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 The statue of Saint John of the Lakes, is the second most popular image of the Virgin Mary in Mexico, second only to our Lady of Guadalupe. In the early years of the 17th century, the Holy Franciscan missionary Fray Miguel de Bolonia brought the statue to the village, then known as San Juan Bautista Metzquititlán.

 Depicting the Immaculate Conception, it soon became a favorite of the Native peoples and it was the center of their devotion.  The miraculous powers of Our Lady of Saint John of the Lakes became known beyond the village when, according to an early tradition, a spectacular miracle occurred:

 An aerial acrobat was traveling along the Camino Real (The King’s highway), and performing in the towns along the way.  His act included his wife and two daughters. One of his stunts included swinging from one high point to another by means of ropes flying over swords and knives, which were stuck in the ground and pointed upward. While performing in the village of San Juan Metzquititlán, the younger daughter slipped, fell upon the knives and died instantly.

 After preparing the body in burial clothes, the grieving parents brought the child’s body to the chapel of Our Lady of San Juan for burial.  The caretaker of the chapel exhorted the family to have confidence in the Virgin who could restore their little child to them.  With great faith, the caretaker placed the statue of Our Lady on the child’s chest.  In a few moments they detected a slight movement.  The parents quickly unwrapped the child’s body and discovered the child was alive and well!

 This first miracle of Our Lady of St. John of the Lakes became known right away.  Many other miracles followed.  Our Lady is venerated in all México and great part of the United States. 

 The visit of Our Lady of Saint John of the Lakes to Our Lady of Solitude parish will culminate with an all-day festival on Oct. 22. Bishop Gerald Barnes will preside over a bilingual Mass as part of the festivities. The full program of the four-day visit is as follows.

October 19

 5 p.m. Welcome and Procession; 6 p.m. Spanish Mass, consecration of children (wearing white); 6:45 p.m. Spanish Rosary; 7 p.m. Visits and Veneration.

October 20

 7:30 a.m. English Mass; 8 a.m. English Rosary; 6 p.m. Spanish Rosary; 7 p.m.  Visits and Veneration.

October 21

 10 a.m. Spanish Baptism; 4 p.m. English Mass; 5 p.m. Confession; 6 p.m. Spanish Mass; 7 p.m. Spanish Rosary; 8 p.m. Visits and Veneration.

October 22

 8 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Festival; 1:30 p.m. Bilingual Mass with Bishop Gerald Barnes.