The Lord of Patience, as this three-foot tall icon is known, is a centrepiece for worship at the Church of San Bartolo Cuautlalpan in Mexico. At first glance, the statue of Christ is very similar to many other religious icons, and it was only during a recent restoration project that researchers at Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History discovered a hidden secret within the 18th century object.
It is common for these statues to have teeth, crafted from wood or bone, and it is also common for parishioners to donate their clothes to be worn by the icon and even their hair to be made into a wig. The Lord of Patience, however, was discovered to have a full set of genuine human teeth! Most likely donated in gratitude or as a last effort to get closer to god, the choppers can be glimpsed through the slightly open mouth of the statue. It took an x-ray examination to discover that these teeth were the real deal.
It seems that the statue, although having been used as a object of worship for hundreds of years, still has secrets to tell. It resides permanently in the Church of San Bartolo Cuautlalpan fully-dressed, except when taken out to be paraded around the town on holy days.