Podcast: Play in new window Download. The year is A family of aerial acrobats was traveling through the towns and villages of rural New Spain. Soon after they arrived the acrobats set up their poles and ropes and were eager to perform to the delight of the villagers that evening. To heighten the suspense of their show, the father of the acrobatic family instructed that daggers facing upward should be inserted into the dirt beneath their performance space, which was routine for them to do. Audiences were always thrilled at the element of danger that the daggers introduced.
They come from far and near , over a million visitors each year. They have come to pray, to sing, to worship or to marvel at a place ordained by a Pope and credited with miracles, the Basilica de San Juan del Valle Shrine near McAllen. Margaret Mary Church in Pharr. Spanish missionaries placed a small image of the Immaculate Conception in the church of San Juan de los Lagos. In , an acrobat traveling with his wife and children stopped in San Juan de los Lagos to give a performance. While practicing their act, the youngest daughter lost her balance and was killed. As her grieving parents prepared her burial, an Indian woman who was the caretaker of the church, brought the image of the Virgin Mary to them and begged the parents to place the image over their daughter's body and prayed for the Virgin's intercession.
The Miracles of the Virgin of San Juan de los Lagos
The tradition of offering votive objects that is, objects pertaining to a vow to Christ, the Virgin, and the saints in expectation of, or in thanks for, divine aid, dates from the early years of Christianity. At least since the 16th century, these offerings have included small paintings, called ex-votos. This tradition was brought by the Spanish to the New World and flourished in Mexico and elsewhere.
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