HIS mother had dreams of the face of
Jesus hovering over her bed. A transcendental Catholic, Doña Dominguez prayed
incessantly and dragged young Fausto to the cathedral in Cordoba, making
special devotions to the city¹s patron saint, Santo Acisclo, beheaded in the 4th
century. The savagery of the Christian imagery intrigued and repelled him,
particularly the martyrdom of Saints. Choirboy and devotee in his youth, Fausto found, upon
the death of his maternal grandfather, that his family were Marranos, Jews who
had converted (conversos) to Christianity to avoid expulsion and persecution.
Following this thread he encountered a group of young people who were
researching their past so that they might reclaim their lost Jewish heritage (reconversos).
It was in this group that Fausto met Agata Esperanza Castro-Vargas. Her family
were Moriscos, Muslims who had long ago converted to Christianity. The couple
used the terms, Morisco and Marrano, as pet names as their romance bloomed.
Together they often visited the Great Mosque of Cordoba, as a mosque, (it is
also the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Cordoba, the same one Fausto visited as a
child) and the 14th century Cordoba Synagogue. When they decided to
wed Agata chose Judaism. On
Thursday 11 March 2004, after spending a week with friends in Alcala de
Henarés, Agata took a morning commuter train bound for the Atocha station in
Madrid. It was there she would have changed to a train for Cordoba but on this
morning Muslim extremists exploded several bombs in and around the station
killing nearly 200 and injuring more than 2000. That Agata had died a Jew is an
irony not lost on Fausto. They had planned their marriage for early April, a
traditional Jewish ceremony. His black suit he instead wore to her closed
casket funeral. He now sees her face in his dreams. Fausto still lives in Cordoba where he
is graphic designer. He attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Gustave Moreau and other symbolists, decorative arts, especially Wedgwood, and
the Lives of the Saints, have influenced his work. He met Daisy Hascott while
she was on holiday in Spain. They attempted a brief romance but Fausto has no
romance left in him.