Mexico's Most Famous Legends
Jesus Malverde is worshiped as a saint, although the Church doesn’t recognize him as such, this cult began in Sinaloa. According to legend, Malverde used to steal from the wealthy at Culiacan Heights and gave the money to the poor. It is said he died in 1909, from a gun shot wound. Malverde, knowing he wouldn’t survive after a confrontation, asked a friend to hand him over to the police in order to cash the ransom and give it to the poor. After his death, the government prohibited his burial and exhibited his body in order to teach his followers a lesson. The residents of Culiacan started throwing stones at his body to cover it; a proper burial was forbidden, but nothing had been said about “stoning”. People still take stones to the chapel where his bones are preserved, to request and show gratitude for his miracles. He is famous for protecting the faithful dedicated to drug production and trafficking, as well as illegal immigrants in the United States. Famous drug dealers worship him and 56 “narco-corridos” have been composed in his honor.
According to legend, during the Colonial era, a woman used to cry screams of anguish “¡Ay, mis hijos!”. Every midnight, her wailing ghost dressed in white used to disappear among the mist of Texcoco Lake. This legend could have originated from the story of a woman who had three children with a Spanish gentleman, but he married a Spanish lady. Upon knowing this, la Llorona lost her mind and drowned her three children, then committing suicide. Since then, her soul wails for them. Another version indicates la Llorona is the soul of La Malinche, who suffers for having betrayed Mexicans during the Conquest.
Don Juan Manuel
Don Juan Manuel was a very wealthy man who was married to a very beautiful woman. In search of comforting his deep sorrow for his lack of children, he decided to become a religious man. So he asked his nephew from Spain to come handle his assets. But Don Juan Manuel was convinced his wife was being unfaithful and the devil ordered him to kill the first man he saw on the street at twelve, hoping he could kill his wife’s alleged lover. He used to ask: - What time is it? – They would answer – Eleven – to his he replied before the fatal blow – Lucky he who knows the time of his death!
One night, the victim was his own beloved nephew. In order to gain pardon, Don Juan Manuel used to pray every night but one morning his body was found hanging. Rumor has it the angels hanged him; others say it was the devil.
La Calle de la Quemada (Burned Woman Street)
Doña Beatriz was so beautiful that she easily charmed all men. Of all her admirers, she only fell in love when the young Italian Martin Scipoli, but he was extremely jealous and constantly fought against all those who he thought wanted to take his woman. Doña Beatriz deeply feared that he only loved her beauty, so she decided to test his love. She covered her eyes with a wet handkerchief and buried her face into red hot coals until her beautiful face was burned. Don Martin instead of expressing disgust over her disfigured face, asked her to marry him. Martin continued loving her and neither one of them ever feared again. Since then, the street where they lived is called “La Calle de la Quemada” (Burned Woman Street).
The Basilica de Guadalupe ghost
Some people visiting the new Basilica of Guadalupe at night or homeless who sleep on the stairs say they see a woman coming out of the old basilica holding a candle that doesn’t blow out in the wind or rain. She walks through the walls of the new basilica where some have seen her leave the candle as an offering , pray and then disappear. It is rumored that she is a lost soul obeying a commitment she hasn’t fulfilled.
Artículo Producido por el Equipo Editorial Explorando México.
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