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Throughout their Italian territories there were over 150 churches dedicated to the Madonna of Montserrat.
At a later period the imperial dynasty in Spain consolidated the cult of the Black Mother in central Europe - in Bohemia and Austria, carrying it westward with the discovery and conquest of the New World, which had close links with the 'little dark one' from the very beginning, thanks to the presence at , thus making Her image the first 'Christian' icon to cross the Atlantic. Certainly Dario wasn't far wrong but what about the other two members of the infernal trinity?
Before long I found myself navigating the base of the surreally barren range, gargantuan spires of limestone, quartz and glinting porphyry towering over me, crests lost in cloud.
When repeated attempts to move the icon to the nearest village, Manresa, were repeatedly thwarted by violent electrical storms, it was decided instead to leave Her on the mountain and build the basilica around Her so She might be venerated in situ.
Devotion to 'La Moreneta' spread eastwards with the Mediterranean conquests of the Catalan-Aragonese monarchy.
I had come without knowing it into the domain of the Black Mother and as one journey ended so a newer and stranger one began.
I had received a momentary flash of illumination but was as artless as a child playing on the outer doorstep of a mystery I couldn't begin to comprehend.
Chapter 6: An Audience with the Black Mother Shortly thereafter I was obliged to make my first visit to Spain.