São José de Ribamar (IV)
Destination São Luís, capital of the state of Maranhão.
The House of the Miracles, the copy of the Lourdes Cavern, and the beach.
The city of Saõ José de Ribamar is located at the other side of Ilha (island) de São Luís. The distance between the city of São Luís and São José is little more than 30 km. São José de Ribamar counts about 140 thousand inhabitants and is widely known for the giant statue of Saint Joseph and his son Jesus.
Casa dos Milagres
In almost every Brazilian pilgrimage is a so-called Casa (or Sala) dos Milagres. The house (or room) of miracles. I already have visited such miraculous spaces in Congonhas (Minas Gerais) and Vila Velha (Espírito Santo). These are spaces that leave a great impression on you; even the skeptics will acknowledge that there is a mystical atmosphere. An atmosphere of pure devotion and genuine gratitude, which are expressed by uncountable amounts of personal messages, creations, pictures, souvenirs, and personal belongings. Tresses from believers who were healed. Wax copies of deformed extremities that had become useful (again). The room is completely covered with those, from floor to ceiling. And even more attributes are being added. Such rooms are open for public, but it is often not permitted to take pictures, because of the privacy. Fortunately,there are no idiots who might even consider to steal or destroy even one attribute from this room.
Many locations in the world have a copy of the famous Lourdes cavern. Also Rijsbergen (the Netherlands, where I have lived for about seven years) has such a copy. In São Jose de Ribamar, the cavern is located close to the huge statue of St. Joseph and his son (Jesus). Believers arrive there for their personal messages, requests and prayers.
Beach at São José de Ribamar
The beach is at a stone’s throw of both the church and the statue. When we arrived there, it had stopped raining. There were some heavy rain showers on the horizon. The rain-soaked beach was not inviting to lie or to sit on. Fortunately, the beach is flanked by a number of barracks. We went to one of these bars. The prices were lower than we had seen in São Luís. We settled down, ordered some food and drinks, and enjoyed the interesting view of the bay.
The Tourist II
One of our friends studied theater sciences at the university. She always has crazy ideas and even today we had to endure her crazy mind. She proposed to make a short video with all of us starring. She quickly made the movie script in her mind. I was granted the lead, and had to play an American tourist. The friend’s sister was my wife in this script. We would walk together, and I would have a camera in my hand (quite a reality). When I notice some Brazilian beauties, I would pay all my attention to them and take many pictures of them (also quite a reality..). My ‘wife’ would become very jealous and would try to stop me. But, in my enthusiastic mood, I would push her aside, because of my great interest in these beauties. Suddenly, danger appears from behind. A street robber would try to rob my camera. He would grab my bag and run away. I then would run after him and would fall over a little sand heap. The robber would then escape, end of the movie. The Tourist, Episode Two. We enjoyed many hilarious moments at the time of filming. The robber didn’t succeed in this attempt to rob me from my bag, and I made him stumble. Everything was filmed, but unfortunately this movie isn’t shown publicly.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
- A Foreigner in Brazil (40): JAN 2007 (I). Jacaraípe (ES) and Itabira (MG) (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Brazilian Days (117): April 27 (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)