OUR LADY OF GOOD HEALTH – A TASTE OF INDIA
The church, Nuestra Señora de La Salud (Our Lady of Good Health), dates back to the 18th century when it served as a chapel for the adjacent San Francisco de Sales College. The entrance to this church is crowned by a gigantic carved seashell. In the center of the seashell is a single eye enclosed in a triangle, an ancient symbol for God’s omnipresence. The church has indigenous influences in its façade including angels with native features.
Our Lady of Good Health features a triangular dress here in San Miguel. Oral tradition states she first appeared in 16th century India to a young boy delivering milk. Outside of Mexico, she is normally seen with baby Jesus and wearing a sari.
Also venerated in the Temple of Good Health is St. Nicholas of Bari, patron of Child Health who is celebrated each year on Children’s Day in April. St. Nicholas is better known internationally as the real life inspiration for Santa Claus. If Santa cannot help you, there is Child Jesus of Good Health (El Nino de Salud) featuring many tokens of appreciation like toys, photos and notes. Also in the church is an image of Saint Judas, the patron of desperate causes whose medal is worn by many in San Miguel daily. Between the Virgin of Good Health, St. Nicholas, Child Jesus and St. Judas, all one’s medical concerns can be addressed in the chapel.
In San Miguel her feast day is celebrated in mid-October with food, a bazaar and special entertainment for children along with masses throughout the day.