What a miracle! | View From Casita Colibrí

No doubt, tomorrow I will be awakened, long before the crack of dawn, by the cracks and pops of rockets (rockets - all bang no bling) and the seemingly non-stop clangs and bongs emanating from the bell towers of the countless churches that surround me in Oaxaca city's historic district.

Flatbed truck on Constitution in Oaxaca, December 8,

According to legend, in 1633, when a fire burned the small Chatino village of Amialtepec to the ground, a small wooden statue of the Virgin Mary was rescued amidst the ashes. She was undamaged, save for her light skin color, which was permanently darkened by the smoke, causing her to more closely resemble the Chatino people, who live in this remote mountainous region. Local priests declared her survival to miracle and she has been venerated ever since and her image appears throughout Oaxaca.

Image of The Virgin of Juquila along highway 175.

In 1776, the Bishop had a new temple built for The Virgin of Juquila in the nearby, but larger, village of Santa Catarina Juquila. Today, pilgrims continue to come, not just on their feast day, often making the arduous journey up into the mountains by bicycle or even on foot. They go to The Chapel of the Petition in Amialtepec to fashion images from their clay soil - replicas of wished for items (cars, houses, healed body parts, etc.) to lay at her feet. Side of a building in residential neighborhood of Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, Oaxaca

According to this morning's News, the Archbishop of Antequera Oaxaca has called upon Catholics, as part of tomorrow's feast day, to pray for reconciliation and peace in Oaxaca. That's a tall order. The miracle of her survival has given The Virgin of Juquila the power to bestow miracles - such is the faith of her believers. We shall see ...

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