Retablos, or devotional paintings, are a familiar aspect of Latin American Catholicism. These heart felt offerings, along with ex-votos which depict specific miracles, have become popular for their aesthetic qualities and as examples of folk art that transcends spiritual boundaries.
The following ex-voto from 1935 gives an idea for those unfamiliar with the form, it was created to thank Our Lady of San Juan de Los Lagos for the miracle of surviving a stabbing:
These images offer an honesty and directness that provides a sense of just how deeply faith is felt by those who create them. This form is not isolated to orthodox Catholic figures, and has been adopted for folk saints as well, most notably it has been translated to the digital realm by Santa Muertistas and Santa Muerteros eager to offer thanks and share their devotion to La Nina Blanca.
Often created by re-purposing existing images, it was an honor to discover that a collage created for SkeletonSaint.com had been turned into a digital devotion by one of the administrators of the Altares a la Santisima Muerte en San Luis Potosi FaceBook page:
The following slideshow provides a broad overview of how this tradition has translated into the digital realm. Some of the images offer prayers, complete with iconic imagery related to offerings that would be included in a physical altar, others focus on devotional phrases and short prayers. These images, drawn from the active tradition itself and not the over active imaginations of critics, with their colorful appearance and sincere devotion, show very clearly how the media has misrepresented her devotees:
Note: Special thanks to Jennifer Lopez, Martin George, Enriquetta Vargas, and the faithful devotees of la Santisima Muerte for the images included in the slideshow.