From City of Secrets:
"That night on a hill, near the Frenchwoman's garden, a vision of the Magdalene had appeared. 'La Dama de la Copa' or 'the Lady of the Cup'. Luis said over a hundred people had witnessed the appearance. It was like a rainbow and lasted nearly an hour. He said according to Lucia [Stillman] it could only happen in certain places, depending on the power of the ley lines and the pulses of energy in that precise area. It seemed to be above the hill, further up from the Frenchwoman's house ... When he [Gerard Ruiz] got to the space in front of the Cathedral he could see a patch of light in the sky. It didn't move, then faded and was gone ..."
CoS, pp. 157-58
The problem with CoS, beautifully written and evocative book though it is, is trying to determine what is a true recollection, what has been amplified, what has been invented, what has been fed to the author, and so on.
So I wonder where this episode fits into that equation. If it actually happened there appears to be no record of it (interestingly, in the text, reference is made to the phenomenon not likely being recorded publicly - in the sense of making the papers). And would such a sighting - "a patch of light in the sky" - qualify as a Marian apparition anyway? The description sounds too vague for that, and yet it is described as such in the book. Why?
If this is another of the invented parts of CoS, then for what purpose? We've been advised to see mentions in CoS of the "society" as being veiled references to La Sanch, and to see talk of the "grail" as alluding to the Great Relic. So what is this supposed to allude to? What are we supposed to take from this section? Is it the Magdalene we are supposed to focus upon? Is the Magdalene a metaphor for something else? Was the vision actually of something else entirely? The location (ley lines, energy pulses, etc.)? The ceremonies?
Here's a link I found. It lists reported Marian apparitions during the 20th century. Needless to say, there is no mention of Girona in 1975.
(Not that it has any relevance, but those who like visiting Languedoc / Rousillon will notice a reference for 1976 to the stunning castle of Puylaurens, roughly midway between Quillan and Perpignan on a very pretty road.)
I like City of Secrets very much - as a piece of writing - and am enjoying it a second time. But it's very frustrating as well, not knowing what to believe, and what not to believe. The only thing in it that I totally believe is the love story element, which rings absolutely true.