By R. Andrew Chesnut
R. Andrew Chesnut bargains a desirable portrayal of Santa Muerte, a skeleton saint whose cult has attracted hundreds of thousands of devotees during the last decade. even if condemned by means of mainstream church buildings, this folks saint's supernatural powers attract hundreds of thousands of Latin american citizens and immigrants within the U.S. Devotees think the Bony woman (as she is affectionately known as) to be the quickest and preferable miracle employee, and as such, her statuettes and paraphernalia now outsell these of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Saint Jude, different giants of Mexican religiosity. specifically, Chesnut exhibits Santa Muerte has turn into the consumer saint of drug traffickers, taking part in a massive position as protector of peddlers of crystal meth and marijuana; DEA brokers and Mexican police usually locate her altars within the secure homes of drug smugglers. but Saint loss of life performs different vital roles: she is a supernatural healer, love health practitioner, money-maker, legal professional, and angel of dying. She has turn into absolutely probably the most renowned and strong saints on either the Mexican and American spiritual landscapes.
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Additional resources for Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint
Sitting on uncomfortable plastic stools on the sidewalk in front of her combined shrine, shop, and home in early July 2009, Doña Queta and I discussed her pioneering role in transforming devotion to the bony saint from the occult to a cult. Wearing the trademark blue-and-white checkered apron of Mexican working-class women, the tough sixtyish mother of seven explained that she has been a devotee of the White Girl since the early 1960s. Her aunt kept a Santa Muerte altar 37 D E V O T E D T O D E AT H in the living room, and the adolescent Enriqueta felt called to her spiritual service.
Ignoring orders from the local fire marshal to rid my office at the University of Houston of incendiary devices, I was on the lookout for a new Virgin of Guadalupe candle to add to the collection on top of my file cabinet. ” However, in a moment that in retrospect seems so significant but whose meaning eluded me at the time, my eyes were drawn to the newcomer on the shelves of votive candles adorned with saints (both official and folk) and magical incantations, such as the red Ven a mi (come to me) candle.
Most of the devotees marched with statuettes of the Powerful Lady, and a few even lugged life-size figures. The godfather of the cult made no bones about his animus toward the Fox administration. “We’re not going to allow our rights as citizens to be trampled on. This is a rogue government. ”14 Denied the right to own property and raise funds for his church, Archbishop Romo has soldiered on since being dealt the legal blow. ”15 A few days after the elections the godfather of the cult made it clear in an interview with me that he was thrilled with the stunning defeat of the PAN at the hands of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI, Institutional Revolutionary Party), which ruled the country in authoritarian fashion for most of the twentieth century but was not as cozy with the Catholic Church as the PAN.