It’s St. John the Baptist Day today — so yesterday the kids marched in El Valle

stick horsemen
Did John the Baptist ride a stick horse? Maybe THAT’S why he didn’t make a quick getaway when the king’s men came for his head at the request of a chica plastica in an era well before the invention of plastic.

It’s easy enough to get St. Johns mixed up

photos and note by Eric Jackson

San Juan de Dios — it’s in the Anton municipal district, along the road from near this reporter’s home, which eventually descends into El Valle from the ancient volcano’s rim at Altos de Estancia. But it’s not THAT St. John that had them taking time off of class to march in the old volcano’s crater. St. John of God was this 16th century Portuguese mercenary and military nurse, who barely escaped a hanging as a boy soldier; took part in wars and relief missions in that era’s expulsions and wars among Portugal, Spain, North Africa and France; failed as a book seller and went through a running naked in the streets indigent madman period, then went on to found a hospital in a then recently conquered Granada and a Catholic order of healers. But THAT St. John has his saint’s day in March.

There are SO MANY St. Johns. Popes and martyrs, preachers and writers, cavalry soldiers and hermits — but El Valle celebrates the pre-Christian preacher who confirmed Jesus Christ’s faith by dunking him in the Jordan River. That saint’s day is June 24, so it falling on a Saturday, the school kids were let out to march the previous day.

The St. John who came in riding on a horse? San Juan Caballero is associated with the Knights of Malta, now the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. Other than providing security and traffic control for the march, was that part of the reason for SINAPROC disaster relief agency’s participation?









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