St. John the Baptist Statue at Mission San Juan Bautista, California

If you visit the Spanish mission in the town of San Juan Bautista (San Benito County in Central California), you will see this statue on the church grounds.

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Because most statues of saints are depicted fully clothe, the statue is sometimes thought of as a Native American.

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But it is actually a statue of St. John the Baptist, whom the town is named after – Spanish version, San Juan Bautista.

For this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, host Cheri Lucas posted:

Artists are inspired by and capture the world around us: sculptors immortalize people with statues; painters record events in their masterpieces. What about the other way around? For this week’s theme, find inspiration in a piece of art, and go further: imitate it.

While I don’t have a photo that imitates this particular statue of John the Baptist, I thought the photo fit the theme.

There are many historical paintings depicting St. John, partly clothe, just as in this statue.

And if you are not familiar with the religious tradition of baptism, the reason for the depiction of St. John in this manner is because baptism ceremonies were originally done in water.  Those receiving baptism were naked.

Most of the paintings and historical depictions of St. John had him partially clothe.

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So another question for me is also…how long does art continue to imitate other art?

What do you think?


Here are more photos from the San Juan Bautista Mission — which continues as an active parish today — and in need of funds for restoration projects.

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Field behind the San Juan Bautista Mission

From the website OldMissionSJB.org:

Mission San Juan Bautista was founded on June 24, 1797 and has seen a lot of wear and damage over the centuries.

The building is in need of earthquake retrofitting to guarantee survival from the inevitable shocks coming from the nearby San Andreas Fault.  There are items of great historic and artistic value in need of restoration, cleaning, and archival display. There is much that can be done to improve the educational and interpretive information in the museum and the church.


Related Post on Lola Jane’s World Blog:

Not crazy for cactus…yet

I’ve planted and grown many plants over the years, but I can remember having only two cactus plants.

One was a gift from my friend, David, who gave me specific instructions to put it in my office, by the computer.  It died about 3 years later.  I am sentimental with gifts, and feel bad that I killed a slow-growing, easy-care plant, that can live for over 100 years.

And then there’s the second cactus, a saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea)…which, amazingly, I still have.  This cactus is special to me — even if once in a while I get a poked by its needles — because my daughter planted it from seed.

My 17-year-old saguaro cactus, grown from seed.

Years ago, I went to Phoenix for a business trip.  At the Phoenix airport,  I purchased a package of saguaro seeds as part of my pasalubong items for my daughter.

Saguaro cactus are found in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Mexico.  It can grow up to 70 feet, and live for over 150 years.

My cactus is about 17 years old, and just over 14 inches tall.  Talk about slow-growing!  At this stage (without “arms”) it is called a spear.  It will eventually grow an arm, after about 75 years.

So, if I manage not to kill it, and if my grandsons want it, they may see it grow an arm in their lifetime.

When I gave the seed packet to my daughter, she placed the seeds in a little pot with dirt, watered it, and we quickly had about 20 little seedlings.  One particular seedling took charge of the space, and all the other seedlings died.  We did not pick a particular seedling, nor thin them out.  It’s as if they all knew which seedling was boss, and simply died to allow the boss seed to grow in the space.

I’ve re-potted the saguaro just once.  Honestly, I am surprised that it is still alive.  It does have a brownish area in the bottom, so I don’t know how much longer I will have it.  Maybe it is time for a bigger container.

The silhouette of a large saguaro stands at sunset in Saguaro National Park on the east side of Tucson, Arizona. Photo via wikepedia files.

As much as I love  plants, I am not exactly crazy about cactus.

Maybe it’s the needles, and the poke factor.  I don’t like plants that can puncture my skin and make me bleed.  I do make an exception for old fashioned roses, since in return, I get to inhale one of the loveliest scents in existence.

A visit to Jardines de San Juan, a Mexican restaurant located in the historic mission town of San Juan Bautista, California, inspired me to learn more about my saguaro cactus.

The Jardines garden has an abundance of cactus, some of which I photographed using my phone camera.  Many were sporting beautiful flowers.  Below are a few of the shots…

Jardines De San Juan, back patio area June 2012

Learning more about my saguaro has given me a whole new appreciation for cacti, and may get me to bring another in our home.  For now though,  I must first get some heavy-duty gloves and re-pot the one I have.

Which cactus camp are you in….crazy for cactus?  Or…keep those spiky plants away from me!

And if you are curious to know how long cactus seeds keep (or are viable)…check out the comment section on Lolako.com’s “Contact” page, here.   Can you guess?

  • over 20 years?
  • over 200 years?
  • or for over 2,000 years?