Sanctuary of Lord of the Column

El Señor de la Columna

Santuario de Atotonilco, near San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

Introduction by Nicole Duran

Descriptions by Dr. Shelley Armitage

The statue of El Senor de La Columna is in the Santuario de Atotonilco church and is sculpted out Chichimeca materials such as corn stalk, corn starch, and powdered orchid bulbs. The image depicts Christ leaning against a column, dressed in a white loincloth, and has the kiss of Judas present on his cheek. To commemorate the Lord of the Column, a procession of events takes place a week before Easter. The week starts off parading the statue of Christ around the town decorated with white and purple paper flowers. People are encouraged to join the walk, while local women adorn the statue with silk scarves that are later removed when the ceremony ends and safe-guarded for funerals and other rituals. When the image finally reaches the church, a list of events follows soon after during Holy Week. Many people embark on a pilgrimage to honor the sacrifice of Christ. People often offer prayer giving thanks to El Senor de La Columna for the pain he endured to save his people.

Ex-Voto Figure 1.

Lord of the Column/ El Señor de la Columna

Hernandez, signed, September 1925.

Oil on tin. 7 x 10”. Collection NMSU Art Gallery #1966.5.30.

Donor: Mr. C. Andrew Sutherland.


A man and boy kneel before the image of Lord of the Column with a golden halo shining from His head as he leans upon the column supported by billowing clouds. Both man and boy have their hats on the floor near them showing their respect and gratitude. Beneath these figures is a white band with six lines drawn in it but the text is illegible. However, the signature of the artist is legible.

Ex-Voto Figure 2.

Lord of the Column/El Señor de la Columna

Anonymous, Purísima del Rincón, Guanajuato, Mexico. September 1925.

Oil on tin. 7 x 5”. NMSU Art Gallery Collection #1966.5.19.

Donor: Mr. C. Andrew Sutherland.


The Lord of the Column, surrounded by clouds, is shown leaning on the column, his head bowed in pain from the wounds inflicted. Manuela Torres and her daughter, Juana Gomez, with black veils over their heads, kneel in prayer on the right side of the image facing the Lord. The women thank the Lord for healing Manuela from a serious illness in the eye. The text occupies one-third of the composition at the bottom and is boldly printed.

Transcription and Translaton:

[En el mes de Septiembre de 1925 se encontró muy][grave la joven Juana Gómez a causa de una enfer-][medad en un ojo, y en peligro de perder las vista,][y su mamá Manuela Torres invocó al Señor de][la COLUMNA y recobró salud, y en accion de gracias][le dedica el presente para mayor venracion de][su Imagen. Purísima del Rincón Gto.] (Guanajuato)

In the month of September 1925 young Juana Gómez found herself seriously ill because of an illness in one eye and in danger of losing her eyesight, and her mother Manuela Torres invoked the Lord of the COLUMN and she regained her health and in thanksgiving she dedicates this for the greater veneration of his Image. Purísima del Rincón Gto. [Guanajuato]