"Never make Yemaya angry because... when Yemaya punishes, she is implacable."
The first time Matilde made an offering to her beloved Santa, she was on the verge of despair. The father, the breadwinner of the house, began to suffer chest pains and a lot of coughing. The tests confirmed the worst: lung cancer. Thus, suddenly, Tata Genaro had to abandon two of his three loves: tobacco and the sea, to make matters worse, the husband of the young woman in her twenties, taking advantage of the income, took the savings under the mattress of the old sea lion and he took off, leaving only an apology note with misspellings, one hundred pesos to end the month and a three-month belly.
__ And now how are we going to do my girl? __, were the words of the father, afflicted by the impotence of his disability, and knowing that he had no solution for such a tragedy, but Matilde, willful as there were no two, settled the sea lion on the bed, took the hundred pesos, left to the street, bought several white roses and went to the sea. On the shore, after taking off all her clothes, she walked slowly into the water, raised her arms and prayed:
__ My Yemaya, goddess of the sea, I humbly beg you... please help me support this family... help me in my new job. __. She deposited the white flowers and returned home.
That was the first offering, and it was well paid, therefore, to the mañaThe next morning, Matilde got into the old father's boat, thus beginning the profession of fisherman.
__ "Son of a cat..."__, said Genaro when he saw her return tanned and with good catches, day by day, until the time of delivery arrived and Julián was born in serious condition. The doctors did not count on him, science had no remedy to save him.
__“A miracle… my son needs a miracle…”__, and then the second offering came: a water melon, a pineapple, three apples and three oranges, all inside the boat along with the largest fish. He rowed and rowed aimlessly, when the village houses could barely be seen, he got up, picked up the fish and uttered his plea.
__ My Yemayá, mother of fish, I come to ask for my son, save his life and let me see him grow. __ The present was delivered and Matilde returned full of faith to the hospital where the doctors were waiting for her smiling:
__ He is responding to treatment… his son is going to be saved. __
Perhaps her calm reaction might have surprised them, but for no reason, Matilde's emotion went from within, her confidence in her saint had the value of a hundred smiles.
This was the second offering, the reward could not have been better, the boy became a teenager, a young man and a vigorous adult who loved the sea to the pride of Matilde, who left the family legacy in her hands, but not before warning her:
__ Always remember to thank and respect our Saint because, she gives, but she takes away. __
And the young Julián, obedient and good, faithfully complied with that premise, until one day:
__ "Why don't you buy me a beer? “__
The first woman's perfume arrived on the hips of the seductive Rosa, she had both beauty and mischief, a spell from which Julián could not free himself.
From that moment Rosa's voice transformed her behavior, she hardly even went home, all the money from fishing was invested in the whims of the attractive slut, the jealousy also began, the brawls in the bars, of course, the drink in excess and total forgetfulness of his family. And so he was until…
__ “Without money there is no Rose…”__, the dissatisfied damsel sentenced the day Julián was left with nothing, it was when he remembered his mother's savings and without delay ran in search of her.
Matilde's joy was opaque when she saw her beloved son transformed into a monster: rude words, bad words, and worst of all, the violence in her gestures when she tried to take the money.
__ You're going to have to kill me... bad son! __
Genaro shouted, who with a supreme effort had gotten up from the bed to face the demon.
__ Yemaya gave you life and Yemaya is going to take it from you... if you take that money, Yemaya takes your life! __
In a happy story, understanding would have gained ground, but Julián lived in absolute blindness, capable of inciting him to the worst of sins.
__ What have you done my son? __
He didn't really feel it, the impulse came by itself, as if possessed by a demon, his arms pushed the sick old man who fell unconscious on the ground. As a clarifying spring, the image of his beloved sea lion embraced by Matilde brought him back to an unexpected reality. He wanted to help, but he couldn't move, he wanted to speak, but the pain of that vision, and above all, the reproachful color in his mother's eyes froze all his senses for several seconds, until the hook of fear hooked him and he ran away. crazy.
By the time they announced that Genaro was out of danger, it was after one in the morning, the maternal feeling in Matilde had sprouted again and she only had one thought, her son, also a fear, Yemayá:
__ “Yemaya gave you life and Yemaya is going to take it from you!“__, the father's words made her react, like a fireball she went out praying that her suspicions weren't real. But tragic stories only bring related realities. The boat was not at the dock and the darkness made it impossible to see further.
__ Julian… Julian…! __, she screamed like crazy trying to get her lover back__
This is how he spent the next day, the other, and five more days without hope of anything, then his third offering arrived:
Saved for special occasions, she donned her best outfit, a long, laced dress all blue, with a necklace of blue and white beads and a small bell.
Facing the sea again, barefoot, she expressed her pleading prayer:
__ My Yemayá, dear Saint, you who are the mother of all children on earth, please forgive my Julián and erase from his mind all the bad things that poison him, if you grant me my wish, this will be my last offering.
The moon was pointing the night, when it was collected giving way to the mañana, the first fishermen saw him in the distance, Julián's boat was back, but the young man was not doing well, completely unconscious, with burns, sunstroke, and acute dehydration made him stop at the hospital. Seven days later, Genaro's face was his first vision of his world, sincerely ashamed, he asked for forgiveness and begged for his mother's presence.
__ You already have my forgiveness, but to your mother…__
He needed hours to understand those words: "A life for another life", what did grandpa mean? The days passed and the answer was still a question mark, impossible for him to understand that miracles sometimes need the certificate of sacrifice.
Some fishermen say that even today, day after day, the young Julián, already a mature man, goes out to sea not only to fish, but to ask Yemayá for a miracle, the miracle that she will return the being that gave him life and rescued from death.
"Yemaya offers blessings, but is inflexible with those who offend her."
- Learn more about the beautiful goddess of Yemayá, her prayers, children, rituals and tradition (click here)