This article was translated by John R. Bopp
We’ve been holding onto this one, looking forward to publishing it. It’s about an article by Carlos Evia Cervantes for the Mexican daily Novedades Yucatán that tells the story and legend of Teodisio de Goñi, the found of the St. Michael of Aralar Sanctuary.
Why have we been looking forward to this? Well, there is a lot here to like.
Firstly, because it focuses on the St. Michael of Aralar Sanctuary, one of the most important and significant spiritual centers for the Basques for more than a thousand years. The Archangel Michael is, for Basque Nationalism, the patron saint of the Basque Country since 1909. His feast day, that of St. Michael in Excelsis, is a cause for joy and celebration for many Basques. Though we must never forget that on that feast day in 1936, the requeté insurgents assassinated Fortunato de Aguirre, the mayor of Estella; he was hated by them for being Basque, for being a democrat, and for having faced up to the despotism of the caciques which dominated Navarre and governed it as a private fief up until quite recently.
We visit this place rather often, and every time we’re there, we feel the weight of history. It’s not hard to notice the power that that place transmits, be it when one visits the Sanctuary, tread upon by so many visitors over its ten centuries of existence, or when standing at the edge of the cliff and looking at la Sakana, that great natural link between two Basque capitals, Vitoria and Pamplona, far below.
What’s more, this story is being told from the Yucatán Peninsula, a place where, as we’ve said before, Basque lauburus have a notable presence. It’s yet another example of the Basque heritage spread throughout the Americas.
We believe that we do need to point a niggle out to Carlos Evia Cervantes. Barandiaran did not study “the oral folklore and traditions of Spain, specifically those of the Basque Country”. Actually, what he did was study the folklore and oral traditions of the Basques. We mustn’t forget that the Basques live in what is now Spain and France. Moreover, Aita Barandiaran spent his final years in exile in the Northern Basque Country, the part of our land under French administration. There, he continued studying the Basques, because he was still in Basque lands. And he was exiled, as were tens of thousands of Basques, fleeing the insurgents who would topple the Republic and persecute Basque culture.
We’ll leave you with the link to the Mexican newspaper, and the entry in the Auñamendi Basque Encyclopedia dedicated to this extraordinary place.
Novedades Yucatán – 20/3/2019 – Mexico
El arcángel San Miguel y el dragón
osé Miguel de Barandiarán y Ayerbe fue uno de los más grandes estudiosos del folclor y la tradición oral de España, específicamente de Euskadi o el País Vasco. Recopiló un relato mítico muy famoso que fue motivo de inspiración para muchos dedicados al arte de la pintura.
Enciclopedia Auñamendi – – Basque Country
El arcángel San Miguel
Antes, mucho antes de que escribiera el padre Burgui, los historiadores que se ocuparon de Navarra con más conocimientos (e incluso por encargo de las autoridades del reino), como el padre Moret, no vincularon la fundación del Santuario de San Miguel de Excelsis a los hechos de don Teodosio, pero sí hicieron referencia a los instrumentos más antiguos en que el mismo santuario aparece citado.