Postcard from San Miguel: Hoping for miracles

Prayers for miraculous interventions in Mexico often are accompanied by physical demonstrations of the faith behind them – silver milagros, votive candles, written notes, photographs of loved ones – as though the saints above need reminders lest they forget the requests.

Statues of St. Jude Thaddeus attract desperate pleas for hopeless or lost causes, of which there seem to be no shortage of loved ones fitting in this category. But the ones hitting the hardest are photos of children and toys left with prayers to El Nino. The Mister first pointed this out to me decades ago in Guanajuato, as I watched a Chiclet-selling boy longingly eying the toys locked inside a glass case with a statue of El Nino.

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The churches in San Miguel de Allende are filled with similar offerings. These photographs are from the Church of Immaculate Conception, or Las Monjas, in San Miguel de Allende.

Construction of the convent was begun in 1755, funded by Maria Josefa de la Canal as a monumental demonstration of her faith. The crowning dome, inspired by Les Invalides in Paris, was not added until the late 1800s.

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