It is difficult for me to make the distinction between Enriqueta Vargas Ortiz the person I adored and the spiritual leader that she was and now the transition to….I don’t know, for me at least she is at the right hand of San Padrino Endoque (Jonathan Legaria Vargas.)*
I understand what blossoms in a lot of the folks at Santa Muerte Internacional when we interact with Enriqueta, the maternal thing is less about what she projects and more something within us that cries out to her. That “something” I think is Jonathan…
A friend in California told me this morning that he dreamt of her last night. That is no more ludicrous than my vision of Jonathan…how do I separate the sweet Momma from the powerful saint? Is there any real distinction?
I feel guilty for leaving the temple before her funeral, several of my friends are keeping watch all night.
I adore Enriqueta, I am devoted to Enriqueta. Even if it had not been for the Vision of Jonathan and the resulting birth of my son Leo, I would adore her, and follow her teachings as so many others do, but I would not feel the need to submit myself to her or to SMI with SMI there is no sense of the need to submit oneself to the group. Santa Muerte Internacional is an open door, come and go as you choose. Devotion is by choice, not group directive.
There is so much that I should say about Enriqueta…I can see the changes in myself, from wided neophyte meeting her for the first time, to a more jaded view from behind a jailhouse door, to the pinche camiones.*
Yet all my words fall flat and seem hollow in light of who she was what she represented, the magnitude of the loss the entirety of the SMI family is feeling right now and spiritual intersession she is now capable of..
There were reporters at the temple who tried to ask me questions as to what Senora Vargas meant to me…
“She was our mom, what do you think I am feeling right now!!?? ”
I tried to be polite and represent SMI as Momma would expect me to – with dignity and humility… In a way reminded me of Glenna’s burial, we put my mother in the ground and went straight to the greenhouse and began loading plants for the route the next day. Life goes on, even when we are shattered..
I have not wept with a loved one for a lost loved one as I did today since Glenna passed. I am in humble devotion to our Santa Muerte y Pantera, my faith is with thee Madrina Enriqueta Vargas.
As my adoration for and devotion to Santa Muerte and Comandante Pantera has matured I have been brought low, down to my knees. I seek out the least of my brethren, the broken, the forlorn, the forgotten…
I am little more than a plow breaking the fallow ground in the U.S., preparing the soil to receive the seed of those who much wiser and greater than I.
My relationship to Pantera, and now Madrina Vargas, is twofold.
They stand as a powerful saintly figures that have permeated every aspect of my daily life, efficacious miracle workers, a paradox hidden within mysteries, figures of redemption, for lack of a better term, messianic Saints that have transformed my life.
But there is also the human aspect, when I contemplate Jonathan, I see him through the eyes of a parent, I understand how much love and devotion you feel for your son Momma Vargas, our powerful Saint shall always be your little son toddling across the room taking his first steps, your ears will always recall the first time he spoke the words “momma” ..
I am a servant, and a slave unto mi Padrino y Madrina, they have taken a broken empty vessel and made it whole once more, and filled this empty vessel with the waters of holiness.
The world is not waiting for a new definition of Christianity, it is waiting for a new demonstration of faith, hope and charity under the tutelage of love.
I was an atheist when I first heard the call of Santa Muerte in Ciudad Juarez.
As I kneel before you in this hour, I know that an almighty God has prepared the path and brought me to SMI.
I am a simple and humble man, I am an evangelist for Santa Muerte International.
Ecatepec de Morelos, Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
December 19th, 2018
*San Padrino Endoque – The First Saint of Santa Muerte (co-authored by Dr. R. Andrew Chesnut and David Metcalfe): https://skeletonsaint.com/2014/04/10/san-padrino-endoque-the-first-saint-of-santa-muerte/
More from Hank Vine:
Something as old as the ground she is rooted in – Hank Vine on life and Saint Death in Mexico City – https://davidmetcalfe.wordpress.com/2018/05/11/something-as-old-as-the-ground-she-is-rooted-in-hank-vine-on-life-and-saint-death-in-mexico-city/
10 Anos Enalteciendo a Nuestra Santa Muerte – Reflections on the 2017 Anniversary Celebration for Santa Muerte Internacional – https://skeletonsaint.com/2017/12/30/10-anos-enalteciendo-a-nuestra-santa-muerte-reflections-on-the-2017-anniversary-celebration-for-santa-muerte-internacional-from-hank-vine/
Born in Texas, Complete in Mexico: The Testimony of Warren Robert Hank Vine –https://skeletonsaint.com/2017/09/05/born-in-texas-complete-in-mexico-the-testimony-of-warren-robert-hank-vine/
Photography of Faith: Santa Muerte in Sulphur Springs, Texas – https://skeletonsaint.com/2016/06/07/photography-of-faith-santa-muerte-in-sulphur-springs-texas/