Once a year for nearly 200 years, the faithful have gathered at the shrine of Atotoniclo at midnight two Sundays before Easter. They remove images of Nuestro Señor de la Columna, Saint John and Mary and place them on platforms to be carried approximately 7 miles to the San Juan de Dios Church in San Miguel de Allende. Nuestro Señor de la Columna is a life-size image of a bleeding Christ leaning heavily on a column. His ribs are exposed from flogging and his cheek bears the scar of the Judas kiss.
The fireworks that awoke us at 5 o’clock on the morning of Sunday March 21, 2010 signaled another arrival of Nuestro Señor de la Columna.
This year, instead of ignoring the fireworks, we decided to get up and head to Avenida Independencia to welcome the three images as they arrived from their night-long journey.
We made it to the avenue at 7 AM just in time to see the chamomile flowers and sawdust carpets that covered the road for several blocks.
A few minutes later, the three images could be seen arriving in the distance.
The avenue filled with thousands of people as they followed the images to the San Juan de Dios Church.