Santa Muerte (Saint Death) is Coming to a City Near You! Maybe Santa Cruz? Pay her respects or watch out: Legend states she’s not the forgiving type.
She’s no ordinary saint, but people in Mexico City and now America pay her respects with handfuls of flowers, candles, fruit, tequila, marijuana, and cigarettes. Sounds like a good party, no?
Santa Muerte is making the news lately with her iconic skeleton effigy and notoriously naughty followers who are VERY devoted. Not all are “bad,” however, for she’s gaining wider acceptance by those who haven’t shanked people, are in drug cartels or been to prison.
You see, Saint Death, a Skeletal Maiden with empty eyes, according to a few Catholic priests, is the saint for sinners. They believe that worshippers beliefs are linked to magic and esoteric practices and growing among people who are always putting their lives at risks like drug traffickers, rapists, and prostitutes.
Each month in Tepito, a barrio of Mexico City, thousands of followers come to pay her respects, walking on their knees to visit her altar. The saint is popular among criminals, former prisoners, and other types of outcastes by either the Catholic Church or mainstream society. The kind of people that lost hope and wouldn’t have been welcomed by the church.
Saint Death welcomes everyone—even you. Even me!
The cult of saint death spread quickly in Mexico City’s criminal underworld, beginning in jails with prisoners. Now even the garden variety “normal” people enjoy and worship her presence. Why? People want her blessings, care, support, and protection.
The effigy or doll of Santa Muerte looks like a cross between the Grim Reaper, a skeleton wearing robes, and the Virgin Mary without flesh. The stuff of nightmares. But she stands tall in many homes waiting…to serve.
And losing her effigy may cause problems. A woman describes that when she lost her Santa Muerte doll, her baby died. She said that having it in the house gives her hope.
In the city of Tepito, known for its high crime rates and dangerous streets, the worship is serious.
Thousands of people gather together and take place in a massive ritual where they form a human chain by linking hands together and visualize Saint Death in their minds, imagining a problem and calling on Santa Muerte to resolve it.
Candles of Santa Muerte are popular, even now in the U.S. The different colors represent various personalities of the Saint, in her quest to assist her devotees in getting what they desire. The red candles are for romance, green for justice, white for purity, and black for harm or nefarious purposes. Black is the most popular.
A lot of people approach The Bony Lady for questions of love or finding a job; she’s a multi-tasking saint. The practice is taken very seriously because legend states that if you make a vow in which she delivers and you don’t, then watch out…if you mess with her, she will get her revenge.
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