Friday, November 11, 2011

Don't cry for me, Blanco Texas.

MUG: Chinese-made generic souvenir mug. Like all the others.

COFFEE: Guatemalan estate-grown coffee from Barrett's. I'm now buying the 5 lb. bags of their beans. A nice city roast.

NOTES: The weeping icon was a fixture at the Old Russian Orthodox Monastery outside of Blanco, Texas. I visited it a couple times in the early 1990s when I was interested in Orthodox spirituality (where I purchased this coffee mug). They had a crudely painted icon of the Theotokos (Mother of God) that 'miraculously' wept oil of myrrh (which they sold on cotton balls for home healing) from cracks near her eyes. It was displayed on a stand that had a closed base. That's where the pump was that fed the oil to icon's 'tear ducts'. The fraud isn't the only reason Mary would weep.

The self-appointed abbot of the monastery ('Father Benedict') was a former Southern Baptist land developer from San Antonio who had gotten into trouble abusing young boys. He reinvented himself as an Old Russian Orthodox priest, founded the monastery, and began luring local boys to come there and live as novates. You can imagine what happened next.

The monastery is closed, and Father Benedict is dead, dying just before being sentenced to a long imprisonment.

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