In Catalonia, Spain, where the lack of rainfall has caused significant damage to crops, a small village called L’Espunyola is taking action by resorting to prayer.
The farmers in this mountainous area are hoping that divine intervention will bring much-needed rain within a fortnight to save their crops. Failure to do so, according to Josep Altarriba, would mean the loss of his entire harvest.
On Sunday, approximately 250 villagers, including him, participated in a unique Mass and parade to implore Our Lady of the Torrents for assistance.
The Lady, a revered figure associated with rain, is particularly relevant since Spain is currently experiencing an unparalleled drought. The worshippers carried the effigy of the Lady from its usual location at the local church and proceeded to march solemnly throughout the village, with the bishop and parishioners following behind.
This was the first time that the effigy had been removed from the church since 2008.
“It’s not a magic act, it is an act of trust,” said Bishop Francesc Conesa told The Associated Press.
Olive trees across Spain have been adversely impacted by the drought, resulting in a harvest in the fall that was just half of the previous winter’s yield.
Spain experienced its sixth driest year on record last year, and it was also the hottest since 1961 when records were first kept. The country has been facing a prolonged drought for the last three years due to extremely high temperatures and minimal rainfall.
The drought is not only affecting crops but is also causing a decline in reservoir levels, particularly in the northeast where Catalonia is located. The three reservoirs in the vicinity of L’Espunyola have dwindled to less than 30% of their capacity.