Hands And Knees

I shot a little video while I was at the Basilica de Guadalupe. Complete with the truly devout crawling to the building on their knees. Some people crawl for huge distances, especially on December 12th, which is the annual bash for the Virgin de Guadalupe. If the video plays in stops and starts, you can switch to SD mode, or simply press pause and wait for it to finish loading before resuming.

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12 comments

  1. I got your first post with just the pictures of your visit to the basilica and what came to my mind immediately was memories of seeing the faithful crawling towards a church at almost every church in Mexico that I went to. This was such an incredible impression on me as a child visiting Mexico, and even later as an adult my mind can’t wrap around this devotion, this faith people in Mexico have. And it’s always the poor people you see crawling…don’t ever recall seeing anyone with fancy clothes and jewelry doing this.
    At any rate, then along comes your second post with video. I can’t get it to play for whatever reason, but I’m glad I can’t. I have to say that there is something about taking a video of this that doesn’t seem appropriate. Words or still shots would paint the picture.
    Your photos are great.

    1. I know the title of the video might give the impression that the contents are solely of people crawling to prayer on their hands and knees, but it is just a video of the Basilica and the surrounding buildings, with just a few seconds of the kneeling people!

      To be honest they all looked like ‘normal’ people, and I guess while we all have different sensibilities, I didn’t feel it was a problem shooting a few seconds of these ladies. They are doing something in public that they are happy with – I’d think twice about publishing material of someone suffering in an accident, or caught in an unfortunate situation. Though it does depend on the context etc.

  2. It’s something incredibly personal and also something that astounds me. That level of devotion and faith is something difficult for me to fully comprehend. My grandmother would be the type of individual who you would see knelt down and crawling across the ground in devout prayer. She has so much faith in La Virgencita and in all the saints you can think of…every time I go visit her its so normal to hear her whispering about in prayer throughout the night…and she says it makes her Happy. I believe I have a bit of an understanding why certain demographics are the most likely to develop such a deep level of faith. Not that I think there’s anything particularly wrong with it, as I’ve commented before…I keep an open mind and don’t profess to know anything. I know for my grandmother at least her faith has been a great source of strength and happiness in the most trying of times. I happen to have an old black and white photograph of her, my mother and aunts when they were teenagers standing outside in front of La Basilica (the original one) and it’s part of the reason why I definitely plan to visit it. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Wonderful song! Now I want to look for it.

    Was it just that you didn’t film any guys doing the hands and knees thing, or was it really mostly women who did it? We are so good at humility, we mujeres.

    1. I’m sure there are guys who do it as well, but I have noticed, on the day I took the video and my previous visits, that women seem to be more inclined to get on their knees. As for the song, it’s a free download on Jamendo. If you watch to the very end of the video, I give the web address for it.

  4. Gary,
    Great coverage of the Basilica! Really enjoyed the visit through your eyes! AND the musical accompaniment was lovely…. I’ve been past it a few times on various trips.. next time I’ll stop and have a good butchers myself… THANKS!

    Keep up the GREAT work!
    Dan in NC

  5. Thanks for the video. This is so typical of Catholicism. Justification through penance (self infliction over sins). This is so unnecessary. Many people’s knees are bleeding by the end of their crawling, some crawl for miles. Salvation is through faith alone in Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross. Eph. 2:8,9 For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any one should boast. We are saved by repenting (turning from) of our sins and believing that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose the 3rd day. We don’t have to punish ourselves to gain favor with God. Jesus took our punishment at the cross if we believe in Him. We are saved by His grace, we can’t do anything to earn it, it is free. Also I believe Mary in heaven is embarrassed at what the Catholic church has done to her by worshiping her. We should only worship and pray to Jesus. Worshipping and praying to Mary and dead saints is idolatry.

    1. I’m going to agree with you, that crawling on your knees till you bleed is entirely unnecessary. But I do, in a non Catholic sense, confess that I come at it from an entirely different angle. I am one of those who is quite convinced that Christianity and all other religions are man made inventions with no supernatural, godly or other force behind them.

      I’ll stick up for the practise of idolatry though. All religions, sects, splinters etc contain heavy doses of ‘it’s God’s will’, which in the eyes of the believer overcomes any contradiction or issue.

      Incidentally, you are also committing idolatry by worshipping and praying to Jesus. He does not request it, and it’s made quite clear in the ten commandments that it’s a no-no!

  6. When I was a teenager (now 60) I traveled to Mexico City and to the Basilica where we witnessed worshippers painfully crawling on their knees to the entrance. It made a huge impression on me (I’m still thinking/writing about it.) As women, we were not allowed to go inside without a covering for our heads. I confess we used souvenir paper cocktail napkins taken from the restaurant we visited the evening before. The LORD does provide!
    …and the music, “Luz de la Luna,” is lovely.

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