The Minor Basilica of Santa Maria de la Esperanza Macarena, popularly known as Basilica de la Macarena, is a relatively modern building. The Royal, Illustrious and Fervent Brotherhood and Brotherhood of Nazarenes of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Our Father Jesus of the Sentence and Mary Most Holy of Hope Macarena that has its seat in it is, on the other hand, much older.
Its origin is located in the year 1595, founded by the guild of gardeners of the city (remember that the Arc de la Macarena was known as Puerta del Campo) in the former convent of Saint Basilio, which was located on the street Rapporteur. He moved 1,653 to the parish of San Gil, merging with the Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. There he resided for almost three centuries.
The construction of the basilica began in 1941, with the blessing of Cardinal Segura of the land where it would finally be built, in the house number 1 of Bécquer Street, donated for that purpose by Mrs. Teresa Díaz García (the original project contemplated a plot of vacant land in front of the Hospital of the Five Wounds, where today the Parliament gardens are located). Subsequently, the second phase of the project would add several farms adjacent to the initial house. The works were completed in 1949, being blessed by the same archbishop, acting as sponsors Lieutenant General Queipo de Llano and Serafina Salcedo, Mrs. of Bohórquez and, finally, consecrated by Cardinal José María Bueno Monreal in 1966.
The building was carried out free of charge by Sevillian architect Aurelio Gómez Millán. It responds to the Andalusian baroque style, according to express wish of the Board of Government of the Brotherhood.
The construction is preceded by an entrance atrium, closed by a grate of Fundiciones Marvizón, inspired by the convents of San Clemente and Santa Clara. The facade has a portico that combines arch and lintel supported by marble columns from the Catalan Gas (after Imperial cinema and now Librería Beta, Sierpes street). Above them is an entablature in which we see a niche that houses the representation of the theological virtue of Hope, with an anchor as a habitual attribute. In a second plane of the façade rises the belfry, of two bodies, with split pediment, pinnacles and wrought iron ornaments. Two tiles appear in the atrium: Our Father Jesus of the Sentence and Our Lady of the Rosary, both of Antonio Morilla and of the same date, 1959.
The image of Esperanza Macarena is an unknown author, although it is clearly from the school of Pedro Roldán. There are many candidates for authorship: Pedro Roldan himself, his daughter Luisa La Roldana, Juan de Mesa or Martinez Montañés. With a height of 1.75 meters, made of pine and cypress, it is a dress image, restored arm and made bust in 1881. It has received numerous restorations, running the latest and most complete by the famed Professor of Fine Arts Francisco Arquillo.
On the side of the Gospel closest to the presbytery is the Chapel of Our Father Jesus of the Judgment. The owner is an image of dress, carved in wood, the work of master sculptor and painter Felipe Morales Nieto, who was forced in 1654 to make eight figures of wood pulp for the Brotherhood, namely: "a head of Our Lord Jesus Christ with his neck and shoulders to the middle of his chest and his hands with his wrists to the elbow and his feet and legs to the knees and seven heads with their necks and hands of figures of Pharisees ", according to the contract found in 1,930 by Enrique Repetto in the Protocols File. This commission responded to the inclusion of a new holder of the Brotherhood, which promoted the "Contemplation of the Wrong Sentence of Death that gave Christ Our Redeemer".
We show you now The legend of the Macarena and the clock of the Hospital de la Sangre.
The oldest written reference of this legend is due to Felix Gonzalez de Leon, chronicler of the city during the first half of the nineteenth century, later collected, still in the same century, by José Bermejo in his "Religious Glorias".
It refers, with certain doubts, that Our Lady of Hope had belonged to the Hospital of the Five Wounds or of the Blood, without specifying the date, nor having any documentation in this regard. In fact, there is only proof of having resided initially in the convent of San Basilio, from the middle of the 17th century, in the parish of San Gil and, finally, in its basilica of La Macarena.
The Hospital of the Five Wounds, also called with time, of the Blood, happens to be another one of the most characteristic institutions of the popular neighbourhood since the definitive transfer to this place, since initially it had its location in the street Santiago.
According to the legend, a traveller who was going to embark towards the Indies fell ill before getting on the ship and they took him to the Hospital of the Five Wounds, now the seat of the Andalusian Parliament. Nothing could be done for his life and he died without having made a will. After a year, no one claimed the body and the hospital decided to keep what it had. They opened their suitcase and there they found the mask and the hands of a beautiful Virgin. Despite the beauty of the image, the nuns who took charge of it did not find an altar to place it because of the lack of space in the chapel, so they kept it in a safe place.
A few years earlier, at the end of the sixteenth century, a Brotherhood had been founded in the old convent of St. Basil. This brotherhood had only one Crucified who was going through the procession during Holy Week. Over the years they decided to acquire a Virgin, to which they would give the invocation of Esperanza.
On the other hand, the legend tells us that in the middle of the seventeenth century a clock with bells for religious services was needed in the hospital. Providentially, the Brotherhood of the Relator Street had a clock that a devotee had given them, but they did not use it because they already had the one from the convent of St. Basil. Then they proposed to change the Virgin for the clock.
But it was not an easy task, since the hospital administrator did not want to lose the image altogether, so he demanded that it not be seen as a definitive exchange, but rather as a temporary transfer sine die. The Brotherhood could cancel the agreement when it wanted, but not the hospital, which could only break the contract if the image entered the hospital grounds.
For this reason, the Brotherhood of the Macarena did not dare to spend with its Virgin the portico of the hospital. However, in 1846, the roof of San Gil collapsed while the Brotherhood held its Penance station. Faced with the impossibility of returning to the temple, the officers of this Corporation arranged for the brotherhood to enter the sanitary facility. The body of Nazarenes and the passage of Mystery made the entrance, crossing the group of penitents of La Esperanza in the same way. At that moment, one of those present, an old man, shouting loudly, cried out that the Virgin did not enter the hospital, because they would lose her. He told the Elder Brother that as a young man he had been apprenticed to a watchmaker and had helped set up the clock in the hospital, so he knew the terms of the contract. Finally, they took the steps to the church of San Hermenegildo, in the Puerta de Córdoba, ... just in case.
In spite of everything, the hoax broke. On several occasions, the Esperanza Macarena Pass entered the Hospital on its return from the Penitence station, as it happened on Good Friday morning in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, when it had access to the interior, according to the local press , to bless the wounded of the battle front.
Fuente: Blog "Leyendas de Sevilla"