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I went to swim into the sea and right away I felt something was holding me. Then I saw a big octopus. It caught me with its tentacles and pulled me down to the bottom. I started to panic, I was thinking I was going to die in the tentacles instead of marrying a handsome young man and living a happy life. I started to pray to the Virgin of San Juan, and thanks to her the octopus got distracted with some fish passing by and I could escape. I swam to the surface and I was safe. Now I have only to wait when a handsome guy comes to my life.

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A mermaid appeared near the rocks. She was attracting the fishermen with her songs and beauty, and the boats kept crashing on the rocks and smashing in splinters. All the fishermen in the town were praying to Saint Peter because no one could resist her charm. Thanks to the prayers the saint drove the mermaid away. Now everybody is fishing without danger.

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When I fell overboard, I was saved by a dolphin. Thanks.

April 1969

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The father and the grandfather of my daughter Aurora were sailors. That’s why she was able to hear the mermaid songs. I was worried seeing her walking every night to the sea captivated by the mermaids’ voices and staying on the edge of the cliff enchanted by their singing. I lost my husband because of these enchanting songs. I didn’t want to lose my daughter also so prayed Saint Barbara for help, and she worked a miracle. Now my daughter doesn’t hear their singing and doesn’t go to the mermaids.

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Zacarias Hernandez used to get into the sea to fish stingrays. But one day a shark came very close to him. He thanks Saint Peter for the shark get away without doing anything to him. He couldn’t have defended himself against such danger, so he dedicates this retablo for that.

Mar de Cortes, Baja California

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Gregorio fell from the fishing boat and hit his head. He lost his conscience, and when he regained it back he saw two mermaids pulling him in different directions—one to the top and the other to the bottom. That moment he entrusted his life to Saint Raphael the Archangel. He thanks him because the mermaid who pulled to the top won, and he got to the surface where his buddies could grab and save him. Although nobody believed in the mermaid story, he didn’t care because he stayed alive.

I thank the Virgin of the Pillar for protecting me and my fellow Miguel when we were quietly sailing and a very big boat appeared and almost ploughed into us. Luckily we survived to tell about it.

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My children are pretty good swimmers, and sometimes they go swimming far from the shore. One time they found themselves surrounded by octopuses. They grabbed them with its tentacles and pulled them. The children got frightened, but since I always entrust them to the Virgin of San Juan, she protected them. Instead of pulling my kids to the sea, the octopuses pulled them towards the shore like dolphins. I give thanks for the miracle.

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My boyfriend left me and went to another woman. I was depressed. I was going along the cliff and thinking to jump to the sea so I could end with this love pain. I was looking down at the waves crushing on the rocks and suddenly I slipped and fell down. While falling I realized that I definitely don’t want to die and no men is worth to be smashed over rocks because of him. I implored the Virgin of Zapopan and fell into the sea between the rocks. I could swim out. I thank for this miracle because now I could love again and find someone who’s better then that one who dumped me.

A mermaid fell in love with my Manuel. She was so jealous with me she grabbed my hair and tried to drown me taking to the bottom of the sea. I thank the Virgin of Zapopan because Manuel had enough strength to not let the mermaid take me and he saved me.

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For weeks, I was coming back with the empty net because there were no fish at all. But one day I met mermaids. I looked at them mesmerized, and they came closer out of curiosity. They gave me some fish. The mermaids just sang, fish swam over to them, and the mermaids took the fish and threw it in my boat. I go to the mermaids every since, and they give me fish. Now we have a lot of food at the house, and I thank Saint Raphael the Archangel for this amazing miracle.

Ricardo Arriola went fishing in the open sea with his buddy Eliseo. They were preparing to come back when suddenly a ship in form of flying saucer came out of the water. That moment they prayed the Virgin of Juquila, and it saved them from the danger. They dedicate this retablo.

Puerto Angel, Oaxaca, February 1970

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