The March Fiestas of El Niño Fidencio was celebrated on the 17th, 18th, and 19th of 2000. On the 19th, the Fiesta took advantage of and celebrated the day of the Saint of El Niño Fidencio, the “Day of San Jose.”
The town of Espinazo dressed up and the streets were filled with colors and flowers that reached the grave. Some people decorate and decorate their homes with banners.
On Sunday the 19th, they performed a mass in “El Pirulito,” directed by Ciprianita “Panita” Zapata, the “Materia” of El Niño Fidencio. During the Mass, El Niño “materialized” in Panita, gave a sermon on his writing as is customary on that special day.
The sermon of March 19 has been transcribed and is available in Spanish at the following link: Escritura del Niño Fidencio in Panita its major material on San José, March 19, 2000, in Espinazo Nuevo León, Mexico.
“Panita” and her disciples met in El Pirulito to go to mass. All those who attended Espinazo could hear the message of the Child. At the end of the mass, a large procession was formed and directed by Panita.
The bearers of the relics that would be presented in the tomb, followed Panita during the procession. Traditionally, carriers have served the Child for many years. Panita guided all the missions in a great procession until they reached the tomb.
Each mission displayed its banners and flags during the mass and walked in rows during the procession that it reached to measure in kilometers long. The missions followed the banners and flags.
The “pilgrims” of the missions listened to the mass behind the banners and when the procession began, they sang praises until they reached the tomb. When they arrived at the tomb, the Child, materialized in Panita, received the pilgrims and gave their blessings to all present.
The events are a tradition that is celebrated every year during the March Festival.
Dr. Tony Zavaleta grew up in Brownsville and is a member of one of the 13 founding families of northern Mexico. He is the nephew of Dr. Joe Zavaleta and Prax Orive, each of whom served on the TSC Board.
Dr. Zavaleta graduated from Saint Joseph Academy in 1964 and entered Texas Southmost College, graduating and transferring to The University of Texas at Austin in 1966, where he completed a Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1976. Moving back to Brownsville in 1976, Dr. Zavaleta began teaching sociology and anthropology at Texas Southmost College and at Pan American University at Brownsville. Dr. Zavaleta became the first Dean of the College of Liberal Arts for UTB/TSC, and also served as the Dean of the College of Mathematics and Science and Technology. He next served as Vice President for Partnership Affairs, where he coordinated all of the work between the TSC Board and UTB, and then became the Vice President for External Affairs, which included governmental relations and all external programs such as Workforce Training and Continuing Education. Dr. Zavaleta served as Interim Provost, the chief operating officer of UTB/TSC, and then as the Associate Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 2011 he retired from the administration to return to full-time teaching. Dr. Zavaleta retired in May 2016 after 40 years of service.
Dr. Zavaleta is regarded as one of the top experts on the US-Mexico Border, and frequently speaks throughout Mexico and the U.S. Dr. Zavaleta was appointed to two Federal commissions by Presidents Reagan and Obama, and he served two terms on the Brownsville City Commission, followed by a term on the City of Brownsville Civil Service Commission.