Black Madonna or Lady of Good Deliverance

From Sweden to Martinique

Black Madonna
Painting by Dagmar Glemme

Parishioners in the municipality Schoelcher, on the Caribbean island of Martinique, and the priest Charles Aubrée were present when the Archbishop of St. Pierre in Fort de France in Martinique Monseigneur Michel Meranville blessed The Chapel of TerreVille which became "Terreville´s Resurrection Church, on Sunday 28 of October, 2007 at 16:30.
The priest Gabriel Valard, which was included in the project from the beginning in what was only supposed to be a chapel, were present well surrounded by a number of parishioners who do not forget the trouble they had to construct the building, sacred in God the Almighty's honor.

... This is Maxette Olsson's interview, shortly after the true "mission" she carried out on the parishioners' ways. She came with her friend, the world-renowned German-Swedish artist Dagmar Glemme who adorned the chapel with a wall painting "Black Virgin", the chapel which has now become: "Resurrection Church, blessed by Monseigneur Sainte-Marie. A true pilgrimage, a cultural and artistic adventure. There were many moments of joy to see the chapel, which was a building without life, not yet opened, transformed and embellished ... Very beautiful cards of the paintings. ...

Meetaw November 25, 2007, the first newspaper online in the Caribbean.

Kapellet i Terreville
Foto: Maxette & Malte Olsson

Interview with Maxette about the making of The Black Virgin Maria at the Chapel of Terreville in Schoelcher in Martinique which is today The Church of Resurrection.

Malte Olsson: Maxette, you're my wife but you're too Guadeloupean resident in Sweden. You have lived 31 years in Sundsvall and Stockholm. Which relationship do you have with these photos of The Black Madonna at Terreville in Martinique?

Maxette Olsson: It's a beautiful story. I like the Black Madonna also called Our Lady of Good Deliverance, even if I am aware that the Virgin, God or whatever spiritual Force, has no color. It is an indescribable void reached only in silence. It is the present of the spirit!

MO:Why the Black Madonna?

MaxO:When I left my island in 1966 for France, I was completely bewildered, until fifteen years ago, my great aunt Mignonnette Jean-Baptiste told me she prayed to Virgin Maria to make me come back to my family. I didn´t believe in Virgin Maria before that but for the first time I had visited The Miraculous Virgin in Gent in Belgium. For me it was a sign. On my first visit to my aunt, she took me to the Chapel of the Black Madonna, a convent in Neuilly. In her miraculous prayer, it is said, among other "I'll have to publish my entire life the absolute power you have in heaven with God." I prayed, I met you and my life has radically changed (Maxette smiles).

MO:Changed? Explain yourself.

MaxO:My story is already written in my book "God is a Master Woman." I had a longtime been an emigrant alone and confused. I was angry against the world. I was terribly angry with myself for not being what others wanted me to be. I felt rejected from my family, God, my island, my people, my race and the world. It was very hard to forgive. The guilt and resentment had drained the love from my heart.

Första penseldragen
Foto: Maxette & Malte Olsson

MO:And what does Madonna have to do with this reality of every day.

MaxO:"That is why we must urgently learn to love and to love our ancestors to better understand the pitfalls they formerly pull tight to them, the same way they still pulling tight to us today!" Said Jean-Philippe Omotunde author “Truth and lies. " Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I stayed busy looking around the world what I now find into myself : God. And since then, to keep this feeling I pray. Ka-w fè vlé? What do you want me to do? is the sigh of compassion Creole.

MO:If it was that easy, don´t you think everyone would have prayed for getting everything they want?

MaxO:What is said is often not easy to do. Prayer is the most difficult act. For those who like facts, it is not clear since it is a communication from our mind to the mind of God and God doesn´t mind. He is invisible, intangible...

MO:Do all your prayers come true?

MaxO:All I know is that in order to pray we must believe in the presence of a force superior than our little I, me or mini me. Prayer is first asking Peace of Mind. When the silence settles without any thoughts good or bad, we are in touch with ourself. And in this touch we have it all and sees all. Because when there is peace, we don´t need anything. Literally, we are left in peace. A Creole proverb says: The mind is faster than the body.
Mamres trädet
Foto: Maxette & Malte Olsson

MO:I am a scientist. I'm not used to believe in what I can not see.

MaxO:Those who don´t believe in what they don´t see have other techniques based on their education and their needs. It is also a faith. In my case my faith is believing in the invisible to achieve the visible. You know how I like to write. Prayer is like writing. It is a science which requires acute hearing, great clarity, a healthy dose of imagination, infinite love, a delicate attention, a rigorous self-discipline, an unmatched instinct, constant vigilance, action in non-action, very much trust, and faith in all tests. I am not always all that. "With patience we see an ant´s breast", said my great aunt. I am still learning to pray, to live well ... and write, which will take me all my life if it is enough.

MO:It is true that you write a lot. What are you writing?

MaxO:I write everything that the small voice whispered. I purified my thoughts. I do not write in order to be known but I write to know myself. It is easier to be famous than to know ourself. When you are famous, everybody think they know you so if you don´t know yourself you are in trouble. I like to write. Writing guides me to explore the complexities of the human being that I am and that we all are without exception. Writing teaches me to be present.

MO:Present? Why do you insist on this. We are all here?

MaxO:Being present is to have "the spirit up." If you look around you, you will notice that most people are not at all present. We do many things at once and we don´t listen. How can they when they are talking in several telephone at once ? The lack of attention seems rooted under well established pretexts. In Creole they say "Ou la mé ou pa la" You're there but you're not there". And during this unconscious game, the past is having fun making us believe that everything will be better in the future, only to better deprive us of the present. This is the fox which distracted the crow in order to get all the cheese for itself.
Dagmar&Mamres trädet
Foto: Maxette & Malte Olsson

MO:That sounds complicated.

MaxO:In his will, Pope John Paul II asked everybody to pray for him. If it was so easy, he would pray alone for himself but by asking to pray for him, I think it was his way to bring everyone to unite in prayer. The prayer group is more effective because it combines the qualities of each. "Sé gren diri ki ka fè sak diri." Unity is strength. " I pray for everyone. I also ask that everybody pray for me. “Sé yónn a lot”. The mutual aid. Why do people make politics meeting ? It is to put the strength together, isn´t it ?

MO:Are you religious?

MaxO:I was born Catholic but I am not more religious than the Pope. In good immigrant I am not separate from the protestant, the muslim, the voodooists, the orthodoxes, the adventists, the jews, the yoruba, the buddhists, the hindus, etc... I'm all that and more. I don´t own any religion. It is a creole rule which says : what is yours is yours. What is not yours, is not yours. Do not take what is not yours. No religion belongs to me.

MO:I would like you to explain more clearly why the Black Madonna?

MaxO:The Black Virgin has its origin from the fifth century but was located in the late thirteenth century. Louis XI was devoted to the Black Madonna. The Black Madonna is for me a female symbol of divine power as Shakti for the Hindus, Kwan Yin for the Buddhists, or Erzulie for the Voodoo, Yemaya for the Santeria ... Don´t debate please. It's my personal opinion. I do not think like everybody. A symbol for me is to see the invisible in the visible. Kandiski explains it well in his book "The Spiritual in Art". Pythagoras said to have happiness in a a marriage, the woman have to see God in her man and inversely. I believe we all are symbols of God. I love symbols, parables, fables, myths, tales. .. I am a fetishist. I am fascinated by ART. I love people, nature, statues, sculptures, gardens, images, amulets, drawings, paintings, everything that God created through people with love and tenderness.
D-C&Mamres trädet
Foto: Maxette & Malte Olsson

MO:Let´s remain with The Black Madonna of Terreville.

MaxO:Well. From this feeling of being rejected, I drew the best: To inspire others, to make people laugh, to smile, to brighten, to bring the right mood. It pleases me to be the inspiration for my entourage. I always feel that I don´t meet people but their mind because I often see in them what they do not see themselves.

MO:What do you see?

MaxO:Their creative spirit. To return to Terreville, as you know, some twenty years ago, I met Dagmar Glemme. She is originally from Germany, but she is a Swedish resident as I am. I met her in my shop in Sundsvall in the north of Sweden. As I had an exhibition with the international painters and sculptors KAJ-FICAJA who are my mentors in the art, Dagmar told me her ambition to exhibit in a museum. And what is the most beautiful museum than a church, a chapel, a holy place where the artwork is revered! I promised myself that this would be the best friendship´s gift to her by perpetuated her art and at the same time I would keep the promise made in the prayer to the Black Madonna. I did not know when or how or where, but my intention was in alert. To start, I did my best to maintain a spiritual friendship with her, which is very very difficult to maintain.
Mamres trädet
Foto: Maxette & Malte Olsson

MO:Spiritual friendship? To perpetuate Dagmar? Who do you think you are?

MaxO:Sometimes I feel I am a spirit. (Maxette laughs) Listen carefully! I have my faith, this project would not have been possible without a relationship to the level of respect and deference. When I'm on a project I go beyond my imagination. I thought of all those painters who painted those frescoes in churches. The decoration of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo is a beautiful piece of evidence. Matisse Chapel in Vence. Before the Black Madonna, Dagmar was keen to paint a tree which is her specialty, which became under the inspiration of Regine Dorwling-Carter "The Tree of Mambre" You are yourself brought by artists : your mother Karin Olsson is a great landscape painter, your Aunt Britta Karlsson is a naïvist, your father Karl-Gustav Olsson was a surrealist painter and art teacher. You know Malte that many artist´s dream is having the honor to paint for a chapel or a church. Create an image venerated by thousands of people is the ambition of many painters. It is the top of the top! It is a blessing. I repeat, it is the most beautiful gift you an me could give to Dagmar and now it's done.

MO:Why a spiritual relationship and a friendship not normal like everyone else. If all friends should be spiritual, there would not be no friends. All friendships can´t be spiritual Maxette.

MaxO:I agree but then they are acquaintances, social relations for a convenience, sometimes the first step of friendship. No misunderstanding. I have a lot of acquaintances because I love people but I am not very social or snob. When you frequent people's spiritual side, you can not be snob because it is a meeting which requires a depth, even for a moment.

MO:You are really complicated your life.

MaxO:In the contrary, I facilitates my life. Have you no noticed that its happen very often that we get along better with people we just met than with the people we see every day. I am a very good friend so I can assure you that a spiritual friend knows that her actions depend on her deep intentions. Intention is a powerful feeling which requires a fine attention. "Atansyon kapon pa. Caution is not cowardice", is a creole saying. To be true friends in a sacred project, is the foundation of the duration and strength of the work. Previously, builders of churches and sacred places were initiated.
Foto: Maxette & Malte Olsson

MO:Initiated to what?

MaxO:Initiated to the present of God in them, which they call the Architect of the Universe. And deep relationships are much more rewarding than superficial relations. Spiritual friends generate a force that makes miracles precisely because it is a unification beyond time, religion, family, politics, business, education, competition, accountancies, interest, everyday neuroses such as gossip, envy, jealousy, malice, manipulation, guilt or all economic and social difficulties; this does not mean that family and social life is not important. On the contrary. United spirits fortify everything.

MO:Explain yourself more simply Maxette. You're complicated.

MaxO:For example, a couple who evolved together is more constructive than a couple in competition with each other, isn't it! With a spiritual friend you don´t need to defend yourself or talk unnecessarily. There is a tie. It's always nicer to be on the same wavelength with an intimate surroundings. It is the peace of mind.

MO:Don´t you seek the impossible?

MaxO:It is a very unusual relationship, yes! but not impossible. It's always a challenge, a risk. I did bungy jump once. Challenging yourself is an elevation beyond oneself. Some do rally, mountaineering, currency speculation, motor cross ... I'm training to spiritual friendship. That's my challenge (Maxette laughs).
Foto: Maxette & Malte Olsson

MO:Since you say you are a good friend and you love people, why not just be friends with everyone?

MaxO:I am my own best friend and it's true that I like people anyway.

MO:What do you mean with anyway?

MaxO:Because sometimes people irritate me, they tan me, they tire me (Maxette laughs) and it is reciprocal, but I love them anyway. Thanks to them I know that I exist, thanks to them I'm a better person. Love for me is not acquaintanceship, it is embracing life in all senses. Encompass. I am also human, I mean a person who is too often centered on his ego which is the opposite of the spirit. "Bon moun mwen" in creole literally mean "My good person" which means "My friend" is balancing my Mr Hyde side. In the company of spiritual friends, we forget the ego. We are not afraid. We trust. We love. Together we are powerful. "Tell me who is your friend, and I'll tell you who you are." is an old proverb. A friend is a mirror. You're my mirror.

MO:Your mirror?

MaxO:Yes! You are my husband and my best friend after myself. I like me and love me in you. When I do not love me, I storm. I like to see me in my friends. At this moment I am a muse and everything becomes possible. Don´t you think it's more pleasant to be united at this level?
Foto: Maxette & Malte Olsson

MO:Ah! Yes. I agree. By the way you can keep your Mr. Hyde for yourself. Yes! It's more enjoyable to be united. You had a spiritual relationship with Dagmar and ...

MaxO:Dagmar you know is not Catholic but had among others painted the Virgin Mary and Jesus on velvet. She is endowed with an entrepreneurial spirit, she is very productive and puts all her heart at any project which promotes her art. First she symbolically became my Sun Goddess so she was painted beautiful goddesses. Then there was the time of the angels. You know.

MO:Yes! But this interview is for others, I repeat my question that you have not yet responded. Why Sundsvall in northern of Sweden to Terreville in Martinique?

MaxO:Here comes on the stage the baritone voice of the Choir "The Orchid Schoelcher," the tenor of the Bar, the lawyer Gerard Dorwling-Carter of Fort de France in Martinique also a disciple of Jesus Christ the son of the Blessed Virgin. He helped me recover some of my land in Vieux-Habitants in Guadeloupe in a legal matter, a very complicated family case for twenty years which he won with panache. To help him the day of trial, I sent him a small card of Our Lady of Good Deliverance in Neuilly which is the Black Madonna, stamped with a stamp collection of Malcolm X.

MO:Why help him ? Why such extremes? The Black Madonna and Malcolm X?

MaxO:Because I did not know him at all. I thought I read between the lines of the lawyer Marianne who had warmly recommended him, that he was like me. So as I know that I am both a believer (the Virgin) and a revolutionary (Malcolm), I made my little ritual ... symbolic. I love rituals.
Svarta Jungfrun
Foto: Maxette & Malte Olsson

MO:But why help him? You don´t know nothing about the the law.

MaxO:I don´t know nothing about the law of man but I am still studying the divine law. Maître Dorwling Carter represented me at the court but I could not let him endorse alone this conflict of more than twenty years. The trial of land in the West Indies are a real issue. It is not because we pay people to solve our problems that we shouldn´t take the responsibility.

MO:Yes but to send the Virgin to a man of justice ... if all the people began to send religious images to their lawyer ...

MaxO:Again, I do what I can and all lawyers are not Gerard Dorwling-Carter. For another person I may be have done something else depend on the inspiration.

MO:What was his reaction?

MaxO:His reaction was a spiritual response that still unites us beyond the oceans. He was so happy to receive the Black Madonna which he told me is his Protector, the Protector of his whole family which includes his wife also a lawyer Régine Celcal-Dorwling-Carter. I had no idea they were all so deeply religious .... and wait ! ... The Black Madonna is also the protector of Martinique and I didn´t know that.
Fader Valard och Dagmar Glemme
Foto: Maxette & Malte Olsson

MO:We return again to Terreville.

MaxO:Gerard Dorwling Carter also a journalist at the newspaper Antilla with whom I correspond almost daily, informed me that he is currently raising funds to build a chapel in Terreville. Dagmar Glemme who wanted to reward me for something asked me what I wanted. Always in alert, I asked her if she would paint me a small Black Madonna, which she did gladly. I did copy that Virgin and I sent it to Gerard and told him to sell it and give the money for the chapel and I wrote him if he wanted more pictures I would send more to him.

MO:And then?

MaxO:And then? He loved the Virgin. He wrote me that he would keep it for himself and give the money to the chapel. Previously I had expressed to him in an email my dream to provide some pieces of art to a museum in Martinique or Guadeloupe. You know that I love art, especially the spirit of art and I dream a lot.

MO:You make jewelry. You love decorating, cooking. You make books of photos which take you months to do. You're eccentric. Are you're an artist?

MaxO:All I know is that the Spirit of the art teach me the art of living. The art of being good with myself.
Maxette&Malte MO:You said Gerard Dorwling-Carter loved the Black Madonna that you have sent him?

MaxO:Oh yes! Immediately I reported this joy to Dagmar with great warmth and enthusiasm and she jumped on the great opportunity. She offer me to paint a Madonna for the Chapel in Terreville.


MaxO:So? So? I was flying with the angels. Gerard Dowling-Carter sang Alleluia! And the project was triggered. This was not easy at all because the Madonna painting is a spiritual act that transforms the one who is conscious of the grandeur and splendor of the Mother of God. It´s has required total commitment from sponsor, participant, assistant, painter. Especially since Regine Dorwling-Carter said that Madonna is also called Our Lady of Sorrows. I still shudder. As the pictures shows it, you Malte and I, have followed Dagmar closely every day and sometimes every minute nearly every day from morning to evening. And this is the result. With the help of Gerard, I realized four of my dreams: to perpetuate Dagmar Glemme German-Swedish in Martinique-Guadeloupe-same-thing, celebrate with gratitude the Black Madonna, participate in the founding of a museum of art which the Chapel of Terreville in Schoelcher will be and meet the family Dorwling-Carter who took care of us.

MO:Still, it was not you who painted the Black Madonna but Dagmar Glemme?

MaxO:Fortunately! (Maxette laughs heartily) I can not paint, I feel rather being a fairy. You know I love fairy tales.
Foto: Malte Olsson

MO:Do you think it's a coincidence that the new pope is German like the painter Dagmar Glemme?

MaxO:I don´t believe in chance or coincidences. I believe in God in me and all of us, I believe in prayer, I believe in meditation, action, work, love and my instinct. I believe in you, who always supported me in my most daring projects. As you know, the creation of the Black Madonna of Terreville was a deep, emotional and hard work for all participants without exception : Dagmar Glemme, Gerard Dorwling-Carter and his wife Regina, Father Gabriel Valard, you and me. Recall that the word work means in Petit Robert: "State of a person who suffers, who is tormented, an arduous activity." Is it a coincidence that the new Pope is German as Dagmar? Is it a coincidence that the Black Madonna of Terreville in Schoelcher is visited as the Black Madonna of Poland Czestokova also known as Our Lady of Lourdes? What I am sure, is that in the threshold of my wisdom, I know what I do, no matter what I do, in which purpose I do it, when I do it, and where I am doing it, therefore, I always do EVERYTHING I can, I always do my best without cheating and I leave the rest to God. My friends and yourself describe me as a phenomenon (Maxette laughs). As we say in French: I'm not a simple person (Maxette laughs). But I'm not complicated either.

MO:You always say that nothing is free. What did you get in Martinique specifically for this project? What it brought you?

MaxO:It brought me A BIG DELIVERANCE because I sincerely believe I have given birth to seven sorrows. You have seen me. The Virgin rescue me from heavy burden that threatened my well-being: It has rescue me from the illusion that I cherished. The guilt of not doing enough. Entrenched overconfidence. Frustrations. Negations ... It has seriously shaken many stupidities from me. Mama! During this short period the Black Madonna taught me the true sense of detachment, of lucidity, sensitivity and commitment. This period was not holidays at all. I take this opportunity to present my remorse to the writer Mr. Raphaël Confiant who had invited us.

MO:What does remorse mean? I'm not French. I do not understand everything.

MaxO:I ask forgiveness because he had told me to call him when I would be in Martinique. I said that from December 2004 to January 2005, my participation in the creation of the Virgin has triggered a painful challenge, especially since I was in my country Guadeloupe which I was very, very committed. Maré menm. Attached. Since this detachment, my sensibility is more creative and balanced because I had an excess. I was extremely sensitive. I took everything personally. I gave importance to everything that had no importance. I used to expect love and respect from people who had no love and respect for themselves, something I had done my whole life. I gain a true revival! Thank you to Our Lady of Good Deliverance! God is good !
Foto: Maxette & Malte Olsson

MO:Is it Virgin or yourself who set you free?

MaxO:The important thing is that I feel liberated, lighter, better. I spend all my youth in anger justified or not, to attract people and circumstances that fueled my anger and frustration and to want be loved by people who know nothing about love. During the fortnight passed from morning to evening to attend Dagmar with you, I was finally driven to take conscience of this fact and remedy. One of my major projects is to grow old in peace and not bitter as I see around me.

MO:Does that mean that you will not be angry anymore.

MaxO:Honestly, no. I don´t swear of nothing but at least I am now aware and can start to take care about me. The problem is not what is good or evil, it is in not being aware. There are therapies for being aware. And I am not against. Each of us have its own way. Mine is to meditate and pray and my prayers is to say to all: Thanks!
Foto: Malte Olsson

MO:Maxette thanks to you! Another question. Why you always like to introduce yourself and defining yourself as a very Creole.

MaxO:I am not only Creole, I am more than that. Much more than that. To insist on my origin is to remind me that I still like cassava and yams. You also love your roots. The potato is the Swedish national dish, that I know of.

MO:In what purpose do you give this interview?

MaxO:Regine Dorwling-Carter asked me to write the story of the Creation of The Black Madonna of Terreville in Martinique. I told her to leave the writing of the story to her husband. Gerard is both a very competent lawyer and a conscientious journalist. I can not describe facts, reason why I love photography. And also, I believe that everything that happens in my life is a step on the path I choose. This interview is my version from my inner work which is probably not the version of other participants as yourself.

MO:And finally, what is your new dream or your new project.

MaxO:My infinite project is still improving to be aware and I am living my dream now. I mean being with you (Maxette smiles).

MO:One last question. You always cites a proverb or phrase in Creole. Why are you doing this?

MaxO:Because my joy and wisdom are Creole (Maxette is laughing loud).

MARY, OUR MOTHER: Our Lady of Good Deliverance Feast Day

Stockholm February 2005

© Maxette och Malte Olsson