About this Item
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Title: Trail of Miracles: Stories from a Pilgrimage...
Publisher: Univ of California Pr
Publication Date: 1986
Book Condition: Good
About this title
Each year nearly one million people journey to Juazeiro do Norte, in the backlands of Brazil, to pay their respects to Padre Cicero Romao Batista. A rich oral literature has developed from the stories of miracles attributed to the priest, who died in 1934.
Candace Slater's study, based on some two hundred hours of on-site tape recordings, collects and analyzes the best-known tales. By comparing versions of the stories told by residents and pilgrims, Slater illuminates the dynamics of legend formation. Although the two groups' accounts of the tales are similar in many respects, examination reveals subtle but fundamental differences. Residents describe a large number of scattered miraculous episodes, and their narratives reflect a high degree of personal involvement. In contrast, the pilgrims' psychic as well as geographic distance from the priest often leads them to fashion more coherent stories, even though their tales are based on a smaller number of incidents.
Slater's perceptive analysis of the Padre Cicero stories and her sensitive relation of the tales to the lives of the tellers provide a privileged illustration of the emergence of an unofficial saints life, with all the force of a communal myth.
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