The Devil Didn’t Wear Prada
Stop into the Chapel of Good Health on Plaza Civica these days and meet the latest saint in vogue in San Miguel at a time where the saints are everything we celebrate. There’s Pascual for cooking, Isidore for farming and Anthony for the upcoming Dia de Locos.
Saint Dunstan is featured by an anvil and hammer, the tools of the silversmith. To this day metal workers abound in town which explains his importance.
The legend to Dunstan is one day he’s in his shop minding his own business when the devil limps in. The devil needs new shoes for his cloven hooves and this was long before my neighbor stopped teaching fourth grade to invent the San Miguel Shoe known for comfort and style.
Sensing opportunity was not a lengthy visitor, Dunstan nailed an ill-fitting horseshoe onto the devil’s hoof while having him in a leg lock. The devil screamed in pain and demanded the ill-fitting shoe be removed. Dunstan agreed on one condition, the devil was no longer able to enter a building with a horseshoe prominently displayed. Hence the good luck image of a horse shoe.
Here in Mexico a horseshoe is hung upside down (like an upside down U) to bring good fortune. Growing up alongside the superstitious Amish they insisted the horseshoe hangs like a U so the luck doesn’t spill out. Either way, a horseshoe is good luck thanks to patron of silversmiths, St. Dunstan.