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In Spain, church candles go digital

from TIME Magazine

Every week, Marta Hernández walks to Madrid's San Andres church and lights a candle to Saint Isidro. Most of the time, the 75-year-old prays for the health of her children and grandchildren. Every now and then, though, she acts as proxy for her old friend Maria Teresa, who no longer lives in the neighborhood and misses her patron saint. "She can't come here to light a candle to Saint Isidro, so I do it for her," says Hernández. But if David Doña and Marcos Rodríguez have their way, Maria Teresa may soon be able to light that candle herself -- from the comfort of her own home. On April 26, Doña and Rodríguez unveiled a digital candelabra in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The device, which consists of a computer screen mounted on a metal stand decorated with the Cross of Saint James, allows the faithful to remotely light a virtual candle to a favorite saint through the website MiVela.com (translation: MyCandle). Simply click on the church and icon you want, type in your credit card or Paypal information -- each candle costs about $2 -- and in a dark corner of a faraway church, an onscreen candle "lights." The candles can also be lit via text message. more


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