*With the sound of the bells of the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, the procession began on Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos), in which thousands of believers from the city of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, participated.
The pilgrimage was headed by the Lord of the Column, which arrived a week earlier from the Sanctuary of Jesus of Nazareth in Atotonilco. The Lord of the Columna is a sixteenth century relic made of cane paste.
The faithful carry their blessed palmtree leaf crosses, woven by Otomí indigenous people,”Palm Sunday is a representation of the triumphant entrance of the Lord JesusChrist to Jerusalem,” said Sofía Mena one of faithfuls at the event.
“People commonly use these small branches to place them behind their house doors as a sign of protection for themselves and for others,” explained Héctor Félix, parish priest of San Miguel de Allende.
Among dances, songs and prayers, people walk from the Jardín de Juarez to the parish where the entrance of the cathedral. “Today we begin with Palm Sunday, and Lent officially ends in the afternoon,” said Father Felix on Sunday March 25.
For the Guanajuato Catholics, the figure of Jesus riding a donkey represents hope and renewal of their faith.
“When Christ entered Jerusalem, people waved at him with palms. So now, we carry these palms symbolically, and then the palms are blessed so people can take them home,” said Héctor Félix, parish priest of San Miguel de Allende.
The blessing of the palms marks the beginning of the week-long celebrations for Catholics.