Published On: Thu, Aug 4th, 2016

Jesus, Mary and Joseph Toone

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Mr Joseph Toone sent the following article to the San Miguel Times Editor, the piece was published on the website, online version of  Lokkal Magazine/Revista in San Miguel de Allende.

Joseph Toone pauses a moment before naming his favorite saint, like a kid fretting over his favorite Major League ballplayer. You can almost sense San Miguel’s citywide trove of religious statues cocking their heads and holding their collective breath.

Joseph Toone (photo:

Saved in the St. Nick of time (photo:

“Probably St. Joseph (husband of the Virgin Mary, one of the patron saints of San Miguel and the patron saint of the Catholic church) because that’s who I was named after. I have one on every floor of my house. Well, wait. My favorite is Maria de la Luz (early paintings show the ‘Virgin of the Light’ clutching a man to keep him from falling into the jaws of Leviathan, an evil sea monster from the Old Testament who swallows men’s souls into the Sea of Chaos). It’s the only image of Mary where she is aggressive. She is a lioness trying to pull up her cub. That’s a really cool image,” Toone says.

Joseph Toone (photo:

Joseph Toone (photo:

Choosing a favorite saint can be tough. Inside and outside local churches, the wood, stone, bronze and ceramic statues have been tight-lipped about their virtues and their pasts. Until Toone stepped in.

The Catholic Church is chockablock with saints, and Mexico’s cache is especially colorful, at least the way Toone describes them: honestly, starkly, never whitewashed.

There’s St. Catherine and her ecstasies (“They were orgasms”) St. Michael’s lack of genitalia (“Since he was never born, he has no penis”) and St. Nicholas with the pickle barrel of chopped-up little boys he was able to raise back to life and wholeness. (“The barrel doubles as a baptismal font, symbolizing death and rebirth through prayer.”)

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed hereby are those of the author and not necessarily those of the San Miguel Times.



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