Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/148

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132 Folklore of the Azores.

because she carried a green umbrella and wore blue shoes, and the shoes are under the water of the blue lake and the umbrella under the green lake.

The Holy lVo?nan of Alegria.

Very many years ago there lived in Sao iMiguel a woman named Maria Roya, noted for her evil life, who suddenly disappeared from the sight of men. For repent- ing of her many sins she resolved to devote her remaining days to prayer and contemplation. Wandering far among the mountains she came at length to a lonely valley, and finding there a small cave or grotto she dug away the earth with her hands until it was large enough for her to enter; and in this place she passed her life in penance and prayer. Yet that she might be present at the celebration of Mass, she never failed when Sunday came to climb the mountains and descend again to the sea-coast, where her appearance at the church of Maia, two leagues distant, was looked on as miraculous. None knew whence she came nor whither she disappeared after the service. But her attendance was so regular that the priest became accus- tomed to ask if she had entered the church, and did not put on his robes and begin the ceremony until the sacristan announced her arrival. She came in any weather, and however wet it was she had only to shake her large cloak, and the water would fall from it, leaving it perfectly dry. At length two curious men resolved to follow her, and keeping her in sight they climbed the hills and entered the beautiful valley of Alegria, where they saw her disappear into the cavern. Cautiously approaching, they were struck with wonder and amazement when they saw the holy woman upon her knees, while a glorious brightness filled the narrow grotto and lighted up the pictures and images of the saints with which it was adorned. She was at first startled at seeing her discoverers, but they calmed her fears, and went on, leaving her undisturbed at her devo-