FAITH THAT MOVES MOUNTAINS

A CHRISTMASTIME LESSON IN PIETY FOR A STRANGER IN AXUM

She dances with the single-minded intensity of the divine. On her head she balances a solid granite boulder, symbol of her mortal burdens. Round and round in syncopated steps, her open palms fluttering up and down in tireless supplication, she strives toward ecstasy. On and on she circles to the soft crooning of "Mariam, Mariam, Mariam," bending and rising in private communion; the heavy stone never wavers. Suddenly she halts and smiles with such sweetness that the Virgin must surely have answered her prayer.

This is the faith that moves mountains. At Christmastime in Axum, ancient home of the Queen of...

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