas, and its present encompasses 108 affiliated brotherhoods, 33 canonically established associations, 23 groups and 10 brotherhoods spread throughout Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, the United States States and Puerto Rico.
Nothing new I will discover at this point. In 1918 Munoz y Pab√≥n wrote in the aforementioned article in which he requested the canonical coronation: “El Rocio is the most expressive cry of faith and the most passionate cry of love to Maria Santisima that comes out of all this Andalusia throughout the year” . In 1919, to celebrate the coronation, he wrote in his famous sevillanas: “The Virgin of El Rocio is not a human work, she came down from heaven one morning. That would be to be Queen and Mother of Andalusia.” Everything is felt and said. It only remains to recognize it.

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