Tony, Izzy and Pascual – Los Locos
Dia de Los Locos (Day of the Crazies) is SMA’s premier tourism day and is in honor of St. Anthony started by local gardeners. During Colonial times SMA was surrounded by orchards and come one St. Anthony’s Day a local friar wanted to shirk his orchard duty of keeping the birds at bay and attend mass for St. Anthony. If he did, he risked the birds consuming his fruit. He did, and the birds, in an act of respect to St. Anthony, stayed away.
This started local gardeners getting together on St. Anthony’s feast day with rakes and hoes high in the air as they paraded around town singing silly songs and toting skunks. This earned them the reputation as being crazy and an extreme nuisance to the ruling Spanish viceroy. He made it very clear that if he caught any gardeners in such perverse behavior he would whip them, fine them 200 pesos and force them to serve 6 months in jail. As the possibility of extreme of punishment combined with a sexy dose of risk often does, it made the celebration of St. Anthony wildly more popular as it continues to be to this day!
Since his feast day fell near two other saints’ days their statues are often featured in Dia de Locos parades. One is St. Isidore, the patron of farmers, as the native Otomis then were. In art, and the Parroquia, he is featured lost in prayer as angels descend to do his farm work for him. The point being, if your spiritual life is in order your work life will naturally falls into line. Numerous Otomi chapels and villages around SMA are named in his honor.
The other featured saint is Pascual, the patron of cooks. It is very common to meander into a San Miguel kitchen and find a wooden statue of a fat, bald friar carrying a spoon. That’s Pascual.
Legend is he was cooking one day for his fellow clergy when several unexpected guests arrived. Pascual did not have enough chicken to go around. Knowing he didn’t have Jesus’ ability to multiply fish and bread, Pascual scurried about the kitchen adding everything to his sauce he had at his fingertips. A pinch of chocolate, some coffee grounds, a stray vegetable, whatever. With this stroke of genius, he became the inventor of mole!
Tony, Izzy and Pascual are three SMA saints worth going a bit crazy over!