This post presents information about Saint Sarah (Sara-la-Kali, Sara The Black). Seven YouTube videos about Saint Sarah are also showcased in this post along with selected comments from some of these examples' YouTube discussion threads.
The Addendum to this post provides information about the Indian Goddess Kali. I've included this information in this post not because I accept the belief that the Romani Saint known as Sara-la-Kali is derived from the Indian Goddess Kali, but because that Goddess is mentioned in the information that this post quotes.
The content of this post is presented for cultural, religious, and aesthetic purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and all those who are featured in these videos. Additional thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
I learned about Saint Sarah (Sara-la-Kali, Sara the Black), from the May 24, 2016 dailykos post that was published by Andy T. (The link is below). Thanks for sharing information about Saint Sarah!
INFORMATION ABOUT SAINT SARAH
From http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/05/24/1530286/-Myths-of-Black-Sarah-Sarah-la-Kali-an-Icon-of-Love-and-Welcome Myths of Black Sarah, Sarah-la-Kali, an "Icon of Love and Welcome"
By AndyT, 2016/05/24
..."Picture Iron Age Celtic Gaul (France) under Roman rule in around 40 A.D. Southeastern Gaul was remote and rural in the Roman empire; they had principally conquered it around 121 B.C. because they wanted safe, unhindered routes to the Iberian peninsula (Southern Spain)
The inhabitants were likely practicing a polytheistic faith that was an amalgam of Celtic Iron Age beliefs and Roman belief.
One legend has it that in the years after the death of the Christ, in the earliest years of Christianity, the two (or three in some versions of the story) Marys, Mary Salome and Mary Jacobi/Cleopas, who had stood at the foot of the cross and had visited the tomb only to see the rock rolled back from the entrance had fled persecution in Israel. Destitute but for their faith, they crossed the Mediterranean in rickety boat without even a sail bound for Gaul's southern shores.
In Gaul was a Egyptian woman, black of skin and beautiful to see. According to legend she was a prophetess and leader of the local Gallic tribe. And this is where the legend begins:
"One of our people who had the first epiphany was Sara-la-Kali. She came from a noble line and ruled her kin on the bank of the Rhone. Thanks to this mysterious revelation, she knew many secrets. By the River Rhone tribes worked with metals and then traded with them. Roma at that time had polytheistic beliefs (they followed several deities) and once a year they took part in a procession with a statue of Ischtari (Astarte) on their shoulders. They walked into the sea with it hoping for benediction. One day Sara-la-Kali had a vision. She saw three holy women calling desperately for help. So Sarah didn't hesitate and went to meet them in a small boat. But the sea was so tempestuous that Sarah almost lost her own life. Finally, in desperation, not knowing which direction was best, she threw her dress into the waves. And lo and behold, by some miracle, it served as a raft and helped her to convey the three Marys to shore. The holy women baptized Sara as a reward and recommended the gospel to her."Franze de Ville, in the book "Traditions of the Roma in Belgium” quoted here. http://romove.radio.cz/en/clanek/18906
...There are other stories of the woman the Roma call Saint Sarah; some in which she was a servant of the Marys (this is the version the Catholic church accepts — note she is NOT a Catholic saint), others in which she travelled Gaul giving alms to the needy. I chose the story in which she was the heroine.
Her day of celebration and pilgrimage is today, May 24th. The Romani travel to the French village of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la Mer to honor their Saint Sarah, Black Sarah, Sara-la-Kali."
"Saint Sarah, also known as Sara-la-Kali ("Sara the Black", Romani: Sara e Kali), is the patron saint of the Romani people. The center of her veneration is Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a place of pilgrimage for Roma in the Camargue, in southern France. Legend identifies her as the servant of one of the Three Marys, with whom she is supposed to have arrived in the Camargue....
The day of the pilgrimage honouring Sarah is May 24; her statue is carried down to the sea on this day to re-enact her arrival in France.
Some authors have drawn parallels between the ceremonies of the pilgrimage and the worship of the Hindu goddess Kali, subsequently identifying the two. Ronald Lee (2001) states:
If we compare the ceremonies with those performed in France at the shrine of Sainte Sara (called Sara e Kali in Romani), we become aware that the worship of Kali/Durga/Sara has been transferred to a Christian figure... in France, to a non-existent "sainte" called Sara, who is actually part of the Kali/Durga/Sara worship among certain groups in India."
These examples are presented in chronological order based on their publishing date on YouTube with the oldest video given first.
Example #1: Sainte Sarah
David Jousselin Uploaded on Sep 17, 2011
Roms, Manouches, Tsiganes et Gitans arrivent des quatre coins d'Europe
pour vénérer leur Sainte, Sara la Noire.
Le pèlerinage est aussi l'occasion de retrouvailles et la plupart des enfants sont baptisés dans l'église des Saintes Marie de la Mer.
Je me suis promené parmi eux, les regardant, les écoutant et les admirant.
Soudain, pendant quelques instant, je me suis sentis moi même Gitan.
Quelqu'un d'un voyage...
«Tu comprendras Gadgo
La vie que j'ai choisie.
Mes quatre beaux enfants
Et ma femme chérie
Te diront mon histoire»
Google translated from French to English"
Roma, Manush, Gypsies and Gypsies come from all over Europe
to venerate their Saint, Sara the Black.
The pilgrimage is also an occasion of reunion and most children are baptized in the Church of Saint Marie de la Mer.
I walked among them, watching, listening to and admiring.
Suddenly, for some time, I felt myself Gypsy.
Someone traveling ...
"You understand Gadgo
The life I've chosen.
My four beautiful children
And my darling wife
Will tell you my story "
Example #2: SANTA SARAH – GIPSYLAND
Alma Cigana Published on May 24, 2012
Example #3: Sara la Kali
xbatlles, Published on Nov 19, 2012
Del CD "Cultures viatgeres" de Dani Caracola & la Banda de Ida y Vuelta.
Produït, gravat, mesclat i masteritzat a BITSTUDI de Barcelona per Xavier Batllés l'any 2012.
Selected comments from this sound file's discussion thread:
"All the comments here are from Tamils, but it would be interesting to also have comments from Romani people."
Tamil Chinthanaiyalar Peravai
"Kali is one of the Manifestations of Mariamman of Tamils.
Kali is one of the seven deities called Sapta Kannies of Tamil Nadu.
Kindly watch "The Great Mariamman Mystery Solved" video in my channel!"
"Sara la Kali is Tamil Godes. Tamil is a Nation who lives in Southern India. Kali is a Black Godes of Tamil People.
Tamil Chinthanaiyalar Peravai
"Sara la Kali means Sarasuvati - Latchumi - Kali. These are taken as most important stages of Sapta Kannies.
Sarasuvati - Sara
Latchumi - La
Kali - Kali."
Example #4: Oração a Santa Sara kali - cigana Isabelita
portalcigano, Published on Mar 12, 2013
Oração em Homenagem a Santa Sara Kali - Extraída do Livro " Os Clãs ciganos de Luz do Astral de Marcelo e Solange Ruiz" - http://www.portalcigano.com.br
Música Alexandre Flores.
Google Translate from Portuguese to English:
Prayer in tribute to Saint Sarah - Extracted from the book "The Clans Astral Light of Roma and Solange Marcelo Ruiz" - http://www.portalcigano.com.br
Selected comments from this sound file's discussion thread (translated from Portuguese to English by Google Translate)
"Agradeço a minha Sta Sara minha protetora.Me proteja e me livre do perigo ande sempre ao meu lado mãe bondosa . Opctha"
I thank my Sta Sara my protetora.Me protect and deliver me from danger always walk beside me good mother. Opctha
"Santa Sara olha para minha mãe Elvira tenha misericórdia dela curai das dores desses sofrimento que ela passa nesse momento amém obrigado Santa Sara por me ouvir e conceder essa graça que peço amém"
Santa Sara looks at my mother Elvira has her mercy heal the pain of those suffering it passes this time Amen thank Santa Sara for me to hear and grant this grace I ask Amen
"amem santa Sara Kali me ajude a melhorar minha saude que estou muito mal com muito dor"
love Santa Sara Kali help me improve my health I'm very bad with a lot of pain
"Santa Sara, venho lhe pedir que a senhora me de a benção de ser mae , a benção de ter meu filho, é tudo que eu mais quero nessa vida santa sara. Minha família, me conceda o desejo de ser mae santa sara. Já tentei duas vzs e nada. É tudo que eu mais quero nessa vida Santa Sara"
Santa Sara, I come to ask that lady to me the blessing of being mother, the blessing of having my son, that's all I want most in this holy life heals. My family, grant me the desire to be holy mother sara. I've tried two VZS and nothing. It's all I want most in this life Santa Sara
Quantum Of Solace
"Sempre que faço essa oração, me sinto em paz comigo mesmo, sara sempre me ajudando e me mostrando meu caminho e cuidando de mim, ela sempre me mostra os perigos e me tira antes do mal me atingir, sara es muito bondosa, Amém e Obrigado Sara por tudo e sempre irei fazer a minha parte pra não te desapontar e nada nem ninguém ira me afastar de você."
Whenever I make this prayer, I feel at peace with myself, Sara always helping me and showing me my way and taking care of me, she always shows me the dangers and take me before barely hit me, sara very kind es, Amen and Thank Sara for everything and I will always do my part to not disappoint you and nothing and no one will get away from you.
Example #5: "Les Saintes Maries de la Mer" dans le cœur des Gitans
Le Petit Camarguais Published on Aug 30, 2013
"Les Saintes Maries de la Mer" dans le cœur des Gitans http://www.lepetitcamarguais.fr le petit Camarguais.
Google Translate from French to English: "Les Saintes Maries de la Mer" in the heart of the Gypsies
Example #6: Saintes Maries de la Mer 2014
Olivier AUBERT Published on May 25, 2014
Samedi 25 mai 2014 : Pèlerinage des Gens du Voyage aux Saintes Maries de la Mer. Photos et montage : Olivier AUBERT. Formation et communication. 27400 LOUVIERS.
Google Translate from French to English: Saturday, May 25, 2014: Pilgrimage of Travellers at Saintes Maries de la Mer Photos and editing:. Olivier Aubert. Training and communication. 27400 LOUVIERS.
Example #7: Black Sarah
Tinkerscuss - Topic Published on Oct 16, 2015
Provided to YouTube by CDBaby
Black Sarah · Tinkerscuss
Click http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/05/24/1530286/-Myths-of-Black-Sarah-Sarah-la-Kali-an-Icon-of-Love-and-Welcome for the lyrics to this song.
ADDENDUM- INFORMATION ABOUT THE GODDESS KALI
"Kālī (/ˈkɑːli/; Sanskrit: काली; Telugu: కాళీ; Kannada: ಕಾಳಿ; Tamil: காளி; Bengali: কালী), also known as Kālikā (Sanskrit: कालिका, Telugu: కాళికా), is a Hindu goddess who is the mighty aspect of the goddess Durga. The name Kali is derived from the Sanskrit "Kālá", or time  — she is therefore represents Time, Change, Power, Creation, Preservation, and Destruction. "Kali" also means "the black one", the feminine noun of the Sanskrit adjective Kālá. Her earliest appearance is that of a destroyer principally of evil forces. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman; devotional movements worship Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess. She is often portrayed standing or dancing on her consort, the Hindu god Shiva, who lies calm and prostrate beneath her. Kali is worshipped by Hindus throughout India but particularly South India, Bengal, and Assam....
Goddesses play an important role in the study and practice of Tantra Yoga, and are affirmed to be as central to discerning the nature of reality as are the male deities. Although Parvati is often said to be the recipient and student of Shiva's wisdom in the form of Tantras, it is Kali who seems to dominate much of the Tantric iconography, texts, and rituals. In many sources Kāli is praised as the highest reality or greatest of all deities. The Nirvana-tantra says the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva all arise from her like bubbles in the sea, ceaselessly arising and passing away, leaving their original source unchanged. The Niruttara-tantra and the Picchila-tantra declare all of Kāli's mantras to be the greatest and the Yogini-tantra, Kamakhya-tantra and the Niruttara-tantra all proclaim Kāli vidyas (manifestations of Mahadevi, or "divinity itself"). They declare her to be an essence of her own form (svarupa) of the Mahadevi."...
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