The Image of Our Lord of the Conquest Will Be Restored
By Jesús Aguado
The Christ made of corn stalk, the Lord of the Conquest, is eaten up by moths. City historian Graciela Cruz, who will head the project, has presented a new project for its restoration. During the presentation she advised that the work has already started. Dr. Pablo Amador will totally restore this representation of Christ.
The budget for this project is 600,000 pesos, which will come from the congress. According to Cruz, the money will go totally to the restoration and the historical investigation. Cruz remarked that once the project is done, (by August) a small book will be published to be given to all those interested in the Christ. In the end, there will also be an exhibition of images made of corn stalk.
There are several versions of the origins of the Lord of the Conquest. One version states that in the late 1500s, Tarascan Indians in Pátzcuaro made two human-sized sculptures honoring the Lord of the Conquest out of corn cane paste. Chichimecas at the Calderón Bridge attacked two Franciscan friars who had the task of taking the images to San Miguel and San Felipe. The two images were lost and found later, by another group of Catholic Chichimecas, who then took them to San Miguel and San Felipe.
A second version states that in 1528 two friars arrived in the area to attract the natives to Catholicism. However, the Chichimecas at the now-named Puente del Fraile attacked them, and the conflict lasted two weeks. After fifteen days, according to the oral story, a lighted cross appeared in heaven, and the Chichimecas surrendered and followed the Catholic faith.
But that is just an oral story. That is the reason why a documental history will be conducted. Cruz told Atención that there exist documents stating that during the 18th century a procession took place to honor Christ with 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.
The Lord of the Conquest has a chapel in the parish of St. Michael the Archangel (la Parroquia), and his festivity takes place annually on the first Friday of March.