Monday, April 22, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Philistine, Psalms 66:8-20, Acts 8:26-40, John 6:44-51, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Our Small Daily Encounters with Christ, St Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur, Canary Islands, Our Lady of Candelaria , Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Article 3:4 The Liturgical Celebration of the Eucharist

Thursday,  April 18, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Philistine, Psalms 66:8-20, Acts 8:26-40, John 6:44-51, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Our Small Daily Encounters with Christ, St Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur, Canary Islands, Our Lady of Candelaria , Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Article 3:4  The Liturgical Celebration of the Eucharist

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Prayers for Today: Thursday in Easter


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis April 18 Homily :

Our Small Daily Encounters with Christ

(2013-04-17 Vatican Radio)
Vatican Radio) Faith is a gift that begins in our encounter with Jesus, a real, tangible person and not an intangible essence, ‘mist’ or 'spray'. Our real encounter with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit was the focus of Pope Francis Thursday morning celebrated with the Italian State Police who serve the Vatican area.

The Pope drew inspiration for his homily from the Gospel of John in which Jesus tells the crowd that "he who believes has eternal life". He says the passage is an opportunity for us to examine our conscience. He noted that very often people say they generally believe in God. "But who is this God you believe in?" asked Pope Francis confronting the evanescence of certain beliefs with the reality of a true faith:

"An ‘all over the place - god, a 'god-spray' so to speak, who is a little bit everywhere but who no-one really knows anything about. We believe in God who is Father, who is Son, who is Holy Spirit. We believe in Persons, and when we talk to God we talk to Persons: or I speak with the Father, or I speak with the Son, or I speak with the Holy Spirit. And this is the faith. "

In the Gospel passage, Jesus also says that no one can come to him "unless drawn by the Father who sent me." Pope Francis said that these words show that "to go to Jesus, to find Jesus, to know Jesus, is a gift" that God bestows on us.

The Pope said we see an example of this in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, where Christ sends Philip to explain the Old Testament in the light of the Resurrection to an officer of the court of the Queen of Egypt. That officer - observed Pope Francis - was not a "common man" but a royal treasurer and because of this, “we may think he was a bit attached to the money", "a careerist." Yet, said the Pope, when this individual listens to Philip speak to him of Jesus "he hears that it is good news", "he feels joy," to the point of being baptized in the first place they find water:

"Those who have faith have eternal life, they have life. But faith is a gift, it is the Father who gifts it. We must continue on this path. But if we travel this path, it is always with our own baggage - because we are all sinners and we all always have things that are wrong. But the Lord will forgive us if we ask for forgiveness, and so we should always press onwards, without being discouraged - but on that path what happened to the royal treasurer will happen to us too”.

Pope Francis, what is described in the Acts of the Apostles, after the officer discovers the faith we also happen to us: "And he went on his way rejoicing":

"It is the joy of faith, the joy of having encountered Jesus, the joy that only Jesus gives us, the joy that gives peace: not what the world gives, but what gives Jesus. This is our faith. We ask the Lord to help us grow in this faith, this faith that makes us strong, that makes us joyful, this faith that always begins with our encounter with Jesus and always continues throughout our lives in our small daily encounters with Jesus. "


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope: April–May

Vatican City, 3 April 2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father in the months of April and May, 2013:

7 April, Second Sunday of Easter, or Divine Mercy Sunday: 5:30pm,Mass in the Basilica of St. John Lateran for the Bishop of Rome to take possession of the Roman cathedra.

14 April, Sunday: 5:30pm, Mass in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls

21 April, Sunday: 9:30am, Mass and priestly ordinations in St. Peter's Basilica.

28 April, Sunday: 10:00am, Mass and confirmations in St. Peter's Square.

4 May, Saturday: 6:00pm, Recitation of the Rosary in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

5 May, Sunday: 10:00am, Mass for Confraternities in St. Peter's Square.

12 May, Sunday: 9:30am, Mass and canonizations of Blesseds Antonio Primaldo and Companions; Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya y Upegui; and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala.

18 May, Saturday: 6:00pm, Pentecost Vigil in St. Peter's Square with the participation of ecclesial movements.

19 May, Pentecost Sunday: 10:00am, Mass in St. Peter's Square with the participation of ecclesial movements.


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 04/18/2013.


April 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:"Dear children, I am calling you to be one with my Son in spirit. I am calling you, through prayer, and the Holy Mass when my Son unites Himself with you in a special way, to try to be like Him; that, like Him, you may always be ready to carry out God's will and not seek the fulfillment of your own. Because, my children, it is according to God's will that you are and that you exist, and without God's will you are nothing. As a mother I am asking you to speak about the glory of God with your life because, in that way, you will also glorify yourself in accordance to His will. Show humility and love for your neighbour to everyone. Through such humility and love, my Son saved you and opened the way for you to the Heavenly Father. I implore you to keep opening the way to the Heavenly Father for all those who have not come to know Him and have not opened their hearts to His love. By your life, open the way to all those who still wander in search of the truth. My children, be my apostles who have not lived in vain. Do not forget that you will come before the Heavenly Father and tell Him about yourself. Be ready! Again I am warning you, pray for those whom my Son called, whose hands He blessed and whom He gave as a gift to you. Pray, pray, pray for your shepherds. Thank you." 

March 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:
“Dear children! In this time of grace I call you to take the cross of my beloved Son Jesus in your hands and to meditate on His passion and death. May your suffering be united in His suffering and love will win, because He who is love gave Himself out of love to save each of you. Pray, pray, pray until love and peace begin to reign in your hearts. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

March 18, 2013 Message to the World via Annual Apparition to Mirjana:
"Dear children! I call you to, with complete trust and joy, bless the name of the Lord and, day by day, to give Him thanks from the heart for His great love. My Son, through that love which He showed by the Cross, gave you the possibility to be forgiven for everything; so that you do not have to be ashamed or to hide, and out of fear not to open the door of your heart to my Son. To the contrary, my children, reconcile with the Heavenly Father so that you may be able to come to love yourselves as my Son loves you. When you come to love yourselves, you will also love others; in them you will see my Son and recognize the greatness of His love. Live in faith! Through me, my Son is preparing you for the works which He desires to do through you – works through which He desires to be glorified. Give Him thanks. Especially thank Him for the shepherds - for your intercessors in the reconciliation with the Heavenly Father. I am thanking you, my children. Thank you."


Today's Word:  Philistine  Phil·i·stine  [fil-uh-steen]  

Origin: 1350–1400; Middle English  < Late Latin Philistīnī  (plural) < Late Greek Philistînoi  < Hebrew pəlishtīm

1. ( sometimes initial capital letter  ) a person who is lacking in or hostile or smugly indifferent to cultural values, intellectual pursuits, aesthetic refinement, etc., or is contentedly commonplace in ideas and tastes.
2. ( initial capital letter  ) a native or inhabitant of ancient Philistia.
3. ( sometimes initial capital letter  ) lacking in or hostile to culture.
4. smugly commonplace or conventional.
5. ( initial capital letter  ) of or belonging to the ancient Philistines.


Today's Old Testament Reading -   Psalms 66:8-9, 16-17, 20

8 Nations, bless our God, let the sound of his praise be heard;
9 he brings us to life and keeps our feet from stumbling.
16 Come and listen, all who fear God, while I tell what he has done for me.
17 To him I cried aloud, high praise was on my tongue.
20 Blessed be God who has not turned away my prayer, nor his own faithful love from me.


Today's Epistle -  Acts 8:26-40

26 The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, 'Set out at noon and go along the road that leads from Jerusalem down to Gaza, the desert road.'
27 So he set off on his journey. Now an Ethiopian had been on pilgrimage to Jerusalem; he was a eunuch and an officer at the court of the kandake, or queen, of Ethiopia; he was her chief treasurer.
28 He was now on his way home; and as he sat in his chariot he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
29 The Spirit said to Philip, 'Go up and join that chariot.'
30 When Philip ran up, he heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, 'Do you understand what you are reading?'
31 He replied, 'How could I, unless I have someone to guide me?' So he urged Philip to get in and sit by his side.
32 Now the passage of scripture he was reading was this: Like a lamb led to the slaughter-house, like a sheep dumb in front of its shearers, he never opens his mouth.
33 In his humiliation fair judgement was denied him. Who will ever talk about his descendants, since his life on earth has been cut short?
34 The eunuch addressed Philip and said, 'Tell me, is the prophet referring to himself or someone else?'
35 Starting, therefore, with this text of scripture Philip proceeded to explain the good news of Jesus to him.
36 Further along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, 'Look,is some water; is there anything to prevent my being baptised?'
38 He ordered the chariot to stop, then Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water and he baptised him.
39 But after they had come up out of the water again Philip was taken away by the Spirit of the Lord, and the eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing.
40 Philip appeared in Azotus and continued his journey, proclaiming the good news in every town as far as Caesarea.


Today's Gospel Reading - John 6:44-51

'No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me, and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets: They will all be taught by God; everyone who has listened to the Father, and learnt from him, comes to me. Not that anybody has seen the Father, except him who has his being from God: he has seen the Father. In all truth I tell you, everyone who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the desert and they are dead; but this is the bread which comes down from heaven, so that a person may eat it and not die. I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.' 

• Up until now the dialogue had been between Jesus and the people. From now on, the Jewish leaders begin to enter into conversation and the discussion becomes tenser.

• John 6, 44-46: Anyone who opens himself to God accepts Jesus and his proposal. The conversation becomes more demanding. Now, it is the Jews, the leaders of the people who complain: “Surely, this is Jesus, son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know. How can he say: I have come down from heaven?” (Jn 6, 42). They thought they knew the things of God. But, in reality, they did not know them. If we were truly open and faithful to God, we would feel within us the impulse of God which attracts us toward Jesus and we would recognize that Jesus comes from God, because it is written in the Prophets: “They will all be taught by God; everyone who has listened to the Father and has learnt from him, comes to me.

• John 6, 47-50: Your fathers ate manna in the desert and they are dead. In the celebration of the Passover, the Jews recalled the bread of the desert. Jesus helps them to take a step ahead. Anyone who celebrates the Passover, recalling only the bread that the fathers ate in the past, will die as all of them did! The true sense of the Passover is not to recall the manna which falls from heaven, but to accept Jesus, the new Bread of Life and to follow the way which he has indicated. It is no longer a question of eating the meat of the paschal lamb, but rather of eating the flesh of Jesus, so that the one who eats it will not die, but will have eternal life!

• John 6, 51: Anyone who eats of this bread will live for ever. And Jesus ends saying: “I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live for ever and the bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world.” Instead of the manna and the paschal lamb of the first exodus, we are invited to eat the new manna and the new paschal lamb that was sacrificed on the Cross for the life of all.

• The new Exodus. The multiplication of the loaves takes place close to the Passover (Jn 6, 4). The feast of the Passover was the prodigious souvenir of the Exodus, the liberation of the People from the clutches of Pharaoh. The whole episode which is narrated in chapter 6 of the Gospel of John has a parallel in the episodes related to the feast of the Passover, whether as liberation from Egypt or with the journey of the people in the desert in search of the Promised Land. The discourse of the Bread of Life, in the Synagogue of Capernaum, is related to chapter 16 of the Book of Exodus which speaks about the Manna. It is worth while to read all of chapter 16 of Exodus. In perceiving the difficulties of the people in the desert we can understand better the teaching of Jesus here in chapter 6 of the Gospel of John. For example, when Jesus speaks of a “food which does not perish, which endures for eternal life” (Jn 6, 27) he is recalling the manna which produced worms and became rotten (Ex 16, 20) Like when the Jews “complained” (Jn 6, 41), they do the same thing as the Israelites in the desert, when they doubted of the presence of God in their midst during their journey across the desert (Ex 16, 2; 17, 3; Nb 11, 1). The lack of food made the people doubt about God and they began to complain against Moses and against God. Here also, the Jews doubt about God’s presence in Jesus of Nazareth and begin to complain (Jn 6, 41-42). 

Personal questions
• Does the Eucharist help me to live in a permanent state of Exodus? Am I succeeding?
• Anyone who is open to truth finds the response in Jesus. Today, many people withdraw and do not find any response. Whose fault is it? Is it of the persons who know how to listen? Or is it the fault of us, Christians, who do not know how to present the Gospel as a message of life? 

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur

Feast DayApril  18

Patron Saint:  Canary Islands and Guatamala
Attributes: Walking stick and bell

Brother Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur (March 21, 1626 (Tenerife)—April 25, 1667 (Antigua Guatemala), called Hermano Pedro de San José Betancurt or more simply Hermano Pedro, Santo Hermano Pedro, or San Pedro de Vilaflor, was a Spanish saint and missionary. He is known as the "St. Francis of the Americas." He is known as the first Canarian Saint.

Born in Vilaflor, on the island of Tenerife, he spent some time in a little cave in the arid region near the present-day town of El Médano (municipality of Granadilla de Abona).

He worked as a shepherd until age 24, when in 1649, he began to make his way to Guatemala, hoping to connect with a relative engaged in government service there. By the time he reached Havana, Cuba, he was out of money. After working there to earn more, he arrived in Guatemala City the following year.

When he arrived he was so destitute that he joined the bread line which the Franciscans had established. He fell sick almost immediately but was able to recover his health.

He very much wanted to become a priest and soon enrolled in the local Jesuit college (Jesuit College of San Borgia) in hopes of studying for the priesthood. No matter how hard he tried, however, he could not master the material, and thus withdrew from the school.

Unable to receive holy orders, he became a Franciscan tertiary in the convent of Costa Rica in Antigua Guatemala, and took the name "Peter of Saint Joseph". He visited hospitals, jails, the unemployed, and the young. Three years later, he opened Our Lady of Bethlehem, a hospital for the convalescent poor. Soon after there was a shelter for the homeless, schools for the poor, an oratory, and an inn for priests. He was imitated by other tertiaries and Hermano Pedro soon wrote up a rule, which was adopted by the women who were involved in teaching the children. This led to the formation of a new religious order: la Orden de los Bethlemitas y de las Bethlemitas, subsequently recognized and approved by the Holy See.


Cave of Santo Hermano Pedro (Tenerife)
He was beatified on June 22, 1980, and canonized on July 30, 2002, by Pope John Paul II. At the homily read by John Paul II in Guatemala City on July 30, 2002, Hermano Pedro was called the "first Canarian and Guatemalan saint."

His tomb is in the San Francisco Church, in Antigua Guatemala. The Cave of Santo Hermano Pedro is located in the south of the island of Tenerife, in a desert on the outskirts of the city of El Médano. It is a very popular pilgrimage site, where the faithful present votive offerings to the saint. Inside the cave is a wooden statue of the saint.

He is sometimes credited with originating the Christmas Eve posadas procession in which people representing Mary and Joseph seek a night's lodging from their neighbors. The custom soon spread to Mexico and other Central American countries.

He was known to work miracles also, some of them including healing sick people in under an hour. Also getting notes from deceased family members by setting rocks out and letting the member arrange them over time.


        Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane



        Today's Snippet I:  Canary Islands

        Map of the Canary Islands
        The Canary Islands, also known as the Canaries (Spanish: Canarias), are a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are one of Spain's 17 autonomous communities and an outermost region of the European Union. The islands include (from largest to smallest): Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, La Graciosa, Alegranza, Isla de Lobos, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste.

        The archipelago's beaches, climate and important natural attractions, especially Maspalomas in Gran Canaria and Teide National Park and Mount Teide (the third tallest volcano in the world measured from its base on the ocean floor), make it a major tourist destination with over 12 million visitors per year, especially Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. The islands have a subtropical climate, with long warm summers and moderately warm winters. Due to their location above the temperature inversion layer, the high mountains of these islands are ideal for astronomical observation. For this reason, two professional observatories, Teide Observatory on the island of Tenerife and Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, have been built on the islands.

        The capital of the Autonomous Community is shared by the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which in turn are the capitals of the provinces of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Province of Las Palmas. Las Palmas has been the largest city in the Canaries since 1768, except for a brief period in 1910. Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927 Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands. In 1927 a decree ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands be shared, as it remains at present. The third largest city of the Canary Islands is La Laguna (a World Heritage Site) on Tenerife.

        During the times of the Spanish Empire the Canaries were the main stopover for Spanish galleons on their way to the Americas because of the favorable easterly winds.


        The name Islas Canarias is likely derived from the Latin name Canariae Insulae, meaning "Island of the Dogs", a name applied originally only to Gran Canaria. According to the historian Pliny the Elder, the Mauretanian king Juba II named the island Canaria because it contained "vast multitudes of dogs of very large size".

        Another speculation is that the so-called dogs were actually a species of Monk Seals (canis marinus or "sea dog" was a Latin term for 'seal'), critically endangered and no longer present in the Canary Islands. The dense population of seals may have been the characteristic that most struck the few ancient Romans who established contact with these islands by sea.

        Alternatively, it is said that the original inhabitants of the island, Guanches, used to worship dogs, mummified them and treated dogs generally as holy animals. The ancient Greeks also knew about a people, living far to the west, who are the "dog-headed ones", who worshipped dogs on an island. Some hypothesize that the Canary Islands dog-worship and the ancient Egyptian cult of the dog-headed god, Anubis are closely connected but there is no explanation given as to which one was first.

        Other theories speculate that the name comes from a reported Berber tribe living in the Moroccan Atlas, named in Roman sources as Canarii, though Pliny again mentions the relation of this term with dogs. The connection to dogs is retained in their depiction on the islands' coat-of-arms (shown above).

        What is certain is that the name of the islands does not derive from the canary bird; rather, the birds are named after the islands.


        Tenerife, with 865,070 inhabitants, is both the Canary Islands' most populous island, and the second most populous one in Spain after Majorca. Tenerife is also the largest island of the archipelago. The island of Fuerteventura is the second largest in the archipelago and located 100 km from the African coast.

        The islands form the Macaronesia ecoregion with the Azores, Cape Verde, Madeira, and the Savage Isles. The archipelago consists of seven large and several smaller islands, all of which are volcanic in origin. The Teide volcano on Tenerife is the highest mountain in Spain, and the third tallest volcano on Earth on a volcanic ocean island. All the islands except La Gomera have been active in the last million years; four of them (Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma and El Hierro) have historical records of eruptions since European discovery. The islands rise from Jurassic oceanic crust associated with the opening of the Atlantic. Underwater magmatism commenced during the Cretaceous, and reached the ocean's surface during the Miocene. The islands are considered as a distinct physiographic section of the Atlas Mountains province, which in turn is part of the larger African Alpine System division.

        In the summer of 2011 a series of low magnitude earthquakes occurred beneath El Hierro. These had a linear trend of northeast-southwest. In October a submarine eruption occurred about 2 km south of Restinga. This eruption produced gases and pumice but no explosive activity was reported.
        According to the position of the islands with respect to the north-east trade winds, the climate can be mild and wet or very dry. Several native species form laurisilva forests.

        As a consequence, the individual islands in the canary archipelago tend to have distinct microclimates. Those islands such as El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera lying to the west of the archipelago have a climate which is influenced by the moist gulf stream. They are well vegetated even at low levels and have extensive tracts of sub-tropical laurisilva forest. As one travels east toward the African coast, the influence of the gulf stream diminishes, and the islands become increasingly arid. Fuerteventura and Lanzarote the islands which are closest to the African mainland are effectively desert or semi desert. Gran Canaria is known as a "continent in miniature" for its diverse landscapes like Maspalomas and Roque Nublo. In terms of its climate Tenerife is particularly interesting. The north of the island lies under the influence of the moist Atlantic winds and is well vegetated, while the south of the island around the tourist resorts of Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos is arid. The island rises to almost 4000 m above sea level, and at altitude, in the cool relatively wet climate, forests of the endemic pine Pinus canariensis thrive. Many of the plant species in the Canary Islands, like the Canary Island pine and the dragon tree, Dracaena draco are endemic, as noted by Sabin Berthelot and Philip Barker Webb in their epic work, L'Histoire Naturelle des Îles Canaries (1835–50).


        El Hierro

        El Hierro, the westernmost island, covers 268.71 km², making it the smallest of the major islands, and the least populous with 10,753 inhabitants. The whole island was declared Reserve of the Biosphere in 2000. Its capital is Valverde. Also known as Ferro, it was once believed to be the westernmost land in the world.


        Fuerteventura, with a surface of 1,660 km², is the second-most extensive island of the archipelago, as well as the second most oriental. It has been declared a Biosphere reserve by Unesco. It has a population of 100,929. Being also the most ancient of the islands, it is the one that is more eroded: its highest point is the Peak of the Bramble, at a height of 807 m. Its capital is Puerto del Rosario.

        Gran Canaria

        Gran Canaria has 845,676 inhabitants. The capital, Las Palmas (377,203 inhabitants), is the most populous city and shares the status of capital of the Canaries with Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Gran Canaria's surface area is 1,560 km². In center of the island lie the Roque Nublo (1,813 m) and Pico de las Nieves ("Peak of Snow") (1,949 m). In the south of island are the Maspalomas Dunes (Gran Canaria), these are the biggest tourist attractions.

        La Gomera

        La Gomera, has an area of 369.76 km² and is the second least populous island with 22,622 inhabitants. Geologically it is one of the oldest of the archipelago. The insular capital is San Sebastian de La Gomera. Garajonay's National Park is here.


        Lanzarote, is the easternmost island and one of the most ancient of the archipelago, and it has shown evidence of recent volcanic activity. It has a surface of 845.94 km², and a population of 139,506 inhabitants including the adjacent islets of the Chinijo Archipelago. The capital is Arrecife, with 56,834 inhabitants.

        Chinijo Archipelago

        The Chinijo Archipelago includes the islands La Graciosa, Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste. It has a surface of 40.8 km², and a population of 658 inhabitants all of them in the la Graciosa island. With 29 km², La Graciosa, is the smallest inhabited island of the Canaries, and the major island of the Chinijo Archipelago.

        La Palma

        La Palma, with 86,528 inhabitants, covering an area of 708.32 km² is in its entirety a biosphere reserve. It shows no recent signs of volcanic activity, even though the volcano Teneguía entered into eruption last in 1971. In addition, it is the second-highest island of the Canaries, with the Roque de los Muchachos (2,423 m) as highest point. Santa Cruz de La Palma (known to those on the island as simply "La Palma") is its capital.


        Tenerife is, with its area of 2,034 km², the most extensive island of the Canary Islands. In addition, with 906,854 inhabitants it is the most populated island of the archipelago and Spain. Two of the islands' principal cities are located on it: The capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and San Cristóbal de La Laguna (a World Heritage Site). San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the second city of the island is home to the oldest university in the Canary Islands. The Teide, with its 3,718 m is the highest peak of Spain and also a World Heritage Site.

        National parks of the Canary Islands

        Caldera de Taburiente National Park (La Palma).
        The Canary Islands officially has four national parks, of which two have been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and the other two declared a World Biosphere Reserve, these national parks are:
        • Caldera de Taburiente National Park (La Palma): Created in 1954 and declared a World Biosphere Reserve in 2002. It currently covers an area of 46.9 km².
        • Garajonay National Park (La Gomera): Created in 1981 and declared in 1986 as a World Heritage Site. Its area is 3986 hectares at the core and some areas north of the island.
        • Timanfaya National Park (Lanzarote): Created in 1974 and declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1993, together with the whole island. Occupies an area of 51.07 km ², is located in the southwest of the island.
        • Teide National Park (Tenerife): Created in 1954, was declared a World Heritage Site in 2007. It covers an area of 18,990 hectares, is the oldest and largest national park in the Canary Islands and one of the oldest in Spain. The Teide in 2010 became the most visited national park in Europe and second worldwide. Located in the geographic center of the island is the most visited National Park in Spain. The highlight is the Teide at 3,718 meters altitude, is the highest elevation of the country and the third largest volcano on Earth from its base. Teide National Park was declared in 2007 as one of the 12 Treasures of Spain.


        The originally volcanic islands –seven major islands, one minor island, and several small islets– were formed by the Canary hotspot. The Canary Islands is the only place in Spain where volcanic eruptions have been recorded during the Modern Era, with some volcanoes still active (El Hierro, 2011). Volcanic islands such as the those in the Canary chain often have steep ocean cliffs caused by catastrophic debris avalanches and landslides.


        Ancient and pre-colonial times

        Alonso Fernández de Lugo presenting the captured native kings of Tenerife to Ferdinand and Isabella
        Before the arrival of the aborigines, the Canaries were inhabited by prehistoric animals; for example, the giant lizard (Gallotia goliath), or giant rats (Canariomys bravoi and Canariomys tamarani).

        The islands were visited by the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the Carthaginians. According to the 1st century AD Roman author and philosopher Pliny the Elder, the archipelago was found to be uninhabited when visited by the Carthaginians under Hanno the Navigator, but that they saw ruins of great buildings. This story may suggest that the islands were inhabited by other peoples prior to the Guanches. King Juba, Augustus's Numidian protege, is credited with discovering the islands for the Western world. He dispatched a naval contingent to re-open the dye production facility at Mogador in what is now western Morocco in the early 1st century AD. That same naval force was subsequently sent on an exploration of the Canary Islands, using Mogador as their mission base.

        When the Europeans began to explore the islands, they encountered several indigenous populations living at a Neolithic level of technology. Although the history of the settlement of the Canary Islands is still unclear, linguistic and genetic analyses seem to indicate that at least some of these inhabitants shared a common origin with the Berbers of northern Africa. The pre-colonial inhabitants came to be known collectively as the Guanches, although Guanches was originally the name for the indigenous inhabitants of Tenerife. From the 14th century onward, numerous visits were made by sailors from Majorca, Portugal and Genoa. Lancelotto Malocello settled on Lanzarote in 1312. The Majorcans established a mission with a bishop in the islands that lasted from 1350 to 1400.

        Castilian conquest

        There may have been a Portuguese expedition that attempted to colonize the islands as early as 1336, but there is not enough hard evidence to support this. In 1402, the Castilian conquest of the islands began, with the expedition of French explorers Jean de Béthencourt and Gadifer de la Salle, nobles and vassals of Henry III of Castile, to Lanzarote. From there, they conquered Fuerteventura (1405) and El Hierro. Béthencourt received the title King of the Canary Islands, but still recognized King Henry III as his overlord.

        Béthencourt also established a base on the island of La Gomera, but it would be many years before the island was truly conquered. The natives of La Gomera, and of Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and La Palma, resisted the Castilian invaders for almost a century. In 1448 Maciot de Béthencourt sold the lordship of Lanzarote to Portugal's Prince Henry the Navigator, an action that was not accepted by the natives nor by the Castilians. Despite Pope Nicholas V ruling that the Canary Islands were under Portuguese control, a crisis swelled to a revolt which lasted until 1459 with the final expulsion of the Portuguese. In 1479, Portugal and Castile signed the Treaty of Alcáçovas. The treaty settled disputes between Castile and Portugal over the control of the Atlantic, in which Castilian control of the Canary Islands was recognized but which also confirmed Portuguese possession of the Azores, Madeira, the Cape Verde islands and gave them rights to lands discovered and to be discovered...and any other island which might be found and conquered from the Canary islands beyond toward Guinea.

        The Castilians continued to dominate the islands, but due to the topography and the resistance of the native Guanches, complete pacification was not achieved until 1495, when Tenerife and La Palma were finally subdued by Alonso Fernández de Lugo. After that, the Canaries were incorporated into the Kingdom of Castile.

        After the conquest

        Coat of arms of the Castilian and Spanish Realm of Canary Islands
        After the conquest, the Castilians imposed a new economic model, based on single-crop cultivation: first sugar cane; then wine, an important item of trade with England. In this era, the first institutions of colonial government were founded. Both Gran Canaria, a colony of Castile since March 6, 1480 (from 1556, of Spain), and Tenerife, a Spanish colony since 1495, had separate governors.

        The cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria became a stopping point for the Spanish conquerors, traders, and missionaries on their way to the New World. This trade route brought great prosperity to some of the social sectors of the islands. The islands became quite wealthy and soon were attracting merchants and adventurers from all over Europe. Magnificent palaces and churches were built on La Palma during this busy, prosperous period. The Church of El Salvador survives as one of the island's finest examples of the architecture of the 16th century.

        The Canaries' wealth invited attacks by pirates and privateers. Ottoman Turkish admiral and privateer Kemal Reis ventured into the Canaries in 1501, while Murat Reis the Elder captured Lanzarote in 1585.

        The most severe attack took place in 1599, during the Dutch War of Independence. A Dutch fleet of 74 ships and 12,000 men, commanded by Pieter van der Does, attacked the capital Las Palmas (the city had 3,500 of Gran Canaria's 8,545 inhabitants). The Dutch attacked the Castillo de la Luz, which guarded the harbor. The Canarians evacuated civilians from the city, and the Castillo surrendered (but not the city). The Dutch moved inland, but Canarian cavalry drove them back to Tamaraceite, near the city.

        The Dutch then laid siege to the city, demanding the surrender of all its wealth. They received 12 sheep and 3 calves. Furious, the Dutch sent 4,000 soldiers to attack the Council of the Canaries, who were sheltering in the village of Santa Brígida. 300 Canarian soldiers ambushed the Dutch in the village of Monte Lentiscal, killing 150 and forcing the rest to retreat. The Dutch concentrated on Las Palmas, attempting to burn it down. The Dutch pillaged Maspalomas, on the southern coast of Gran Canaria, San Sebastian on La Gomera, and Santa Cruz on La Palma, but eventually gave up the siege of Las Palmas and withdrew.

        Another noteworthy attack occurred in 1797, when Santa Cruz de Tenerife was attacked by a British fleet under the future Lord Nelson on 25 July. The British were repulsed, losing almost 400 men. It was during this battle that Nelson lost his right arm.

        18th to 19th century

        The sugar-based economy of the islands faced stiff competition from Spain's American colonies. Low prices in the sugar market in the 19th century caused severe recessions on the islands. A new cash crop, cochineal (cochinilla), came into cultivation during this time, saving the islands' economy.

        By the end of the 18th century, Canary Islanders had already emigrated to Spanish American territories, such as Havana, Veracruz, Santo Domingo, San Antonio, Texas and St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. These economic difficulties spurred mass emigration, primarily to the Americas, during the 19th and first half of the 20th century. Between 1840 and 1890 as many as 40,000 Canary Islanders emigrated to Venezuela. Also, thousands of Canarians moved to Puerto Rico where the Spanish monarchy felt that Canarians would adapt to island life better than other immigrants from the mainland of Spain. Deeply entrenched traditions, such as the Mascaras Festival in the town of Hatillo, Puerto Rico, are an example of Canarian culture still preserved in Puerto Rico. Similarly, many thousands of Canarians emigrated to the shores of Cuba. During the Spanish-American War of 1898, the Spanish fortified the islands against possible American attack, but an attack never came.

        Romantic period and scientific expeditions

        Coast El Golfo, El Hierro
        Sirera and Renn (2004) distinguish two different types of expeditions, or voyages, during the period 1770-1830, which they term "the Romantic period":

        First are "expeditions financed by the States, closely related with the official scientific Institutions. characterized by having strict scientific objectives (and inspired by) the spirit of Illustration and progress". In this type of expedition, Sirera and Renn include the following travelers:
        • J. Edens, whose 1715 ascent and observations of Mt. Teide influenced many subsequent expeditions.
        • Louis Feuillée (1724), who was sent to measure the meridian of El Hierro and to map the islands.
        • Jean-Charles de Bordauj (1771, 1776) who more accurately measured the longitudes of the islands and the height of Mount Teide
        • the Baudin-Ledru expedition (1796) which aimed to recover a valuable collection of natural history objects.
        The second type of expedition identified by Sirera and Renn is one that took place starting from more or less private initiatives. Among these, the key exponents were the following:
        • Alexander von Humboldt (1799)
        • von Buch-Smith
        • Broussonet
        • Webb
        • Bertholet.
        Sirera and Renn identify the period 1770-1830 as one in which "In a panorama dominated until that moment by France and England enters with strength and brio Germany of the Romantic period whose presence in the islands will increase".

        Early 20th century

        Casa de Colón y Pilar Nuevo (Gran Canaria)
        At the beginning of the 20th century, the British introduced a new cash-crop, the banana, the export of which was controlled by companies such as Fyffes.

        The rivalry between the elites of the cities of Las Palmas and Santa Cruz for the capital of the islands led to the division of the archipelago into two provinces in 1927. This has not laid to rest the rivalry between the two cities, which continues to this day.

        During the time of the Second Spanish Republic, Marxist and anarchist workers' movements began to develop, led by figures such as Jose Miguel Perez and Guillermo Ascanio. However, outside of a few municipalities, these organizations were a minority and fell easily to Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War.

        Franco regime

        In 1936, Francisco Franco was appointed General Commandant of the Canaries. He joined the military revolt of July 17 which began the Spanish Civil War. Franco quickly took control of the archipelago, except for a few points of resistance on La Palma and in the town of Vallehermoso, on La Gomera. Though there was never a proper war in the islands, the post-war repression on the Canaries was most severe.

        During the Second World War, Winston Churchill prepared plans for the British seizure of the Canary Islands as a naval base, in the event of Gibraltar being invaded from the Spanish mainland. Opposition to Franco's regime did not begin to organize until the late 1950s, which experienced an upheaval of parties such as the Communist Party of Spain and the formation of various nationalist, leftist parties.


        Auditorio de Tenerife by Santiago Calatrava, and an icon of contemporary architecture in the Canary Islands (Santa Cruz de Tenerife).
        After the death of Franco, there was a pro-independence armed movement based in Algeria, the MPAIAC. Now there are some pro-independence political parties, like the CNC and the Popular Front of the Canary Islands, but none of them calls for an armed struggle. Their popular support is insignificant, with no presence in either the autonomous parliament or the cabildos insulares.

        After the establishment of a democratic constitutional monarchy in Spain, autonomy was granted to the Canaries via a law passed in 1982. In 1983, the first autonomous elections were held. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) won. In the 2007 elections, the PSOE gained a plurality of seats, but the nationalist Canarian Coalition and the conservative Partido Popular (PP) formed a ruling coalition government.

        According to "Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas" (Sociological Research Centre) in 2010, 43.5% of the population of the Canary Islands feels more Canarian than Spanish (37.6%), only Canarian (7.6%), compared to 5.4% that feels more Spanish than Canarian (2.4%) or only Spanish (3%). The most popular choice of those who feel equally Spanish and Canarian, with 49.9%. With these data, one of the Canary recorded levels of identification with higher autonomy from Spain.



        Isleño  is the Spanish word meaning "islander." The Isleños are the inhabitants of Canary Island, and by extension the descendants of canarian settlers and immigrants to Louisiana, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and other parts of America. The name "islander" was given to the Canary Islanders to distinguish them from Spanish mainlanders known as "peninsulars" (Spanish: peninsulares) But in these places or countries, the name has evolved from a category to an identity. The name evolved to the point that when addressing the Canary Islanders of Louisiana, they would be referred to as the Isleños, or Los Isleños.

        In Latin America, the Canary Islanders or "Canarians", are known as Isleños as well. Another name to refer to a Canary Islander is "Canarian" in English, or Canario in Spanish, as well as Isleño Canario.

        In Latin America, at least in those countries which had great Canarian populations, the term Isleño is still used to distinguish a Canary Islander from someone from continental Spain. By the early eighteenth century it could be said there were many more Canarians and descendants of them in the Americas that in the Canary Islands. In addition, the Canarians had many children, so that now, the number of descendants of those first immigrants must be very superior to number of migrants who arrived in the Americas. In fact, the Americas were the basic destination of most Canarian immigrants, since its discovery in 1492 until the twentieth century, when combined to a lesser extent with the Spanish colonies in Africa (Ifni, Western Sahara and Equatorial Guinea; first half of the twentieth century) and Europe (since the 70´s), although the emigration to America would not end until the early 80's.

         The culture of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Uruguay partially derive from the Canarian culture, as do the accents of these first three countries and of the Dominican Republic. Although most of the Canarians who emigrated to the Americas from the sixteenth to the twentieth century are well-mixed with the population, there still remain communities that preserve the Canarian culture of their ancestors in some areas of the continent, such as in Louisiana, San Antonio of Texas, Hatillo (Puerto Rico), San Carlos de Tenerife (now a neighborhood of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) and San Borondón in Peru.

        Silbo Gomero Language

        The narrow valleys of La Gomera.
        Silbo Gomero (Spanish for 'Gomeran Whistle'), also known as "el silbo" ('the whistle'), is a whistled language spoken by inhabitants of La Gomera in the Canary Islands to communicate across the deep ravines and narrow valleys (gullies) that radiate through the island. A speaker of Silbo Gomero is sometimes referred to in Spanish as a "silbador" ('whistler'). It was declared as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009.

        Little is known of the original language or languages of the Canaries, though it is assumed they must have had a simple enough phonological/phonetic system to allow an efficient whistled language. Invented before their arrival by the original inhabitants of the island, the Guanches, and "spoken" also on el Hierro, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria, Silbo was adapted to Spanish by the last Guanches and adopted by the Spanish settlers in the 16th century and thus survived. In 1976 Silbo barely remained on el Hierro, where it had flourished at the end of the 19th century. When this unique medium of communication was about to die out in the late 20th century, the local government required all Gomeran children to study it in school. The language's survival before that point was due to topography or terrain and the ease with which it is learned by native speakers. It now has official protection as an example of intangible cultural heritage.

        As with other whistled forms of non-tonal languages, the Silbo works by retaining approximately the articulation of ordinary speech, so "the timbre variations of speech appear in the guise of pitch variations" (Busnel and Classe: v). The language is a whistled form of a dialect of Spanish.  Manuel Carreiras of the University of La Laguna and David Corina of the University of Washington published research on Silbo in 2004 and 2005 arguing that Silbo was understood by the brain in much the same way as a spoken language. Their study of speakers of Spanish (some of whom "spoke" Silbo and some of whom did not) showed (by monitoring brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging) that while non-speakers of Silbo merely processed Silbo as whistling, speakers of Silbo processed the whistling sounds in the same linguistic centers of the brain that processed Spanish sentences.

        Ramón Trujillo of the University of La Laguna published his book "EL SILBO GOMERO análisis lingüístico" in 1978. This work containing almost a hundred spectrograms concludes in a theory that there are only two vowels and four consonants in the Silbo Gomero language. In Trujillo's work Silbo's vowels are given one quality, pitch, either high or low. However, the work of Julien Meyer (2005 - in French only (pg 100), 2008) gives a statistical analysis of the vowels of Silbo showing that there are 4 vowels statistically distinguished in production and that they are also perceived so. Also in 2005, Annie Rialland of the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle published an acoustic and phonological analysis of Silbo based on new materials, showing that not only gliding tones but also intensity modulation plays a role in distinguishing different whistled sounds.

        Trujillo's 2005 collaboration with Gomeran whistler Isidro Ortiz and others ("EL SILBO GOMERO Materiales didácticos" - qv. pdf link below) revises his earlier assertions to state that 4 vowels are indeed perceived (qv. pg 63 ref. cit.), and describes in detail the areas of divergence between his empirical data and Classe’s phonetic hypotheses. Despite Trujillo's 2005 work acknowledging the existence of 4 vowels, his 2006 bilingual work ("El Silbo Gomero. Nuevo estudio fonológico") inexplicably reiterates his 1978 two-vowel theory. Trujillo's 2006 work directly addresses many of Rialland's conclusions, but it seems that at the time of that writing he was unaware of Meyer's work.

        Meyer suggests that there are 4 vowel classes of /i/, /e/, /a/, /u, o/. However Meyer goes on to say that there are 5 perceived vowels with significant overlap. Rialland (2005) and Trujillo (1978) both agree that the harmonic of the whistle matches the second formant of the spoken vowels. Spoken /a/'s F2 and whistled /a/'s H1 match in their frequency (1480 Hz). However there is a disconnect in harmonics and formants near the frequency basement. Spoken speech has a wide range of F2 frequencies (790 Hz to 2300 Hz), whistles are limited to 1200 Hz to 2400 Hz. Vowels are therefore shifted upwards at the lower end (maintaining 1480 Hz as /a/) increasing confusion between /o/ (spoken F2 freq 890 Hz, whistled <1300 Hz) and /u/ (spoken freq 790 Hz, Whistled <<1300 Hz). In whistling the frequency basement must be raised to the minimum whistle harmonic of 1000 Hz reducing frequency spacing in the vowels, which increases misidentification in the lower vowels.

        Trujillo (1978) suggested that the consonants are either rises or dips in the “melody line” which can be broken or continuous. Further investigation by Meyer, and by Rialland suggest that vowels are stripped to their inherent class of sound which is communicated in the whistle in these ways: voice (/k/ vs /g/) is transmitted by the whistled feature -continuity. A silent pause in the whistle communicates +voice (/g/), while a +continuous consonant gives the quality -voice (/k/). Placement of the consonant (dental, palatal, fricative) is transmitted in whistle by the loci of the formant transitions between vowels. Consonant classes are simplified into four classes. Extra high loci (near vertical formant loci) denotes affricates and stridents, rising loci denotes alveolar, medial (loci just above the vowel formant) denotes palatal, and falling (low loci) denotes pharyngeal, labial, and fricative. This gives 8 whistled consonants, but including tone gradual decay (with intensity falling off) as a feature on continuous and interrupted sounds gives 10 consonants. In these situations gradual decay is given +voice, and continuous is given +liquid.

        Canarian Spanish

        Canarian Spanish (Spanish: español de Canarias, español canario, el habla canaria, or dialecto canario) is a variant of standard Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands by the Canarian people. The variant is very similar to the Andalusian Spanish variety spoken in Andalusia and in much of southern Spain and (especially) to Caribbean Spanish and other Latin American Spanish dialects because of Canarian emigration to the Caribbean and Hispanic America over the years. Canarian Spanish, therefore, heavily influenced the development of Caribbean Spanish and other Latin American Spanish dialects. Hispanic America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands were originally largely settled by colonists from Canary Islands and Andalusia, so the dialects of the islands were already quite close to Canarian and Andalusian speech. In the Caribbean, Canarian speech patterns were never regarded as foreign or overly distinct.

        The incorporation of the Canary Islands into the Crown of Castile began with Enrique III and ended with the Catholic Monarchs. The expeditions for their conquest started off mainly from ports of Andalusia and is the reason why the Andalusians predominated in the Canaries. There was also an important colonizing contingent coming from Portugal in the early conquest of the Canaries, along with the Andalusians and the Castilians from mainland Spain. In earlier times, Portuguese settled alongside the Spanish in the north of La Palma, but died off or were absorbed by the Spanish. The population that inhabited the islands before the conquest, the Guanches, spoke a series of Berber dialects, often referred to by the insular term, amazigh. After the conquest, a cultural process took place rapidly and intensely, with the native language disappearing almost completely in the archipelago. Surviving are some names of plants and animals, terms related to the cattle ranch, and numerous island placenames.

        Due to their geographic situation, the Canary Islands have received much outside influence, causing drastic cultural changes, including linguistic ones. As a result of heavy Canarian emigration to the Caribbean region, particularly during colonial times, Caribbean Spanish is strikingly similar to Canarian Spanish. When visiting Tenerife or Las Palmas, Venezuelans, Cubans, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans are usually taken at first hearing for fellow-Canarians from a distant part of the Canary archipelago.


        Basilica of the Virgin of Candelaria (Patroness of the Canary Islands) in Candelaria, Tenerife
        The overwhelming majority of native Canarians are Roman Catholic with various smaller foreign-born populations of other Christian beliefs such as Protestants from northern Europe. Separate from the overwhelming Christian majority are a minority of Muslims, though no official ( mention is made of them. Other religious faiths represented include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as Hinduism. Minority religions are also present such as the Church of the Guanche People which is classified as a neo-pagan religion. The appearance of the Virgin of Candelaria (Patron of Canary Islands) was credited with moving the Canary Islands toward Christianity.

        The Canary Islands are divided into two Catholic dioceses, each governed by a bishop:
        • Diócesis Canariense: Includes the islands of the Eastern Province: Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. Its capital was Telde (1351), San Marcial El Rubicón (1404) and Las Palmas (1483–present).
        • Diócesis Nivariense: Includes the islands of the western province: Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. Its capital is San Cristóbal de La Laguna (1819–present).

        Canarian cuisine

        Canarian cuisine refers to the typical dishes and ingredients in the cuisine of the Canary Islands. These include plentiful fish, generally roasted, papas arrugadas (a potato dish), mojos (such as mojo picón), and wine from the malvasia grape.

        Mojo (pronounced mO-ho) is a sauce which may be orange, red, or green depending on its ingredients. Mojo is heavy in garlic and can be moderately spicy, referred to as mojo picón. It is usually made of oil, vinegar, salt, red pepper, thyme, oregano, coriander and several other spices. This is the father to all mojos of Latin America, especially Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela, due to heavy Canarian emigration, and have also influenced the cuisines of the non-Hispanic Caribbean islands.

        Papas arrugadas are small unskined potatoes which have been boiled in salt water and are usually served with chicken and topped with mojo. Their name in Spanish means "wrinkled potatoes" and refers to their condition after being boiled and served.

        One very typical Canarian product is gofio, a flour created by grinding roasted sweetcorn. Gofio is produced locally and is added to many foods and also to warm milk as a drink, as well as made into a dough-like food called pella and eaten alongside meals. It is also made into a hot dip.

        Canarians widely use olive oil in their foods, which are often prepared from scratch. Other typical Canarian foods include ropa vieja ("old clothes"), a dish of chicken and beef mixed with potatoes and garbanzos (chickpeas), and potaje, a generic name for one of many stews. Canarian ropa vieja is the father to Cuban ropa vieja through Canarian emigration.

        A sweet indulgence is bienmesabe which mean in Spanish "Tastes good to me". It's a paste made from grounded almonds, lemon rind and eggs. It's normally served as a dessert, nowadays sometime with cream or ice cream.

        The wine from the malvasia grape was a product of canarian export since the 17th century, immediately after the decline of sugar plantations and until its commerce was blocked by the British navy in the late 18th century. Nowadays the islands produce ten of protected geographical indications. Canarian Denominación de Origen wines are:

        Canarian Denominación de Origen wines.
        • D.O. Abona (Tenerife)
        • D.O. Tacoronte-Acentejo (Tenerife)
        • D.O. Valle de Güímar (Tenerife)
        • D.O. Valle de La Orotava (Tenerife)
        • D.O. Ycoden-Daute-Isora (Tenerife)
        • D.O. El Hierro
        • D.O. Lanzarote
        • D.O. La Palma
        • D.O. La Gomera
        • D.O. Gran Canaria

        Other foods include sancocho canario, puchero canario, gofio escaldado, bacalao (bacalhau), plátanos (plantain), pasteles, etc. Canarians often dye their food yellow, using either a local azafran (saffron) or food coloring. Canarians also eat foods typical of the Spanish peninsula, including Spanish tortilla and paella.

        Canary music

        Aragonese jota dancers
        The music of the Canary Islands reflects its cultural heritage. The islands used to be inhabited by the Guanches which are related to Berbers; they mixed with Spaniards, who live on the islands now. A variant of Jota is popular, as is Latin music, which has left its mark in the form of the timple guitar. There has been a strong connection with Cuban music, Venezuelan, Puerto Rican, and other Caribbean countries both through commerce and migration.

        The jota is a genre of music and the associated dance known throughout Spain, most likely originating in Aragon. It varies by region, having a characteristic form in Aragon, Castile, Navarra, Cantabria, Asturias, Galicia, Murcia and Eastern Andalusia. Being a visual representation, the jota is danced and sung accompanied by castanets, and the interpreters tend to wear regional costumes. In Valencia, the jota was once danced during interment ceremonies.

        Timple seen from front

        The timple is a traditional Spanish plucked string instrument of the Canary Islands.

        In La Palma island and in the north of the island of Tenerife, many timple players omit the fifth (D) string, in order to play the timple as a four-string ukulele, though this is considered less traditional by players and advocates of the five-string version.

        The players of the four-string style, in return, say that they are simply playing the timple in the old-fashioned way from before the time when a fifth string was introduced in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. The common tuning is GCEAD.  Timple players (timplistas) of note are Benito Cabrera, José Antonio Ramos, Pedro Izquierdo.

        Popular dances from the Canary Islands include:
        • Isas
        • Tajaraste
        • Baile del Candil
        • Baile de Cintas
        • Danza de Enanos
        • El Santo Domingo
        • Tanganillo
        • Folias 
        • Malagueña
        Of these, the Isas, a local variation of Jota are the most well-known and characteristic of the Canary Islands. They are graceful music, with a lot of variation among islands. In some places, a captain leads the dance and organizes others in a chain as the dance grows more and more complex.

        Tajaraste is combined music and dance typical of the Canary Islands, (Spain). It is specific to the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera. Essentially an upbeat, happy and syncopated rhythm, danced in pairs accompanied by tambourines, drums and small castanet-like instruments called chácaras. The dance is collective in nature and its choreography changes from island to island. The differences arise from the originating island. Tajarastes arrived in the European courts in the 16th century. Its songs are from ancient romances that were revived after the conquest of the Canary Islands. They describe stories, miracles and forbidden loves

        Rondalla arrangements are very common. Instruments include charangas, timples (similar to a cavaquinho / ukulele), castanets, panderetas, lauds and guitars. The rondalla is an ensemble of stringed instruments played with the plectrum or pick and generally known as plectrum instruments. It originated in Medieval Spain, especially in Catalunya, Aragon, Murcia, and Valencia. The tradition was later taken to Spanish America and elsewhere. The word rondalla is from the Spanish ronda, meaning "serenade."

         A peculiar ensemble in El Hierro island is made of pito herreño players (a wooden transverse flute) and drums. Some ritual dances in Tenerife island are led by a tabor pipe player. Joyful music for carnival lies to a big extent on brass bands and Latin American patterns.


        • Frucht, Richard. Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe: From the Congress of Vienna to the Fall of Communism (2000) online edition
        • Hoensch, Jörg K., and Kim Traynor. A History of Modern Hungary, 1867–1994 (1996) online edition
        • Hanak, Peter et al. A History of Hungary (1994)
        • Kontler, Laszlo. A History of Hungary (2006) excerpt and text search
        • Molnár, Miklós, and Anna Magyar. A Concise History of Hungary (2001) excerpt and text search
        • Palffy, Geza. The Kingdom of Hungary and the Habsburg Monarchy in the Sixteenth Century (East European Monographs, distributed by Columbia University Press, 2010) 406 pages; Covers the period after the battle of Mohacs in 1526 when the Kingdom of Hungary was partitioned in three, with one segment going to the Habsburgs. 
        • Batista, J.J. and M. Morera, eds., (2007) El Silbo Gomero : 125 años de estudios lingüísticos y etnográficos. Islas Canarias : Academía Canaria de la Lengua.
        • Díaz Reyes, D. (2008). El lenguaje silbado en la Isla de El Hierro. Excmo. Cabildo Insular de El Hierro. Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
        • Meyer, J., Meunier, F., Dentel, L. (2007) Identification of natural whistled vowels by non whistlers. Proceedings of Interspeech 2007.
        • Trujillo, R. (2006). El Silbo Gomero. Nuevo estudio fonológico (español-inglés / Spanish-English). Ed. Cuadernos de Dialectología de la Academia Canaria de la Lengua, Islas Canarias
        • Rialland, A. (2003) A New Perspective on Silbo Gomero. Proceedings of the 15th International Conference of Phonetic Sciences, Barcelona.


        Today's Snippet II:   Our Lady of Candelaria 

        The Virgin of Candelaria or Our Lady of Candelaria (Virgen de Candelaria, Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria), popularly called La Morenita, celebrates an apparition of the Virgin Mary on the island of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands (Spain). The center of worship is located in the city of Candelaria in Tenerife. She is depicted as a Black Madonna. Its main temple and Royal Basilica Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Candelaria (Basilica of Candelaria), is considered the main church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the Canary Islands. She is the patron saint of the Canary Islands. Her feast is celebrated on February 2 (Candlemas) and August 15, this patronal feast on Canary Islands.

        Legend and appearance

        According to a legend recorded by Alonso de Espinosa in 1594, a statue of the Virgin Mary, bearing a child in one hand and a green candle in the other (hence "Candelaria"), was discovered on the beach of Chimisay (Güímar) by two Guanche goatherds in 1392. This occurred before the Castilian conquest of the island (the island was not fully conquered until 1496).

        One of the shepherds tried to throw a stone at the statue, but his arm became paralyzed; the other tried to stab the statue with a knife but ended up stabbing himself. The statue was taken by the local Guanche mencey, Acaymo, to the cueva de Chinguaro.

        Later, was recognized by Antón, a Guanche who had been enslaved and converted to Christianity by the Castilians, as the Virgin Mary when he returned to Tenerife. He told the mencey of his conversion and the statue was thus venerated by the Guanches, who translated the statue to the cave of Achbinico (also known as San Blas - "Saint Blaise"). However, the statue was stolen and taken away to Lanzarote. It was brought back after the statue caused various events to occur on Lanzarote, but later returned to Tenerife.

        At first, aboriginals identified with the appearance of their goddess Chaxiraxi (the mother of the gods), but later the Christian conquerors explained that the image was the Virgin Mary.

        The original image was a medieval gothic sculpture that many scientists have linked with the Knights Templar and the Priory of Sion, not only for its dark color, but also for his clothes, which are very similar to those of the Virgin of Lluch (patron saint of Mallorca) and the Virgin of Montserrat (patron saint of Catalonia).


        Annual performance to honor Our Lady of Candelaria at Socorro Beach, Güímar. The men in fur capes represent the native Guanches.
        The first mass was celebrated at Achbinico on February 2, 1497, and the Adelantado Alonso Fernández de Lugo ordered the construction of a hermitage there, but it was not built until 1526, during the rule of Pedro Fernández de Lugo. This was the site of the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria. The basilica was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 19th century. The statue itself was lost when a tsunami carried it out to sea in 1826; the present statue is a copy by Fernando Estévez. The image of the Virgin is dressed in rich robes of different colors and jewels.

        She was declared patroness of the Canary Islands in 1559, by Clement VIII (and principal patroness in 1867 by Pope Pius IX). The Virgin of Candelaria has been widely used for prayers, such as epidemics, plagues, droughts and volcanic eruptions of Mount Teide and other volcanoes, in a manner similar to the invocation of St. Januarius of Naples to stop the eruptions of Vesuvius and of St. Agatha of Catania to eruptions of Mount Etna in Sicily.

        Between October 1964 and January 1965, the Diocese of Tenerife conducted the largest pilgrimage took place in the history of the Canary Islands, the transfer of the image of the Virgin of Candelaria (Saint Patron of Canary Islands) for all municipalities and cities island of Tenerife.

        The cult of the Virgin of Candelaria swept America due to the emigration of canaries to this continent. The canaries took the devotion as a symbol of their culture, something very similar to the diffusion of the cult of St. Patrick by the United States by Irish emigrants.

        She is widely venerated in South America and the Caribbean, where she is the patroness of Oruro and La Paz (Bolivia), Medellín (Colombia) (which was founded as Villa de Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria de Medellín) and Mayagüez (Puerto Rico) (which was founded as Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Mayagüez). There is an image of her at San Antonio, Texas, center of an isleño community, as well. In the Caribbean African diaspora religion Santería, the Virgin of Candelaria was syncretised with the Yoruba goddess called by the names Iansan and Oya. In coastal Brazil Candelaria, called Nossa Senhora das Candeias in Portuguese, is syncretised with the Yoruba Goddess Oshun.

        In the Cathedral of San Fernando of Texas (the oldest Catholic cathedral in the United States) is a replica of the Virgin of Candelaria, which is accurate to the venerated in the Canary Islands. This is because the city of San Antonio was founded by canaries.

        In the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth (Israel) place where tradition says the Gabriel announced to Virgin Mary her motherhood, is a mosaic of the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the Canary Islands, along with those of other Marian devotions famous in Spain. The mosaic of the Virgin of Candelaria was opened by the same bishop of the Diocese of Tenerife.


        Basilica of Candelaria (Tenerife)
        The Sanctuary includes Candelaria Basilica of the Virgin of Candelaria and the Holy Cave Achbinico (the latter was the first of its worship, along with Cave Chinguaro).

        Basilica of Candelaria

        The Basilica of the Royal Marian Shrine of the Our Lady of Candelaria (Spanish: Basílica y Real Santuario Mariano de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria or simply Spanish: Basílica de la Candelaria) is a Roman Catholic minor basilica, the first Marian shrine of the Canary Islands, located in the municipality and city of Candelaria on the island of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain). It is located c. 20 km (12 mi) south of the island's capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

        The basilica is dedicated to the Virgin of Candelaria (Patron of the Canary Islands). The Basilica of Candelaria is the category of cultural interest, declared as such by the Government of the Canary Islands. The basilica was designed by architect José Enrique Marrero Regalado.

        In 1390, Candelaria was a solitary and desert place that the shepherds were frequenting guanches of Menceyato de Güímar (pre-Hispanic kingdom). One evening, two natives who were leading his cattle, saw as some goats they were refusing to happen on having come to the mouth of the ravine, there went forward one of them thinking that there were people who they wanted to steal and they found, on a rock, the Holy Image of the Virgin of Candelaria (declared principal patron of the Canary Islands with posteriority).

        The image was found in a beach near to Candelaria, initially the image was moved to Cueva de Chinguaro, which was the palace of the King of Menceyato de Güímar. But later same guanches moved her to Cueva de Achbinico in Candelaria, and there it was venerated since then. At first aboriginal identified with the appearance of their goddess Chaxiraxi (the mother of the gods), but later the Christian conquerors explained that the image was the Virgin Mary. Later a hermitage was constructed, this cave was also used as a cemetery for the faithful Christian devotees of the Virgin. In 1596, King Philip III was declared protector of the Virgin of Candelaria. The Spanish monarch after ascending the throne, gave the title "Royal" to the Sanctuary of the Candelaria. Therefore, it is also the first sanctuary in the Canary Islands to receive that title.

        Interior of the basilica and altar.
        Later a church was constructed, the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria is a building that can house up to 5,000 people. Construction began in 1949 and was completed in 1959. The church was built over an old church that was destroyed by fire in 1789. However, the actual construction of the temple were postponed several times for various reasons: the economic crisis of 1931 following the proclamation of the Second Republic and later by the World War II and Spanish Civil War.

        Finally, the bishop of Tenerife, Domingo Pérez Cáceres promoted the construction of a large temple commissioning the architect Jose Enrique Marrero Regalado. The new sanctuary would be a neo-Canarian eclectic mix of all styles that have occurred in the Canary Islands. Several donations came from all the islands, the basilica would take almost a decade to finish. Finally, on February 1, 1959 the basilica was consecrated in a large religious ceremony. Nowadays Candelaria is the principal Catholic center of peregrination of the Canary Islands and one of the principal ones of Spain, the basilica hosts more than 2,5 million visitors annually.

        Among the most significant figures who have visited the basilica include heads of state or government, as well as the most prominent figures of the Church, Military, Politics, Sports, Art, etc. Among them occupy an honored role of the current King of Spain, Juan Carlos I de Borbón and Sofia of Greece, who visited while still being princes and then, as kings, in 1977. The church holds the title and dignity of a minor basilica, bestowed upon it by Pope Benedict XVI on 24 January 2011. That title was officially celebrated on 2 February of that year, coinciding with the feast of Candlemas.

        Interior of the basilica

        Virgin of Candelaria, Patron Saint of the Canary Islands.
        Another feature of the basilica are the mural paintings that are mostly found on the altar. These paintings usually represent angels and other canarian saints who were devotees of the Virgin of Candelaria. Above the altar is where the image of the Virgin.
        • The Camarín de la Virgen de Candelaria, a room just behind the altar, is the location of the wooden statue of the Virgin of Candelaria. It is opened after mass.
        • The Capilla del Sagrario is located next to the sacristy, features a mural depicting the Last Supper of Jesus with his apostles, by José Aguiar. Also found in the chapel windows with scenes from the apparition of the Virgin to the Guanches.
        • The Capilla del Cristo de la Reconciliación was blessed on April 19, 1996. It features an image of the crucified Christ made by artist Ricardo Rivera Martínez in 1936. The Chapel of the Holy Christ of Reconciliation is the penitential chapel of the basilica, dedicated to the confessions. This image of Jesus Christ is inspired by the Shroud of Turin primarily by the position of the nails in his hands.
        • The Sala de las Velas next to the main entrance to the basilica. Takes its name from offerings of candles and flowers placed inside the faithful. Over the living room table of the Canonical Coronation of the Virgin of Candelaria. In the room there are phrases that tell the story of the Virgin and her temple.

        Cueva de Achbinico

        Also so called Cave of San Blas, it was the first Christian church of the Canaries, in this place the original inhabitants of the Canary Isles worshiped the Virgin of Candelaria. This cave is behind Candelaria's Basilica and is visited by pilgrims, which are in the habit of taking and leaving flushed candles and making requests of the Virgin. Inside the cave there is a reply in bronze of the Virgin of Candelaria. Achbinico's cave has great importance not only for religious, but also historical reasons, since in the cave baptisms of guanches have been performed.

        The strange letters in the original carving of the Virgin

        Moreover, in the carved drapery of the Virgin of Candelaria original existed some strange letters whose meaning is still unknown. These were:
        • Girdle in the neck: ETIEPESEPMERI
        • On the left sleeve: LPVRINENIPEPNEIFANT
        • At the bottom of the robe: EAFM IPNINI FMEAREI
        • In the belt: NARMPRLMOTARE
        • In the mantle, in the right arm: OLM INRANFR TAEBNPEM Reven NVINAPIMLIFINIPI NIPIAN
        • On the back in the queue: NBIMEI ANNEIPERFMIVIFVE


        1. ^ "Virgen De Candelaria - Islas Canarias". Retrieved 2010-08-23.
        2. ^ "Tenerife Festivals". Retrieved 2010-08-23.
        3. ^ "in Spanish only". 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
        4. "Diva International.The Black Madonna : Virgin of Candelaria". Retrieved 2010-08-23.
        5. ^ "Historia:docs:Milagros Virgen Candelaria". Retrieved 2010-08-23.
        6. ^ Cristianos en Tierra Santa
        7. ^ La patrona extremeña será entronizada en la basílica de la Anunciación
        8. ^ "Virgen de Candelaria, syncretism". 2004-02-27. Retrieved 2010-08-23.


        Catechism of the Catholic Church

        Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery, 

        Section Two: The Seven Sacraments of the Church 

        Article 3:4  Sacrament of the Eucharist


        Article 3

        IV. The Liturgical Celebration of the Eucharist

        The Mass of all ages
        1345 As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration. They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did:
        On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.
        The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.
        When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.
        Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.
        When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.
        Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.
        He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy
        Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.
        When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: 'Amen.'
        When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the "eucharisted" bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.St. Justin, Apol. 1, 65-67

        1346 The liturgy of the Eucharist unfolds according to a fundamental structure which has been preserved throughout the centuries down to our own day. It displays two great parts that form a fundamental unity:
        - the gathering, the liturgy of the Word, with readings, homily and general intercessions;
        - the liturgy of the Eucharist, with the presentation of the bread and wine, the consecratory thanksgiving, and communion. The liturgy of the Word and liturgy of the Eucharist together form "one single act of worship";SC 56 The Eucharistic table set for us is the table both of the Word of God and of the Body of the Lord. DV 21

        1347 Is this not the same movement as the Paschal meal of the risen Jesus with his disciples? Walking with them he explained the Scriptures to them; sitting with them at table "he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them."Lk 24:13-35

        The movement of the celebration
        1348 All gather together. Christians come together in one place for the Eucharistic assembly. At its head is Christ himself, the principal agent of the Eucharist. He is high priest of the New Covenant; it is he himself who presides invisibly over every Eucharistic celebration. It is in representing him that the bishop or priest acting in the person of Christ the head (in persona Christi capitis) presides over the assembly, speaks after the readings, receives the offerings, and says the Eucharistic Prayer. All have their own active parts to play in the celebration, each in his own way: readers, those who bring up the offerings, those who give communion, and the whole people whose "Amen" manifests their participation.

        1349 The Liturgy of the Word includes "the writings of the prophets," that is, the Old Testament, and "the memoirs of the apostles" (their letters and the Gospels). After the homily, which is an exhortation to accept this Word as what it truly is, the Word of God,1 Thess 2:13 and to put it into practice, come the intercessions for all men, according to the Apostle's words: "I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings, and all who are in high positions."1 Tim 2:1-2

        1350 The presentation of the offerings (the Offertory). Then, sometimes in procession, the bread and wine are brought to the altar; they will be offered by the priest in the name of Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice in which they will become his body and blood. It is the very action of Christ at the Last Supper - "taking the bread and a cup." "The Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator, when she offers what comes forth from his creation with thanksgiving."St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 18, 4: PG 7/1, 1027; cf. Mal 1:11 The presentation of the offerings at the altar takes up the gesture of Melchizedek and commits the Creator's gifts into the hands of Christ who, in his sacrifice, brings to perfection all human attempts to offer sacrifices.

        1351 From the very beginning Christians have brought, along with the bread and wine for the Eucharist, gifts to share with those in need. This custom of the collection, ever appropriate, is inspired by the example of Christ who became poor to make us rich:1 Cor 16:1; 2 Cor 8:9
        Those who are well off, and who are also willing, give as each chooses. What is gathered is given to him who presides to assist orphans and widows, those whom illness or any other cause has deprived of resources, prisoners, immigrants and, in a word, all who are in need.St. Justin, Apol. 1, 67: PG 6, 429

        1352 The anaphora: with the Eucharistic Prayer - the prayer of thanksgiving and consecration - we come to the heart and summit of the celebration:
        In the preface, the Church gives thanks to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, for all his works: creation, redemption, and sanctification. the whole community thus joins in the unending praise that the Church in heaven, the angels and all the saints, sing to the thrice-holy God.

        1353 In the epiclesis, the Church asks the Father to send his Holy Spirit (or the power of his blessingRoman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 90) on the bread and wine, so that by his power they may become the body and blood of Jesus Christ and so that those who take part in the Eucharist may be one body and one spirit (some liturgical traditions put the epiclesis after the anamnesis).
        In the institution narrative, the power of the words and the action of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, make sacramentally present under the species of bread and wine Christ's body and blood, his sacrifice offered on the cross once for all.

        1354 In the anamnesis that follows, the Church calls to mind the Passion, resurrection, and glorious return of Christ Jesus; she presents to the Father the offering of his Son which reconciles us with him.
        In the intercessions, the Church indicates that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the whole Church in heaven and on earth, the living and the dead, and in communion with the pastors of the Church, the Pope, the diocesan bishop, his presbyterium and his deacons, and all the bishops of the whole world together with their Churches.

        1355 In the communion, preceded by the Lord's prayer and the breaking of the bread, the faithful receive "the bread of heaven" and "the cup of salvation," the body and blood of Christ who offered himself "for the life of the world":Jn 6:51
        Because this bread and wine have been made Eucharist ("eucharisted," according to an ancient expression), "we call this food Eucharist, and no one may take part in it unless he believes that what we teach is true, has received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and lives in keeping with what Christ taught."St. Justin, Apol. 1, 66,1-2: PG 6, 428