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The Legend of Our Father Jesus of Nazareth


The image of our Father Jesus of Nazareth, housed in Jaén Cathedral, is much venerated in Jaén. One of the most moving moments of the procession of the religious image is the departure of the image of Jesus from the Cathedral’s door. In this moment the lights of Santa Maria Square go down and the lights of the image are the only lights one can see in the dark. The parading of "El Abuelo" (how the inhabitants of the city call the image of Jesus) is an amazing experience, not to be missed.

This religious image is the only one to be declared as favourite son of the city of Jaén. The image of our Father Jesus has a big key hanging down from his hands; this is the key belonging to a hospital. A miracle happened at this hospital. One day, the image of Jesus entered through the door of the hospital and from this moment the outbreak of the Plague, besieging the city in the 17th Century, disappeared.

It is not known exactly who the sculptor of this religious image was. However, most of the experts in this field believe that it was created by Sabastian de Solís. This is due to the similarity of the head of Jesus in this sculpture with the Saint Juan’s Calvary (Calvario de San Juan) sculpture and because they share the same period.  The image of our Father Jesus of Nazareth was carved at the end of the 16th Century or the beginning of the 17th Century, the period of Sebastian de Solís. 

One legend recounts that many years ago, an old man who was tired after a long day of travel, went to a white “caseria” (country house) close to the city, which was known as Jesus’s Caseria. At the door of the Caseria he found a farmer, and the old man asked him if he could spend the night there. The farmer generously hosted him. As he approached the entrance of the house, the old man saw a great amount of firewood. He told the farmer that he would be able to carve a beautiful image of Jesus with this firewood in only one day. He would only need to be isolated in one room of the house to carve the image. The farmer was very excited to hear this, and offered him the log and a solitary room for the old man to work on his sculpture. No sound was heard in the tranquillity of the countryside, which was covered by the dark of the night. 

The following day, the guests of the country house were worried because they hadn’t heard any noises coming from the room for a long time. They were afraid that something bad had happened to the old man. They walked in silence until they reached the door of his room because they did not want to disturb his work. Finally, they opened the door and they discovered that in the place where they expected to find the old man and the firewood, they only found the most wonderful sculpture they had ever seen in their lives. This was the first miracle of our Father Jesus of Nazareth. 

(Source: Iuventa Cultural association)