Not everyone knows the “shocking” episode in the Gospel of Matthew [15, 21-28], which we are referring to by our provocative title.
“At that time”, says the evangelist, “Jesus moved to the area of Tire and Sidon. And a Canaanite woman, who came from that region, began to cry out: «Have mercy on me, Lord, son of David! My daughter is very tormented by a devil»”.
Do you know what Jesus answered to her? At first, nothing at all. “He didn’t even say a word to her”, explains Matteo. But that’s not all.
At that point, the disciples, a little annoyed by the screaming woman, try to convince Jesus to listen. And that’s when Jesus rattles off a couple of answers that would stagger Pope Bergoglio.
“I was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel only“, he replies dryly. And, after the woman continue to insist, he adds: “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs“.
At this point something happens which, again according to Christian interpretations, marks a turning point. The woman, in fact, accepts the humiliation and replies: “It’s true, Lord, yet the little dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table“.
It is only at that point that Jesus is convinced (“Woman, great is your faith”) to help her and heals his daughter.
Let’s start spoilering something: contemplating in person the “St. Dominic’s vision”, that overlooks the altar of the San Domenico church (Taverna), is already a good reason to visit Calabria. But let’s take it slowly.
Less than three thousands inhabitants, a village at the foot of the “Sila Piccola” that settles just over 500 metres above sea level and reaches the 1400 metres of altitude at “Villaggio Mancuso“, Taverna is the synthesis of Calabria. Just a few minutes from the sea and, obviously, a few minutes from the wonderful and lush forests of the Calabrian mountains, like many other Calabrian villages, Taverna claims ancient origins. According to popular tradition, Taverna would have been founded by the inhabitants of Trischene, a Greek colony situated in the current Uria (fraction of the municipality of Sellia Marina), which the sisters of the trojan king Priamo would have given birth to. But despite the actual existence of Trischene have being debated, it seems plausible the existence of a Greek-Latin colony from which Sellia and Taverna would derive, following the Arab pirates incursions that forced inhabitants to find safer shelters in the interior during the Middle Ages.
The history of Taverna is the history of Calabria, a place where cities were founded by the ancient Greeks – as Kroton (Pitagora’s city), Skylletion, Locri, Rhegion, Kaulon, Hipponion, Terina, Sybaris and many more – giving the region the name of “Magna Graecia” and an incredible archaeological wealth.
And the geography of Taverna is the geography of Calabria: snug villages, clinging to the mountains, where you can breathe the burning wood in fireplaces in winter and the scent of the sea during summer. Continua a leggere →