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Mazatepec Chapel, Tlaltenco

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Mazatepec Chapel
Photo: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

 

The Mazatepec Chapel stands of the plaza of the same name in Tlaltenco. It’s one of the most famous public spaces and was entirely rehabbed in 2017.

The Chapel was built in 1943. The calle Morelos, running along the east side of the chapel, is an ancient. It was renamed for the Independence hero only in 1926.

It’s easy to be confused by the legend of the Lord of Mazatepec. The feast is celebrated on the fifth Sunday after Ash Wednesday. In 1939, a priest and Tlaltenco native, Fr. Juan B. Mancilla, had a revelation. He was to carve a replica of an image of the Christ figure in the Calvary Church (Templo del Señor del Calvario) in Mazatepec, south in the state of Morelos. Mancilla had been on religious retreat there.

He kept his carving in his home in Tlaltenco for some time. It was later moved to the San Francisco Church. Soon after, in 1943, devotees began work on the chapel on donated land. The celebration is one of the most important public events in Tlaltenco. It’s celebrated with music, rides, fireworks, and dancing. The chapel gets a giant floral arch.

The feast is also celebrated in a procession. Normally it goes from the Puerta de Tlaltenco northward to the Mazatepec Chapel. From there, the faithful will proceed to the main parish church, San Francisco de Asis. But the best of all is the magnificently beautiful Calvary Chapel in the Barrio del Calvario. It’s still further north at the foot of the volcano and built and landscaped with the abundant black volcanic rock.

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