The Virgin of Macarena

I was reading recently through my old political science notes from college and came across this quote by the comedian Jon Stewart about public opinion. “You have to remember one thing about the will of the people," he wrote, "it wasn't that long ago that we were swept away by the Macarena.”

Macarena, of course, was the 1993 song by the Spanish group Los del Rios that remained on Billboard's top spot for fourteen weeks and the top 100 chart for sixty weeks.  It was named "the most successful song of 1996," achieved number 7 on Billboard's All Time Top 100, and was called by VH1 "the number 1 Greatest One-Hit Wonder of All Time."

Maybe we were enthralled not by the actual tune and rhythm, but subconsciously by the song's namesake, Our Lady of Hope of Macarena.  Correct, there is a shrine in Seville, Spain called "the Virgin of Macarena."  The title of Mary is connected with Our Lady of Sorrows.  Mary suffers not because this particular song is named after her, but because her son suffered on the cross and continues to suffer alongside the sufferings of the people and the world. 

There is also a Saint Macrina, who lived in the 4th Century and was the oldest of nine children.  When her father died she became the main provider for the family.  She taught her siblings not how to do the macarena dance, but how to pray and live virtuously.  Two of her brothers became priests and then saints: Saint Basil the Great (also a doctor of the church) and Saint Gregory of Nyssa. 

Maybe you can do the Macarena this week.  No, not the song, but with a prayer to Mary and Macrina. Most Holy God, into Whose Hands I was born, Beloved of my soul, to whom I have offered my consecrated flesh since even my earliest days, entrust me to a luminous angel, who will lift my hand to guide me to the place where I may drink, and rest, and gain my strength in the embrace of my holy fathers. It is okay to be swept away by these holy women.

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