Onofre
I’ve seen the ghost of San Onofre,
his humble weathered sternness,
his calm acceptance of a world where he has nothing,
a cave and a fig tree.
I’ve seen what I might strive to be
if my body could survive the hardships
and my soul proved pure.

An impossible dream, I fear.
Onofre, grant me strength to understand
how little I need.

And yet, these hags,
sorceresses all,
use the power of his sacrifice,
his sixty years of desert life and purity,
his vanquished dark temptations,
in spells they cast to draw a man unwilling
to their sexual whims.

Five hundred years and more,
women have called his name in their enchantments.
They do so still.

How can this be?
Perhaps before I seek the hermit’s cell
I need to understand a woman’s love
in ways that now elude me.

San Onofre
Just as these words are true,
Glorious saint, do what I ask of you
And bring me my husband.

As you bound and encountered
Each of these—the lady Dragon and the Dragon—
Thus will <man's name> come
So humble
So surrendered, so prostrated
So bound and tied
Like all of those who surrendered themselves
And prostrated themselves at your holy feet.

May he not eat, or drink, or rest, until he is mine.
c16 Spanish Love Spell


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A Word from the Writer
The right-hand justified text at the end is minimally modified from a love spell quoted in a paper "Sorcery and Eroticism in Love Magic" by Maria Helena Sanchez Ortega, published in "Cultural Encounters: The Impact of the Inquisition in Spain and the New World" edited by Mary Elizabeth Perry, Anne J. Cruz
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