Mexican people have very strong religious bonds, that’s why there are always histories and tales that involve saints, religious representations and miracles. Among those legends is that of the Itzalana Virgin, Queen of Yucatan, that tells the miracle that has been happening every December 8 for almost two centuries in that magic town.
The history began when one of the most important priests in the history of Yucatan, Fray Diego de Landa, traveled to Guatemala to bring to Izamal and Merida two images of the Blessed Virgin. The two images were the same in everything: size, beauty and details, and of course the town baptized them as “The two sisters”. One stayed in the Superior Convent of Merida and the other one was placed in the Izamal convent.
A sacristan of Mayan origin that was in charge of cleaning the church and the room in which the Virgin’s image was kept, became strongly devoted of the virgin, passing hours bowed in front the image and talking with her.
Time passed and the fateful April 16, 1829 arrived, when the altar and the Virgin’s room were completely covered by flames. From that day the Mayan sacristan disappeared. People thought he died in the flames. Later, the other Virgin Image in Merida was transferred to Izamal to replace the one that was lost in the fire.
Suddenly on December 1st, after bringing to Izamal the other image, the sacristan showed up at the temple and explained to the priest that he would only spend eight days in the city and that he would be available to be the guardian of the Virgin’s room. The Priest accepted and after December 8th, he disappeared again from Izamal promising to return next year to work in the church on the same days and in the same way.
This custom continued for several years, but strange rumors began to flow through the town. It was said that in the early hours of the morning of December 8, the sacristan was seen leaving the church of Izamal and heading to Kinich-Kakmó hill. He reached the eastern part of the base of the hill and disappeared in a hollow. Soon he was seen leaving and returning to the convent through the same streets. Moments later he left the church again and repeated the trip exactly like the previous one. And then after the second trip, the streets where he passed filled with a sweet flower’s scent.
Years later, when the sacristan was old already, he found some people on his nocturnal trip to the hill, and he told them that that was the last year he came to Izamal, but even in his absence, they would observe that in the streets where he spent his strange trips every December 8 at dawn, “they would continue as before smelling flowers”.
Also he said that finally he had been authorized to reveal the secret guarded since April 16, when the church burned: “he was working in the back of the building and when he noticed the flames, he heard a voice saying: “Save me, I am the Virgin”. Then he noticed a faint light that followed him and not knowing where to go he directed his steps towards the Kinich-Kakmó hill, and in the hollow that it has on the eastern side penetrated accompanied by the Virgin. For fear of what happened he left Izamal thinking never to return, but one day, in the place where he went to take refuge, he heard that voice again, saw the light and was ordered to come to Izamal every year for the holidays and not leave here until he accompanied the two sisters in the annual change of place, in which he accompanied them.
He also indicated that no one dares to enter the hollow of the hill where one of the virgins is sheltering, because beneath it there is a cenote with a small island in the center and in the water around inhabits a huge snake guardian that would eat anyone who comes near. From that day the sacristan was never seen again in the town. But it is said that until now, every 8th of December, in the early hours of the morning, on the streets that connect the convent with the Kinich-Kakmó hill, you can smell the flowers, even when you can’t see anybody passing by.
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