• The giant stone phallus with testicles weighs nearly 600 pounds
  • Catarina Orduna Perez was an influential figure in her small town
  • The family is prepared to face any criticism that comes their way

A 99-year-old Mexican woman made her family swear they will place a huge structure in the shape of a penis atop her tombstone as her dying wish. After she passed away, they delivered on the promise, even though it meant upsetting some puritans in society.

Catarina Orduna Perez's grave in Mexico city now has, in plain view, a 5-and-a-half-foot-tall penis structure with testicles. The giant stone phallus weighing almost 600 pounds towers over her grave as a mark of her "love and joy for life."

Perez passed away on Jan. 20, 2021, and the statue was unveiled a year later, on July 23. Her grandson, Álvaro Mota Limón, said she wanted to challenge the moral inhibitions of Mexican society.

"She wanted to break the paradigm of everything Mexican, where things are sometimes hidden because of not having an open mind," Limón told Vice. "She was always very avant-garde, very forward-thinking about things."

The woman was touted as Dona Cata in her small town of Misantla due to her obsession with the male genitals.

Limón recounted his grandmom calling them all "vergas," a profane term with multiple implications. While vergas is best translated in English as "cock," a slang for penis, it can either be a brutal insult or a compliment, depending on how it's used in a sentence, Vice reported.

Perez, while using the term to address her family members, meant to boost their morale and imbibe the confidence that they, especially the women members, could achieve any feat in life irrespective of patriarchy being so prevalent in Mexican society.

The woman's granddaughter achieved her doctorate while the grandson acquired two master’s degrees and went on to become the mayor of the town for a period.

Despite growing up in poverty and lacking any formal education, Limón said his grandmother became an influential figure in the town of Misantla by virtue of her hard work. Perez, a renowned political activist, would often receive local politicians as her visitors to discuss campaign policies, according to Mexico Daily News.

Limón said it took a team of 12 people that included sculptors, carpenters, and carvers, working for a month to complete the matriarch's longstanding wish.

The statue received mixed responses from the visitors at the cemetery. "Of every 10 people, I think that around seven see (the statue) positively, and if they don’t see it as a good thing, they at least respect (Doña Cata’s wishes)," the grandson told Vice. "There’s others, who in their conservative values are very closed-minded, very square, who see it poorly."

Photos of the tombstone started doing rounds on social media after it was unveiled. Isidro Lavoignet, the engineer who crafted the statue, told Vice that initially, he thought it was a joke. "At first I thought it was a joke because it's not very common to see these kinds of sculptures or monuments and even less so in the memory of someone who's deceased," the man was quoted, as saying.

Limón said the family is prepared to face any criticism that comes their way.

A rose is placed on a headstone. Alex Wong/Getty Images