June 2, 2023

Juan Manuel Garrido Suárez managed last night at the Emigrants brotherhood house in Huelva for all of us to live and soak up his ‘Last night I dreamed Dew...’, where the friendship was also revealed as revealed by his “brother” Andrés Hernández Rodríguez and all those who put their music and voices from the balconies so that the proclamation would penetrate all the hearts of Rocieros.

The act was chaired by the episcopal vicar for the Administration of Diocesan Assets and Institutional Relations, canon of the Holy Cathedral, parish priest of Nuestra Señora de la Merced and spiritual director of Emigrants, Jaime Jesús Cano Gamero; the first deputy mayor of Huelva, María Villadeamigo Segovia; and José Francisco Garrido Cruzado and Cristina Serrat Romero, president and older sister of the Royal Brotherhood of Emigrants from Rocío de Huelva, respectively. A representation of the Brotherhood of Miracles of Palos de la Frontera was also present.

Andrés Hernández Rodríguez highlighted the dedication of the town crier “in body and soul” to his beloved brotherhood. He pointed out that “I met Juanma in El Rocío. It was introduced to me by my friend Enrique Gallardo. Until that moment came, Enrique had insisted on the need to meet him, that he couldn’t keep me wanting to be Juanma’s friend. From that arose a friendship so solid that little by little it has brought us to this day and has placed us at the gates of a dream path”.

He ended by saying that “I know what he is enjoying this year, with his wife as the older sister of Emigrantes, seeing us all happy celebrating the return of friends who were missing years ago and are reunited today”

Juanma’s dream began with a declaration of love for “that rose that fills my life with peace and joy.” Thank you Cristina, you know I’ll always be there. Likewise, she had words of gratitude to her son Juanmita for “the patience you have had this busy year for our family, so from here I want the whole world to know how proud I am of you, my son.”

Maribel Jesús and Felisa Pulido sing a beautiful prayer that says “Let’s flood homes with emotion and feeling, with heartbeats that light up when the santero leaves. Let’s flood the homes with footsteps blessed by the sweat of its coast. Come that Virgin up. A different Rocío, a Rocío with mine, a Rocío of memories, of Rocío’s experiences on ruffled balconies. Let’s toast to friends. Let’s flood the homes. That they overflow with Rocío ”.

The town crier announced “Rocío is here on that long-awaited Wednesday. That morning of happiness and emotions… Huelva wakes up with a different color. The heat of dawn is already noticeable… Suddenly a roar of people is heard, the noise of carts, the neighing of horses and, at the same time, the whisper of pilgrims. It is a boil of emotions”.

Another of the significant moments of that Wednesday of Emigrants is “when our spiritual director concludes the Holy Mass and our Salve sounds in the voices of all those present, our president will deliver our most precious treasure to our older sister.”

“It will be Cristina and her relatives who deliver the Simpecado to our butler, to our Enrique, so that he can be enthroned in our silver wagon. The brotherhood is already assembled to begin our most desired path. And after looking for the complicit glances of our president, butler and mayor of carts, all that remains is to pronounce the words that he gave so many times in his dreams. Juan! Are we ready? Is everything ready? And raising his voice he tells our cart driver… Juan, ring your bells, I’m out of patience, let’s get on the road, the Virgin is waiting for us. And as in my dreams I said, today I can finally say it. Juan is already driving those mules that we are going to El Rocío”.

After the delegation has toured the streets of Huelva by the Local Police, National Police, Civil Guard, La Merced bullring, La Merced clinic, cathedral, Manoli and Venancio’s house, monument to the Virgen del Rocío, Diputación, City Hall, Concepción and so on until you reach Tres Rayas.

“It is that magical night that we have been waiting for a year with great enthusiasm. Everything changed with time, there will be no more candles, but they will never be able to take away from us that unique feeling of a brother of Emigrants who prays and sings to his Simpecado under those pines that will forever be guardians of the feelings of a brotherhood on a spring night ” . “It is the night of Emigrants, but it is also the night of a woman who has been waiting for this night for a year, this night, that she lived since she was a child and with which she dreamed so many times and that finally today came true and she will live it with her brothers and friends.

At dawn after Mass, Emigrants continue their walk along the lanes until they reach Gatos “the pilgrims, although very tired, still have the strength to sing and dance a few sevillanas at the foot of our float.”

Our pilgrimage will continue “and like who doesn’t want it our dream is getting closer, the humidity begins to become present, it smells of wet sand, it smells of fresh vegetation, it smells of a place that is a baptismal font for the sprinklers, it smells of a stream, very close to La Rocina, smells like Charco, smells like Arroyo de la Cañada”.

Garrido: “after experiencing the emotional moment of El Charco, Emigrantes return to the road again”. “For sure, and being so close to the Lady, some eternal sprinklers will thank us for having taken our brotherhood to where we have made it go. If we close our eyes for a moment, we could see some tears of emotion on the faces of those who, more than half a century ago, planted the seed of our Brotherhood of Emigrants in Germany”.

And Juanma’s dream ended “and with a stately gait, as only Emigrants know, our brotherhood goes eagerly in search of that entrance, of that neighborhood so desired by any rociero, called El Barrio de las Gallinas.

Emigrants arrived at Rocío with Garrido

What if we are in the Barrio de Las Gallinas that we already feel the wild aroma of rosemary, the noise of rockets thundering in the marsh sky, the creaking of the arches of the decorated cars, the color of the gypsy costumes of the women of emigrants. And the entire marsh is a commotion that awakens all our five senses. Because Emigrantes already arrived in El Rocío full of faith and emotions”.

A night where the town crier Garrido was always supported by numerous friends who wanted to accompany him not only with their presence, but also with their art as the pianist and composer, grandson of the admired Andrés Ramírez, Manuel Moreno, who interpreted the Salve accompanied by the choir of the brotherhood, who would also sing throughout the night ‘Otra vez mi gente’, ‘Y yo’ and ‘Detener el corriente’, performed by David Carrasco, choir director. Also, many other friends joined this dream of Juanma with her voices and guitars, to mention some Hispano or Kike, among others.

The president of Emigrantes, José Francisco Garrido, once again showed “his joy at seeing the patio of the brotherhood house full of brothers and supporters” of the Rociera branch, and thanked Juanma for the beautiful proclamation offered and highlighted how well he had been accompanied since the balconies with so many friends. For her part, her older sister, Cristina Serrat, pointed out that she had no doubts when choosing “since the town crier had him at home and knew that she could give his words heart and soul.” Both Juanma Garrido and Andrés Hernández received a present from the brotherhood, as well as from her older sister.

Before the prayer of the Salve, Cristina Serrat wanted to present the gift that she will give to the Matrix Brotherhood on May 18 during the celebration of the Novena to the Virgin of Rocío of a beautiful present for the Divine Shepherd.

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