virgen-izamalOnce again, it is time to celebrate “Mamá Linda,” physically or spiritually, in Izamal. Who is Mamá Linda? She is the Queen and Patron of Yucatán, the Lady of the Immaculate Conception, who embellishes the San Francisco de Padua Convent in Izamal, and who is celebrated each December 8th.

Let me tell you a little bit about the history of our Lady of Izamal, who has being recognized for centuries as miraculous. History tells us that Fray Diego de Landa brought the sculpture from Guatemala in 1560. Sadly, the Virgin we see today is not the same one, because on the morning of April 17, 1829, there was a terrible fire at the church, burning all the altars, and tragically for the people of Izamal: Mamá Linda too. But during that same trip of Fray Diego de Landa, he had brought two other sculptures. It is said that the one that we see today in Izamal is the one known as the “substitute sister,” equally beautiful and loved by everyone.

Every year on November 29 the party preparations begin when the Virgin is taken from her chapel, located in the upper area of the church, to the main altar. So if you are in Yucatán on these dates, head to Izamal, to enjoy all the festivities. Take your camera with you, because all the “gremios” (processions) are wonderful photo opportunities.

On the night of December 7th, a serenade in honor of the Virgin takes place in the convent’s atrium, with a perfect ending at midnight: the famous “Las Mañanitas” (birthday song). This celebration is considered one of the most important religious celebrations since the 17th century.

Try to spend the night in Izamal and enjoy the celebrations of December 8th. Early in the morning, after the entrance of the “gremio,” a mass is offered in honor of the Virgin, followed by the famous procession with the revered statue through the main streets of the city. So, prepare your trip and we’ll see you in Izamal!

Península de Yucatán

By Natalia Bejarano Calero

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