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The Dress Makes the Woman

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During the height of her mid-1990’s rom-com fame, Julia Roberts repeated in real life a scene from her then most recent movie where the movie star has dinner with a book store clerk boyfriend.  As in the movie, folks recognized her instantly, all but one, who asked detailed questions about her life and still had no idea who Julia Roberts is.

Finally it was the lass’ boyfriend that nudged her stating “Remember Pretty Woman?”  “The movie about the whore in the red dress?” she asked.  “Yes, Julia’s the red dress whore!”  The girlfriend was very embarrassed for not recalling the actress.  Miss Roberts was impressed the woman had such a full life movie stars were not memorable.

San Miguel de Allende has several women with fascinating lives in the realms of politics, revolutions, clergy and alike but one is especially noted for her frocks, the Virgin of Good Health.

World-wide the Virgin of Good Health is an image of Mary that appeared to a lad in India delivering milk.  Normally she is seen in a sari, looking appropriately Indian in skin tone and facial features, but not here.  Her temple off Plaza Civica features a blue eyed blonde Mary in what is best described as a mid-1980’s Emmy nominee dress.  Sometimes blue, gold, pink or often white, the dress is always spectacular.

Here in San Miguel the Virgin of Good Health is based on the image of the Virgin of Good Help.  Good Help Mary is a Nordic image of Mary (hence the blue eyes and blonde hair). 

Here, in her sparkly gown,  she is town’s Virgin of Good Health who sits in her temple alongside a toddler image of Jesus for parent’s worried about their children’s health, St. Nicholas (the inspiration of Santa Claus and patron of children’s health) and St. Jude, the patron of lost causes which health issues often are. 

Also, there is St. Lucy for eye problems.  Truly, all your healthcare related needs are met at the Temple of Our Lady of Good Health.

Coco Chanel is infamous for her little black dress.  However, she could have very well had thoughts about Julia Roberts or the Virgin of Good Health when she uttered “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”

On Sunday, October 20th expect pre-dawn fireworks and again in evening following performances by Los Locos (local dancers), mojigangas (paper-mache puppets) and live music at her namesake chapel on Plaza Civica.

by Joseph Toone

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

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