By Jesús Aguado
Annually in San Miguel de Allende colorful paper flowers, music, and praises honor the often-overlooked saint, Señor San José, the foster father of Jesus. Icons of St Joseph from rural communities are taken in procession to the Church of the Oratorio on Insurgentes.
The annual proceedings begin with a ceremony at Santa María del Obraje on March 18. People from communities like La Talega, Cañajo, Don Diego, La Cuadrilla, and San José de la Amistad gather there and adorn the site with yellow and green fabric and giant paper flowers. The devout place sculptures, photographs, stickers, and stamps of St Joseph on the former hacienda’s pollitos (rustic benches) in order according to size. After a priest blesses the items, the devotees carry them on their heads and leave for the Oratorio on March 19. At 5pm the procession leaves from Santa María del Obraje and travels along the Calzada de la Presa, and on to Núñez, Mesones, and Pepe Llanos streets and ends at the Oratorio.
The “San Josecitos,” as these images of Joseph are also known, spend one night at the Oratorio and the next day return to their communities and the homes of the residents who care for them all year until the next celebration.
Doña Socorro Hernández, in charge of coordinating this procession each year, told Atención that these festivities have been taking place for the last 90 years. She also feeds the various dancers and locos (dancers in elaborate, outrageous costumes) who march in the procession.