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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"I consider exercise vulgar. It makes people smell." -- Alec Yuill Thornton

405--Mexico: When the Saints go marching in
@ Site News     Jan 22 2008 - 17:22 PST
cherie writes: The small Mexican town of Jarretaderas, Jalisco, celebrates their patron saint St. Martin de Porres with a fantastic parade each year. Babies are dressed in ruffles and bows, young girls are dressed in native costumes and pre-teens are clothed as young nuns—complete with white habits.

The teenagers show up banging drums and the town's ladies carry flowers. The entire town shows up, even the ones that are too young or old to walk. The "highlight" of the event is the "caballeros" which are outfitted as gallantly as their horses.

Little girls step over the horse-poo with their white patent-leather shoes as relatives throw confetti and St. Martin floats by and the whole town follows the procession to church.

According to the website catholic.org: "St. Martin's love was all-embracing, shown equally to humans and to animals, including vermin…."

St. Martin de Porres is often shown with a broom, since he believed that no work was below him. He’s also shown with dogs, cats and mice, as he was depicted in the float in Jarretaderas, Mexico.

Canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII, many consider St. Martin de Porres to be the first "black saint", because of Martin’s mother’s dark complexion. "His father was a Spanish gentleman and his mother a colored freed-woman from Panama," is the way the catholic.org website puts it.

Here is the text of a prayer to Saint Martin de Porres
"To you Saint Martin de Porres we prayerfully lift up our hearts filled with serene confidence and devotion. Mindful of your unbounded and helpful charity to all levels of society and also of your meekness and humility of heart, we offer our petitions to you. Pour out upon our families the precious gifts of your solicitous and generous intercession; show to the people of every race and every color the paths of unity and of justice; implore from our Father in heaven the coming of his kingdom, so that through mutual benevolence in God men may increase the fruits of grace and merit the rewards of eternal life. Amen."

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Cherie with two local girls from Jarretaderas, dressed in their traditional costumes.

Cherie with two local girls from Jarretaderas, dressed in their traditional costumes.

Jarretaderas is famous for its "Caballeros".

Jarretaderas is famous for its "Caballeros".

Watching the horses trot down the street, we felt like we had landed in a different century.

Watching the horses trot down the street, we felt like we had landed in a different century.

A father makes sure his young son is saddled up.

A father makes sure his young son is saddled up.

There are some small towns where a "horse culture" still exists.

There are some small towns where a "horse culture" still exists.

A little girl waits for her signal to start--she's performing in the parade.

A little girl waits for her signal to start--she's performing in the parade.

At the wee age of 5, the little girl learns that parades involve a whole lot of waiting.

At the wee age of 5, the little girl learns that parades involve a whole lot of waiting.

A dog puts on his glasses so he doesn't miss a thing!

A dog puts on his glasses so he doesn't miss a thing!

"Not without my daughter!," says this caballero.

"Not without my daughter!," says this caballero.

The proud papa.

The proud papa.

Despite the scratchy lace, this kid looks pretty happy.

Despite the scratchy lace, this kid looks pretty happy.

You just knew the town's teens would have to make some noise.

You just knew the town's teens would have to make some noise.

I bet he never loses his car at the mall.

I bet he never loses his car at the mall.

The procession falls in line.

The procession falls in line.

Marching to the beat.

Marching to the beat.

The parade brings out the town's smallest members.

The parade brings out the town's smallest members.

Little girls dressed like nuns?  Aren't they a bit young to make that choice?

Little girls dressed like nuns? Aren't they a bit young to make that choice?

Little girl praying.

Little girl praying.

The dancing "peacock girls" strut by.

The dancing "peacock girls" strut by.

Do we go to the right first, or to the left?

Do we go to the right first, or to the left?

Hey, what's going on over there?

Hey, what's going on over there?

Dancing to the beat.

Dancing to the beat.

The San Martin de Porres float passes by.

The San Martin de Porres float passes by.

A procession of roses follows.

A procession of roses follows.

I don't think you can technically call it a parade if there are no tubas.

I don't think you can technically call it a parade if there are no tubas.

The caballeros have arrived!

The caballeros have arrived!

Entire families on horseback.

Entire families on horseback.

One hat is too big and one hat is too small.

One hat is too big and one hat is too small.

The caballeros gallop by.

The caballeros gallop by.

Confetti is tossed in honor of the children.

Confetti is tossed in honor of the children.

Children march by holding colorful balloons.

Children march by holding colorful balloons.

The procession proceeds to church.

The procession proceeds to church.

St. Martin de Porres arrives at "la iglesia."

St. Martin de Porres arrives at "la iglesia."

The caballeros dismount and prepare to enter the church.

The caballeros dismount and prepare to enter the church.

On the float of St. Martin de Porres is a stuffed cat, two mice and a plaster pup.

On the float of St. Martin de Porres is a stuffed cat, two mice and a plaster pup.

The town square resembles a carnival (gone wrong.)

The town square resembles a carnival (gone wrong.)

This is where carnival rides come to die.

This is where carnival rides come to die.

Ride with pride.

Ride with pride.

They learn to ride right after they learn to walk.

They learn to ride right after they learn to walk.