24 March 2014

San Juan de Los Lagos

Since it was on the way home and we didn't have anyone else in the car, we stopped in San Juan de los Lagos.  It's the second largest pilgrimage site in Mexico and I mentioned it when we saw people going there on bicycles.

The city only has about 55,000 people but there can be up to a huge number of pilgrims there (I have 2 million in my head, but I don't know if that's an exaggeration) on major holidays like Candlemas when there really isn't space for everyone.  We were there on the Monday celebrating Benito Juarez's birthday which has no religious significance, but there were still quite a few people in the city. We ended up following a guy on a motorcycle who led us to a parking lot  in a rather crowded part of town so we drove on and found a much better place to park and walked to the church.

We went to the Basilica/Cathedral first.  It houses an image of the Virgin whose first miracle was in 1623 when she healed a little girl who had been injured in a show (and there were quite a few depictions of this event in the church and others in town). She since has had many other miracles ascribed to her.

We went into the area where people had posted photos and letters and all sorts of other things either commemorating their pilgrimage or thanking the Virgin for her help.  The church really is huge- it felt bigger and looked bigger than most any other church we've been to in Mexico. The current building was built in the mid-1700s.

There's also a spring at the Capilla del Pocito where a little girl hit a rock where people visit too.

It really was a quick visit and San Juan de Los Lagos isn't my favorite place in Mexico.  It just all felt very efficient, but I'm very glad we stopped.

I think I have three batches of photos; these first are from the chapel with all of the thank yous.  I wish I knew what these areas are called because we've seen them in several churches.

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