Friendship recently took me to Aquascalientes, Aquascalientes (yes…a city and a state..it’s like New York, NY). Two of us journeyed to meet another friend, who is a resident of Aquas (for short). We were introduced to the true spirit of this unique city and state, which is quite similar to San Miguel. An old colonia city, steeped in history and full of folklore… we were hooked.
Our Aquas friend, a woodworker, artist and lover of all things with a patina, transported us to an OLD MEXICO that few will ever experience. We knocked on doors of old haciendas, we stumbled through antique shops and junkyards. We came away with treasures and stories that will intrigue us forever.
But our ultimate goal for the day was an hour drive from Aquas (the city) to the remote town of San Jose de Garcia… the home of El Cristo Roto (The Broken Christ). The town appeared quaint, colorful and small, residents going about their day and then we saw it. As the shuttle ferry approached the tiny island where the statue stands, this breathtaking bronze structure of eighty-two feet, did leave us breathless. The statue has only one arm and one leg…and no crucifix! We climbed the stairs, in a tranquil setting, to this overwhelming tribute. Who, what, why…. the questions to our guide. Legend has it, that a soldier found a small crucifix, with the figure of Christ attached, on a tombstone, during wartime..he removed the Christ, but the crucifix wouldn’t come loose. He took the war torn Christ home…a Christ with only one arm and one leg. After his arrival home…again, as legend has it…. the soldier spoke to the Christ and assured Him that he would have Him repaired to His original state. Christ spoke back saying “No…my brokenness represents the brokenness of mankind. My broken condition will remind all, that in this broken world, only through Him, can one be whole again.
And as they say, the rest is history. Today the statue of El Cristo Roto stands firmly planted in an obscure spot. The Broken Christ is visited by thousands each year. As a believer, I am overwhelmed at the message this statue sent to me and so many others and the shear challenge of its construction, is truly beyond belief. But then.. “Thy Will Be Done!!!"