Wednesday, December 21, 2011

He moves in implausible ways

There’s an oddly lovely exhibition at Wellcome Collection at the moment of ‘Mexican Miracle Paintings’ – votive offerings from people in small towns in Mexico, dating back over a century, expressing thanks for the assistance of God and his saints in times of trouble.

The art isn’t world-class and nor is the prose of the messages that go with each picture, but the whole point is that these are heartfelt expressions of ordinary people’s hopes and fears – and the whole effect is quite touching.

That said – and far be it from me to judge other people’s faith, especially at Christmastime – a few of the stories didn’t leave me completely convinced that divine intervention really was at work:

I thank Our Lady of Zapopan for giving me back my health. I was suffering cancer of the face and on 17 September 1936 it was considered to be incurable. I pleaded to the Holy Virgin of Zapopan and on 17 March 1941 I was completely cured through the intervention of the Holy Virgin and the doctor Edmundo Aviña.

Miracle granted by Our Holy Mother of San Juan to Antonia Lopez on that memorable 18 January 1888…while, during the flooding in Leon, seeing herself and her family in great danger along with 15 other people, implored with all her heart to the Holy Mother of San Juan. On hearing her prayer, our Divine Lady intervened and they were miraculously saved by climbing a tree and for such a great miracle she dedicates this retablo.

In Matehuala on 7 January 1937, Juan Hernández became so drunk that he completely lost his senses, to the point of walking into the mountains where he passed out all night. The following morning he returned and headed for the train station, but before getting there he felt so ill that he kept thinking he was going to die. Nevertheless, he managed to get back home. His wife Lazara Alonso, noticing what a serious state he was in, pleaded with all her heart to Saint Francis of Assisi of Catorce to restore his health as he had to support her and her child. If he would intervene then she would commission a retablo for such a great favour and, because it was granted exactly as asked, she presents this retablo giving a truthful testimony of the work of his divine majesty in this evident miracle.

Thanks to God All Mighty Saint Francis of Assisi, the Seraphim I thank you with all my heart for this miraculous accomplishment: a warehouse with multiple uses. “Potrero del Moro” Ranch, C del Oro, Zac. For the resistant structure (foundations, columns, walls, internal structure, window frames, beams and paving slabs). He thanks you with all his heart.


Merry Christmas!


Andrew R said...

The last one, which gives the address of the miraculous warehouse, is clearly an advert. Ambush marketing at its finest.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lazaro Alonso for a reliable hangover cure. Am trying it as we speak.....

jams o donnell said...

Thanks for the tip. I think I will be paying this exhibition a visit.