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Patronato Pro Niños Historical Walk Presents the Statues of St Joseph.

By Cheryl Young

Venerated as a saint in many Christian sects, St Joseph is a figure in biblical history who is believed to have been the corporeal father of Jesus Christ. While his age is not recorded, there is sufficient recent scholarship to place him between 40 and 60 years old at his death in Israel circa 1–4 AD.

His statue appears in many churches in San Miguel de Allende, holding a child and a staff with blooming flowers at the tip. As the story is told, several older men, in addition to Joseph, were interested in marrying the young Mary. According to ancient Jewish tradition, Mary could have been betrothed as early as 12. All these men gathered in a temple in Jerusalem to decide who would be the right husband for her. Suddenly, the tip of Joseph’s staff miraculously burst into flowers—an undeniable sign that he was the one.

The flowers at the tip of the staff are traditionally presented as lilies. Lilies are symbols of chastity and purity in biblical tradition. When sixteenth-century Portuguese explorers brought back a beautiful blooming bulb from the New World, they thought that they had discovered a new form of lily. They named it St Joseph’s lily (Hippeastrum johnsonii).

However, it was actually one of the oldest hybrid amaryllis varieties. It blooms in the spring near Easter time, as does the white Easter lily. St Joseph’s lily has large, red blossoms with white stripes down the center of each petal. It was called a lily because of the similarity in the flower form, but in fact they are different plant families. The genus name, amaryllis, comes from the Greek word amarysso, which means “to sparkle.” In Greek mythology, it was the name of a shepherdess who shed her own blood to prove her true love.

In both Catholic and Protestant religious tradition, St Joseph is regarded as a model for fathers and is the patron saint of immigrants, workers, employment, explorers, pilgrims, travelers, carpenters, realtors, resoluteness against doubt and hesitation, and of a happy death.

Learn more about the statues of saints in San Miguel’s churches by taking The Four Churches Walking Tour on Thursday, April 25. All donations and tips go to support the important work of PPN. For 49 years, this nonprofit organization has been providing medical and dental services to children in San Miguel whose families cannot afford to provide it for them. In 2018, PPN served 7,636 children, more than 600 per month!

All tours are conducted in English. Private tours can be arranged. Contact Christina at 415 152 7796 or historicalwt@patronatoproninos.org

 

Tour

The Four Churches Walk from Patronato Pro Niños

Thu, Apr 25, 10am

Please gather in front of the Parroquia at 9:45am

Donation: 350 pesos

No reservation required

Regular Historical Walks run every Mon/Wed/Fri at the same time/place

Donation for the regular walk is 300 pesos

 

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