“With a bag and rod, the old Garrinchas did his best to get close to the land. The need had taken him too far. Begging is a sad office, and begging in Lourosa, even worse. No one gives. Have patience, God will favor you, today I can’t … Therefore, what other option but to widen horizons and reach out to the charity of unknown people, who would at least be ashamed to deny a crust to a man in the middle of a lord’s prayer. Yes, he prayed when he knocked on any door. They liked it … If they had faith in the prayer, that’s another conversation.
And here it came from one more of these pilgrimages, well forgotten, if the world were different. Even though he brought ten pence in his pocket and his saddlebag full, it was already difficult for him to drag his legs. Could have stayed in Loivos, but what! His head was buried in the native manger … And the truth is that neither house nor family expected him. All the heat would be from the furnace of the people, permanently open to poverty. In any case it was always better, to spend the holy night under familiar tiles. The problem was getting there, the mountain never ended and seventy-five years old, it may not seem like it but, was a big load. He had been late on the journey in Feitais. He had gone back to the village, things began to yield, and he forgot the hours. When he got there, it was after four. And, as it was early evening, there was no other way than to go horse-racing, to race against time and against age, with a heart pondering. And worst of all, it was snowing! From the sample it seemed like a slight thing, but what if it changed?
And it fell, the cotton wool! Yes, sir! Beautiful! Fortunately the ‘Lady of Pleasures’ was close. If the joke continued, look, he would sleep in there! What, in fact, was a good-bye at Lourosa’s Christmas night…. He hurried forward, made a merchant’s ear to fatigue, and the rain of petals started. What a great panorama!
With elephant legs and white as a miller, he reached the hermitage of the chapel. He stepped into the porch, leaned his stick against the wall, tucked the bag, shook himself, and only then did he notice that the chapel door was slightly opened
Come on! Bad or less. In case of necessity, he could enter and shelter himself inside. For the time being, the campfire he was about to do had to be out, the worse was finding wood. He left, picked up an armful of gorse, came back, and tried to light them. But they were green and damp. He tried three more times, and three times the same failure. Bad! I’m not spending all the matches. He thought on going to the sacristy to see if he found a piece of paper. He found and thanked Heaven for that help, looked at the altar. Almost invisible in the gloom, with the divine child on her lap, the Mother of God seemed to smile at him.
– Happy Holidays! He wished and smiled, too.
Gladly, he turned and found the procession’s slope tidied up in a corner. And he had another idea. It was an abuse, but patience. At the time of the pilgrimage they would get a new one. After a while the dry wood burned.
Garrinchas was then ready to supper. He took the razor from his pocket, cut a piece of bread and a slice of meat, and sat down. But before the first bite the soul gave him a rebate, and out of consciousness he rose and reached the entrance to the chapel. – Are you served? Mary seemed to smile at him again, and so did the boy. Faced with this welcome, Garrinchas was not in half measures: he entered, went to the altar, took the image and brought it near the fire. “Let’s eat the three of us here. The Lady does of who you are; The little the same; And I, though unworthy, do of St. Joseph.
• What most excited my attention?
• What are the signs of sharing that I identify in the story?
• In my environment, are these signs only lived during the Christmas season?
• What does Christmas mean to other people?
• And do you agree with the way these people live Christmas?