With thanks to José Rafael González Serrano, “El Güero,” assistant to the Church of Fátima.
There is a Catholic church in Mazatlan that for decades was known as the “Church of Fatima.” Located on the top of the hill of the popular Montuosa colony, it has been tried for a few years to change the name to “María de las Américas” because It houses in its niches figures of the Marian invocations of each country of our continent.
During the so-called Mexican Revolution, the hill served as a field for at least one battle between the fighting groups. Then it became a military barracks. Then the extensive land of the colony became the property of Lucrecia Paredes, according to a map of the city. Without knowing the exact date, a small chapel of brick and lime walls with cardboard sheet roof was later built there. Located almost to the center of the property, to its north and south there was space for two soccer fields that children and youth of that time we knew how to take advantage of. I remember that a cyclone took much of the roof, leaving the construction flooded and full of rubble. Beyond the seventies of the last century, there was a project to build a church in the image and likeness of the Basilica of Guadalupe, in Tepeyac.
No one could imagine, back in the 1970s, that the chapel with the black sheet roof would become the imposing concrete building of today; who would believe then that it would have one of the best viewpoints of Mazatlan from which it is possible to see the almost complete city and its surroundings; impossible to omit that, in addition to the aforementioned virgins, has the largest figure of Christ in the region. But there is another element that, despite being on the street, goes unnoticed by many people, it is a mural several meters long by three of high creation of the Cuban artists Henry Wilson and Rafael Michel Cruz.
Towards the year 2009, both muralists created this work based on cement, in relief, giving it a color like oxidized copper alloy. The work resembles an ancient scroll on which eleven scenes have been captured: four from the Old Testament, four from the New Testament, and the remaining three that, while not biblical, are from the world of Catholicism.
Mr. José Rafael González Serrano, “El Güero,” took the trouble to give me the names of both artists and to describe the characters and explain the meaning of each of the scenes:
1.- From the Old Testament. Genesis, chapters 1 and 2. The creation of man. Inspired by the work of Leonardo da Vinci, Wilson and Michel give us their version of this biblical moment.
2.- Of the Old Testament. Genesis 3:23. The expulsion from paradise. Just below the previous painting, inspired by a chapter of the same book, Adam and Eve are seen to be expelled from Eden.
3.- Of the Old Testament. Genesis 22: 9-12 Abraham about to sacrifice his son. In my concept, this is one of the deepest chapters of the entire Bible. In the painting, the angel is seen holding Abraham who is about to sacrifice his own son in honor of God.
4.- Of the Old Testament. Moses and the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20: 2-17. Just below the previous picture, Moses is seen showing his people the Decalogue that God has imposed on him.
5.- Of the New Testament. The Annunciation St. Luke 1: 26-37. The angel Gabriel appears to the Virgin Mary and lets her know God’s plans to make her the mother of Jesus.
6.- Del Nuevo Testamento. El Nacimiento. San Lucas 2: 5-13. Colocado debajo del precedente, María y José adoran al recién nacido Jesús.
7.- Del Nuevo Testamento. La Crucifixión de Cristo. Ver los cuatro evangelios. En esta sección los artistas plasmaron a Cristo en su cruz.
8.- Del Nuevo Testamento. La Resurrección de Jesús. San Mateo 28: 4-7 Colocado debajo de la escena anterior, se ve a Jesús que ha resucitado.
9.- No bíblico. Se ve a la virgen en la advocación de Guadalupe como madre de todos los niños del mundo, sin importar raza, color, credo, etcétera.
10.- No bíblico. Una imagen de la Basílica de San Pedro, sede del papado y guía de la Iglesia Católica.
11.- No bíblico. Una imagen de la Catedral Basílica de Mazatlán bajo cuya rectoría se encuentra la Iglesia de Fátima.
Rectoria de Nuestra Señora de Fátima
Parada & Callejón Corona Col. Montuosa