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A Guide to Semana Santa: Learn About Holy Week in San Miguel

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By Wolf Sittler

Join Charlotte Bell for her 11th annual lecture on Semana Santa (Holy Week).

Hundreds of visitors have attended her slideshow talk to learn about the ancient origins and the significance of these historic events.

Bell is the author of Tears from the Crown of Thorns, the most extensive book on Holy Week in San Miguel de Allende. The lecture is based on the information from her book.

Bell spent years taking photographs and collecting information about this annual event in San Miguel. Much of the lore she collected came from interviews with local residents who have observed Semana Santa all their lives. You will also learn about San Miguel’s very own saint maker, the late Genero Almanza.

In the 1800s San Miguel was known as “the cradle of saint makers” because of its school for santeros. She will tell you about the storeroom of angels for the Procession of Santo Enterro (Procession of Holy Burial) on Good Friday. You will see behind the scenes as local residents prepare for the processions and decorate the churches. You will learn about Padre Felipe Neri de Alfaro, creator of Atotonilco, who would walk barefoot seven miles into San Miguel carrying a heavy cross.

Various religious statues have an ancient history here, such as the figure of Ecce Homo, which is over 300 years old. You will learn how he is known as the rainmaker as he travels from church to church for nine months of the year to bring on the rains. Bell will also address the predominance of images of suffering and how they are teachers that bring compassion into our lives. The knowledge you will gain from this lecture will increase your understanding and appreciation of Holy Week in San Miguel.

Bell has used her extensive research to create a guide to the events of Semana Santa. You will leave her talk with timetables and maps on the “what,” “where,” and “when” so you can get the most out of this special time in our city. She’ll show you the best place to stand for processions. Photographers, she’ll help you find the ultimate spots for taking great photographs and will explain the procession etiquette.

Get the facts so you can get the most out of Semana Santa. Bell will also be signing and selling copies of Tears from the Crown of Thorns.

Join Charlotte Bell at El Sindicato, Recreo 4, Friday, March 23, at 2–3pm. Cost for the lecture and booklet is 100 pesos.



“Semana Santa, Holy Week”

By Charlotte Bell

Fri, Mar 23, 2–3pm

El Sindicato, Recreo 4

Cost for lecture and booklet: 100 pesos




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