Cozumel Fiestas De San Miguel Archangel September 20th – 29th
According to the historian, the building was located in the vicinity of the main square, along with the Government House, the headquarters of the army and the school. The building, used as a stable for horses, was destroyed by troops under the command of Isaías Zamarripa. Later on May 15, 1943 the first stone was laid by the hands of Fernando Solórzano, the Archbishop of Yucatán. Thanks to the hard work by the Maryknoll Missionaries, we have The Church of San Miguel Arcángel today. The blessing of the church was held on May 26, 1946 by Padre Jorge Hogán who also officiated over the first Mass in the church, on February 14, 1947. The church was consecrated in honor of San Miguel Arcángel by the Archbishop of Mexico Luis María Martínez and since then has been open to the public. The church is visited daily by hundreds tourists on the island.
Undoubtedly, the main church of Cozumel, San Miguel Arcángel, continues to be a central meeting point for the predominantly Catholic population. History notes that 100 years ago, some farmers working in the field found a beautiful ebony statue of San Miguel the Arcángel holding a sword and a golden crown. The statue was believed to have been a gift from .Captain Don Juan de Grijalva, who landed in Cozumel in 1518. The statue was found on September 29 and since then the inhabitants of the island have considered finding San Miguel as a divine sign. That is the reason that they baptized the church San Miguel Arcángel and the town with the name of “San Miguel de Cozumel.” The statue is located at the altar of the church.
The church building is simple and its entrance faces north. It is designed to allow perfect daytime lighting, because of the large windows. At the entrance is a marble plaque on which the caption reads: “On this island of Cozumel, at a location a few meters from this temple, the first mass was held in National Territory (Mexico), celebrated by Padre Juan Díaz, Capellán , member of the expedition headed by Captain Don Juan de Grijalva, on May 6, 1518. To commemorate this important event, as significant for the nation of Mexico, on the initiative of the Assembly of the Fourth Degree of Knights of Columbus Francisco de Montejo and the Knights of Columbus Council Number 2109 of the same name, this stone was laid on May 6, 1951. ”
There is a tribute to this Catholic Saint every year, which begins nine days before September 29th. Today, the many activities celebrating this even begin with daily processions from the Church of San Miguel (after Mass) with many locals wearing traditional costumes. These processions are filled with dancing and traditions including nightly fireworks.
On the last day, September 29th, a procession of local fishermen carry an image of San Miguel Arcángel through town to the downtown pier where they board a ferry that is surrounded by local fishing boats. The ceremony at sea involves flowers thrown into the waters. The Pilgrimages involve approximately 400 devotees of different ages who carry banners. Older participants take part in the processions to promote and entrench traditions for future generations.