Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kneeling Nun

How many of you have had questions about the photo at the top of my blog? Well, finally, here are some answers to your questions.

Who took the picture?
Aaron took this picture last spring, he takes pictures whenever we have great sunrises and caught this picture of the sunrise over the Kneeling Nun. Isn't it awesome? The only thing that I edited was blacking out some of the lights from the mine and adding the words in the corner. The rest was God.

Where is it?
This is the view of the Kneeling Nun we have from our front porch. Yep, we are that close (well, he used the zoom).

For those of you not from this area, the Santa Rita Open Pit copper mine is directly below the Kneeling Nun, but you can't see it in the dark (duh!!). I should have taken a picture in the daylight to compare...bummer, I didn't think of that before. Anyway, the pit is one of the largest in the world, when you drive by you cannot see the bottom, it's that deep!

What is it?
This rock formation is known as the "Kneeling Nun". The Kneeling Nun is part of the local folklore and after a quick google here is one of the legends I found...

In this version, written in 1899 by Harry Burgess, she was known to natives as Sister Rita.

Simply called "The Kneeling Nun," this saga by Harry Burgess tells how Rita and a young monastic fall deeply in love. Finally, unable to contain themselves, they are found in one anothers' arms in the convent garden by the stern Abbess. Rita's lover flees, and she, unrepentant, is put in the dungeon, under sentence of death. Before the awful deed can be carried out, however:

"Lurid gleams the vivid lightning,
Deafening are the thunder crashes,
And the earth, with fitful shuddering,
Heaves and groans with fiery mouthing,
As the earthquake works its ruin . . . "

The convent falls into a "yawning chasm" during the quake, but a miracle saves the young nun from being crushed in her dark cell. Her lover finds her on the nearby mountain and begs her to leave the place of terror with him.

But Rita, truly contrite now, is asking God's pardon for the sin of broken vows. She begs Him for the strength to stand against all entreaties so she will be "firm and staunch as rock unyielding."

When her lover tries to lift her from the ground where she is kneeling in prayer, she turns to stone. He cries in anguish, falling backwards. His body hurtles downwards and dashes lifeless on the bottom! The poet who wrote this legend ends it by pronouncing:

"Still the nun bends o'er her penance,
Kneeling onward through the ages,
Making endless reparation."



So there you have it folks, the story behind this photo.

7 comments:

Tiffany said...

Im so glad you posted that. I have been meaning to ask you about that photo! I love to get on your blog to look at that picture!! beautiful! Tell your hubby thanks for the pix, they are appreciated!

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