Timing is Key
SMA: Faith Is Culture
By Joseph Toone
My buddy Nevin came back to San Miguel de Allende for a quick visit between work assignments and was to bring along an updated credit card for me that my brother had forwarded on to him. To dispel the myth (fact?) that he is my credit card mule, I call Nevin my “High Finance Import/Export Expert.” Meanwhile, I thought it was odd he kept referring to “a package” he had for me, but I thought it was dirty joke I didn’t really get.
Nope, it was an actual package he presented me.
Inside it was my mother’s wristwatch, father’s tie clip, and one of the gazillion (that’s a technical term for “lots and lots”) of plastic rosaries my mother made when I was a child, having kept her supplies in her trusty, and portable, tackle box. Receiving all this made me feel somber. Not bad, just odd. I mean, years after her death, do you often unexpectedly find your Mom’s Timex in your hands while enjoying breakfast with pals?
The watch stopped at 3pm, the time of Jesus’ death and a special time for prayers this year, as the Pope assigned this year as a Divine Mercy year.
The Divine Mercy is a devotion to the merciful love of God, who can forgive anything we have done. The devotion is based on the apparitions of Jesus received by a Polish nun shortly before World War II.
Divine Mercy, la Misericordia Divina, normally is the Sunday after Easter. It is when you’ll see the statues of Jesus featuring white (or blue) and red rays symbolizing cleansing water and the loving blood of Christ. Many local miracles are attributed to Jesus’s mercy depicted in the image with prayers said at 3pm, the hour of Jesus’s death, requesting Jesus’s mercy in dire situations.
During this yearlong celebration you now see the statue of Divine Mercy out and about daily in a variety of fiestas and processions. Often nearby, popsicles are served, symbolizing Jesus’ cleansing water, now frozen signifying happiness.
In current fashion news, it is common to see model citizens sporting lapel pins of blue and red ribbons representing Divine Mercy. You can also climb a mountain just south of town that leads to a remote chapel with stunning views dedicated to Divine Mercy in addition to hearing the reminding bells that ring out at 3pm here in town.
Almost daily I will notice when the time is 10:10, the hour of my birth, so I silently wish “Happy Birthday to me.” Now I’ve noticed 3pm drawing more and more of my attention.
As the number-one-rated local tour guide on culture by TripAdvisor, I provide tours Thursdays and Fridays at 9am from the Oratorio church. To learn more about faith and culture in San Miguel, visit CatholicSMA.com; it benefits children’s library and art programs.