Up the hill at the diminutive Santa Muerte chapel what most caught my eye was the unusual depiction of the Skeleton Saint. Its fleshy, mummy-like face is very similar to two other of the oldest images of the Mexican saint of death, the effigy of Tepatepec, Hidalgo, which was created as a likeness of Saint Bernard Clarivaux, and Doña Sebastiana of New Mexico and Colorado.
On the night of March 10, 2021, a fire seared through the market of Santa Ana. The only object to be found intact amidst the rubble of the market, was a statue of Santa Muerte.
According to the Roman Catholic Church, Santa Muerte and the Catholic faith are two distinct beliefs and practices, or one follows the Mexican folk saint of death, or one follows the church. The pope, bishops and priests have stated this already frequently for years now.
In a bizarre turn of events, sometime in the 1950s, a town priest stormed into the Cruz home and abducted the skeletal effigy. Alleging that devotees prayed to the statue for evil purposes, such as murder, the cleric...
Italian cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, has reiterated his denunciation of Santa Muerte issued in Mexico City four years ago. Speaking yesterday at Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria he said, "These depravaties, blasphemies, and idolatries have become a real and perverse cult among Mexican narcos with the veneration of Santa Muerte, … Continue reading Top Vatican Official Rebukes Santa Muerte – Again
Since Santa Muerte went public in 2001 there have been numerous cases of alleged human sacrifice to the skeleton saint. The great majority follow the pattern of the two latest cases, one in Chihuahua, Mexico, and the other in Guatemala City. In the Mexican case involving the shocking murder of a 6 year-old boy by … Continue reading Santa Muerte and Human Sacrifice in Mexico and Guatemala
While Santa Muerte has become a permanent newsmaker, she received an extraordinary amount of coverage over the past couple weeks. The biggest story, by far, was one that Italian journalist Ludavico Laccino and I teamed up for on a series of Mexican cartel hitwomen who had adopted the nom de guerre of "Flaca" (often spelled … Continue reading Santa Muerte News: Human Hands and New Documentary
With new evidence from the Philippines, the Spanish origins of Santa Muerte are clearer than ever. Filipino photographer Estan Cabigas details the effigies of the Bony Lady that date back at least to the 1850s in the former Spanish colony. http://langyaw.com/2011/04/21/strange-santa-muerte-in-the-philippines/ The skeleton saint’s role in Filipino Holy Week processions appears very similar … Continue reading Santa Muerte in the Philippines
In another surprising turn in the recent municipal attacks on Santa Muerte shrines in Matamoros, Ruy Rendon Leal, bishop of the Diocese of Matamoros, is calling for tolerance and open dialogue between the Catholic church and followers of Santa Muerte. He is saying that in these trying times 'Good Samaritans' and mutual help are more … Continue reading More from Matamoros – Bishop issues call for tolerance of Santa Muertistas
"Adorar a la santa muerte es un error grave y si algún creyente o católico sigue esto será por ignorancia o porque ya dejó la fe católica." "Worship of Saint Death is a grave error and if any man, woman or Catholic continues this, it will be through ignorance or because they already left the … Continue reading The last enemy to be defeated is death – Clarification on the Catholic Church’s rejection of Santa Muerte