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jueves, 24 de marzo de 2016

TRADITIONS AND LEGENDS IN MALAGA: ZAMARRILLA THE BANDIT

The story goes that in the times of bandoleers, one of the bandits nicknamed “ El Zamarilla ” was particularly notorious. His misdeeds were many and such was his renown and so dangerous was his band that the bailiffs decided to form a posse and capture him at whatever price. After a number of skirmishes they managed to corner him but “ El Zamarilla ”, rapid and slippery as an eel due to his knowledge of the land, managed to escape, though with the patrol in hot pursuit. After galloping for many leagues with the bailiffs hot on his heels, the bandoleer reached a sanctuary chapel in search of a place to hide. As it happens the only place he could find was under the cape of a figure of a Virgin Dolorosa that was worshipped there. The bailiffs arrived and though the searched the whole chapel from one end to the other, none of them discovered “ El Zamarilla ” in his original hiding place. Desperate and furious they left to comb the area. A little later, feeling safe, the bandit left his refuge and in improvised thanks for having saved him, he broke off a white rose that grew by the side of the path and pinned it on the breast of the figure, using his own dagger to hold it.
 At this moment the rose turned scarlet. Terrified, the bandit knelt before the image of the Virgin, begging pardon for his wrongful life and from then on “ El Zamarilla ” became a hermit, coming down from the hills only to visit his beloved Virgin. On one of these occasions he himself was attacked by bandits and though “ El Zamarilla ” still had the vigour of his youth and he put up a fight, he was mortally wounded by one of them before they fled. With great difficulty he managed to reach the door of the sanctuary, carrying in his hand, as he always did, a red rose to offer the Virgin. Before he died his eyes turned towards the Virgin and then he saw that the rose he carried in his hands had turned white. She had pardoned him. Today, Our Lady Virgen de la Amargura continues in the sanctuary called Zamarrilla , She continues to wear a red rose held with a dagger, except on Good Friday when She wears a white rose, pardoning all Mankind for the death of her Son.


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