The history, culture and traditions of San Miguel de Allende are marked by a strong, feminine temperament. With the arrival of the Spanish, they introduced the new god, Mary and saints they brought with them.
The European orientation toward power and control in the Church was too masculine to be accepted in San Miguel, and Mexico as a whole. The nurturing and consoling nature of the Virgin of Guadalupe stressed a less critical and more maternal and protective emphasis on the healing power of love. Guadalupe’s appearance began the first widespread acceptance of the new faith and the formation of a uniquely Mexican, and more feminine, Catholicism.
The multiple images of Mary in town each represent different aspects of the Virgin. Guadalupe, the most popular image of Mary, represents the birth of a new race and nation. She is seen to be an actual person, not a theological concept.
For example, when I entered a taxi on a recent rainy day and asked the driver if he has avoided any accident she replied “Guadalupe has ridden beside me all day and her eyes have protected me. With her here, you and I are totally safe.” In addition to the Mary there are saints, Catrinas and the Otomi-made Maria doll contributing to making town uniquely feminine.
The Power of the Feminine in San Miguel de Allende is presented by Joseph Toone of Sunday, March 15th at 3PM in the Shelter Theater.
Joseph Toone is Trip Advisor’s top-ranked private tour guide and author of eight best-selling books on the culture of San Miguel.
His tours and books are renowned for highlighting San Miguel’s unique traditions and celebrations that are an extraordinary mixture of an ancestral pagan past and the Catholic faith.