Don Alonso de Villaseca was a nobleman from Spain who came to this land in the mid-sixteenth century armed with some very deeply-held religious convictions.
He sent back to Spain for three sculptures of Jesus Christ; one which he donated to the village of Ixmiquilpan (as it was here that he had made his fortune). Another, he gave to the famous mines of Zacatecas. The third, which he gave to Cata, in Guanajuato, is better known as the Miraculous Christ of Villaseca.
We're told the reason why this is by the following popular tale:
Maria, a beautiful local girl, was married off by her parents at a very young age to Don Martin, an old, rich and very jealous mine owner, for whom she felt absolutely nothing.
Her heart did, however, overflow with love for another miner, the handsome,Juan Manuel, who, despite the fact he already had a wife, courted María relentlessly, continuously reminding her of his burning passion for her.
Now much as María worshipped and adored him, she fought as hard as she could to deliver herself from temptation, and not a day went by but she would kneel in the church before the miraculous Christ and beg him to give her the strength to see the situation out.
-You know, Lord Jesus, that I was married against my will and that I have never loved Don Martín.
One day, when her husband had to go away on business, and would be gone for several days, María could resist her yearning to see Juan Manuel. On the pretext of taking him a good breakfast, she took a basket and filled it with things to eat.
Contented and happier than she had ever been, the girl was making her way to the Cata mine when she ran straight into her husband, who immediately saw how things stood. Cursing bitterly, he whipped out his knife and lifted the corner of the cloth covering the basket.
- What have you got there? he asked.
The unhappy girl prayed with all her strength to her protector, the miraculous Christ, and then said:
-It’s not what you think. I’m taking some flowers to Our Lord of Villaseca.
And sure enough, when he lifted off the cloth, Don Martín’s eyes beheld a basketful of beautiful, freshly cut roses.
Her husband begged forgiveness for distrusting her and together they walked up to Cata and the church of Our Lord of Villaseca, where they left the flowers. And María, overwhelmed with gratitude for the miracle, prayed to be forgiven her unfaithfulness and never saw the miner again.