Our Lord of Conquest Is also Lord of Harvest
By Jesús Aguado
Annually on the first Friday of March, Our Lord of the Conquest is celebrated in the city with dances, chants, and prayers. This rituals are held to ask for fertility of the seeds and the flourishing of plants.
The Lord of the Conquest is a crucified Christ, a Spanish sculpture made of corn stalk paste. It has been in the city for more than 500 years. City historian Graciela Cruz commented that it is called “Señor de la Conquista” because it was brought to conquer people to Catholicism, and it conquered the natives’ faith.
Cruz noted that the two friars who arrived first in San Miguel, the zone of the Chichimecas, were carrying two Christs. One of them, Lord of the Conquest, is now sheltered at the parish of St. Michael the Archangel, and the second was taken to San Felipe Torres Mochas. The historian also remarks that there exist documents stating that during the 18th century a procession took place to honor Christ in that sculpture. The Allendes and De la Canals headed the procession, she said. The Christ statue was carried on biers and was followed by all the smaller images from private and public chapels.
Nowadays, the festivity includes a vigil on Thursday (at El Sindicato) that lasts all night, and on Friday dozens of pre-Hispanic dancers perform rituals at the esplanade of the Jardín Principal.