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Our Lady of Tonatico

Hansen, Mary. 2011. Madonnas of Mexico: Miraculous Images of Our Lady 
(North Bay, Ontario, Canada: Heavens Above! Publications, 2011), 16.




The shrine of our Lady of Tonatico in the state of Mexico differs greatly from the many popular Marian figures we usually come across.  When most people think of Mary, they think of a delicate and elegant figure, almost unnaturally beautiful. For Our Lady of Tonatico, this is not the case. This Marian figure takes on a much more natural and down to Earth look with her elongated figure and perplexed facial expression. The slight tilt of her head oddly makes her seem much more approachable and human like and what makes this feature even more interesting is the story behind it. 

Over 200 years ago, a catastrophe broke out at the blessing of a new church, which was the original home to the statue of Our Lady. Following the blessing ceremony, clergy and guests came together and held a banquet to celebrate the church’s completion only to be interrupted by a distraught group of parishioners. They rushed in revealing the alarming news, the church they had just bestowed blessings on was on fire! The crowd rushed to the scene, only to be greeted by a wall of flames engulfing the church. Everything they had worked so hard on was destroyed, all accept the Statue of Mary. For some unexplainable reason, the figure was found outside the church, completely untouched by the inferno. Even more peculiar was the changes the statue underwent. The once forward-facing head of Mary was now tilted upward, her eyes pointing towards the heavens. There was no logical explanation for this occurrence and the mystery still remains today.

Our Lady of Tonatico is said to be the strong Mother in that she looks out for her children and protects them from all the burdens in life. One of the most magnificent occurrences happened when a man by the name of Don Jose Marie fell terribly ill in the year 1780. He died shortly after his diagnosis, devastating his family. Relatives gathered at Our Lady’s shrine, begging her to bring him back and to much surprise, after being declared dead by doctors, Jose breathed once again as he was restored to complete health. Yet another miracle occurred when a blind man prayed to Our Lady and days later had full vision.

People continue to pray to Our Lady of Tonatico in hopes of her powers of intercession and so many miracles have occurred because of it, so many in fact that behind the church they created a building completely devoted to the testimonials documenting such miracles.

Hansen, Mary. 2011. Madonnas of Mexico: Miraculous Images of Our Lady. North Bay, Ontario, Canada: Heavens Above! Publications, 2011.

Liguori. Mary Throughout Latin America. MO: Liguori Publications, 2005. 

Popular Devotions


Our Lady of Tonatico, an entire building is covered with testimonials 

thanking you for your favors and miraculous interventions.

Please work a miracle in my life through your powerful intercession with your Son.

Please add me to your list of grateful recipients! I thank you for your help in this time of need.


Hail Mary

Dios te salve, María. Llena eres de gracia: El Señor es contigo. 
Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres. 
Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre: Jesús. 
Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores, 
ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte.


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