La Purisima Concepcion church, better know as “Las Monjas” was founded in 1754 after the eldest daughter of the town’s most important family petitioned the King of Spain to found a congregation to be known as the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
Doña Maria Josefa Lina de la Canal y Hervas was only 16 when she petitioned the king. With recently deceased parents and a huge fortune, she was probably the most eligible bachelorette in town. But she held true to her vocation which seemed to be about piety, not necessarily good works. The need for a convent was obvious to most of the town as the closest convent was over 100 miles away.
At her death at age 34, Josefa was interred after the most elaborate funeral the town ever witnessed.
Construction work began on the church in 1755 with the dome being added in 1891. The original church architect was Francisco Martinez Gudino from Guadalajara. Supposedly Gudino was wildly flamboyant in his interior decoration. This magnificent construction represents these another treasure in San Miguel that brings us to past in modern days.
The feast of the Immaculate Conception, honoring the woman that the archangel Gabriel greeted as “full of grace” is celebrated on December 8th starting with a dawn at 5:00 AM. Yo do not need an alarm clock to wake up to start hearing the begining of the celebration, lots of fireworks and band music will announce in the party has started. Expect music most of the day. Delicious food is sold by the nuns. The day runs full of band music, joy and more fireworks at night.