A homage to an unofficial Peruvian saint during Saints Day!
A true story straight from the breathtaking Andes of Peru comes that of the Sarita Colonia, the Saint of the People. Her legend spreads wide from the Andes to Lima.
You came for the Magical Kitty, but it comes attached to a woman I must tell you about first.
Sarita Colonia was a beautiful and impoverished woman from the Peruvian Andes who lived in the first half of the 20th century. Her family moved from the Andes to Lima, the capital city of Peru, when she was young. Sarita had to grow up fast. Becoming the matron of her family at a young age and remaining in that role until the day she died at 26 of Malaria, everything she did was relative to helping her low-income family survive. Colonia became pious in her early years of attending Catholic school and became well-known and worshipped posthumously for her gentle spirit and exemplary work ethic. Legends began to arise as she grew in fame.
She is considered a folk Saint by the academic world and worshiped as an unofficial Saint by a large number of Peruvians from all social classes and colors. She is known as the Saint of Peru’s marginalized populations.
Respectfully, the story of her magical vagina is unlike any other.
According to witnesses, the miracle of her magic kitty occurred during a situation in which she was a victim of gang rape. Cornered by a group of delinquents on a mountain, according to legend, the perpetrators failed because Sarita Colonia’s genitalia started to “disappear” making it impossible to carry on with their crime. The rapist’s affirmed that they didn’t see anything where her vagina was supposed to be and witnessed something in appearance to a knee. Thus, they left her alone because they couldn’t do anything to her.
Unfortunately, it can’t be like this for all women subjected to this heinous crime. So, with this incredible tale of female empowerment why doesn’t the Catholic church honor this holy woman on Nov 1, All Saint’s Day?
Sarita Colonia is not officially a Saint according to Catholicism, and probably won’t be any time soon. The Catholic Church openly rejects to discuss her beatification—much less her canonization. The official position of the Catholic Church considers her story and miracles as nonsense. Why? We can find many reasons, but the one related to Sarita involves a rape, which in the eyes of the church makes her impure.
Whether this urban legend is true or not, Sarita Colonia represents those who were invisible to an aristocratic Lima that wasn’t accustomed to the waves of rural migrants seeking work and residence in the capital city. While the urban population rejected rural migrants, these groups created their own rules, heroes, and saints.
That’s how Sarita Colonia became the Saint of those who have traditionally been rejected and discriminated against in society: criminals, prostitutes, transsexuals, and all type of people who were different, especially those who are poor. Read about “The Death Saint,” Santa Muerte to find out more about those rejected by the Catholic church who still need a spiritual being in their lives.
People often create icons that look like them and reflect their unmet needs or desires. Due to the lack of influential symbolic figures in aristocratic and conservative—even racist and classist—Lima, Sarita Colonia represents the typical mestiza from which the average to the most impoverished Peruvians can easily relate to.
And she’s the only woman in the world famous for possessing a magic cherry.
“¡Por mi Sarita!” is now very common among Peruvians of all social classes as a very strong way to promise something. Would you like to learn more about the Peruvian and Hispanic culture? Visit Kasa de Franko’s blogs and social media. Visit our website to get more information about online and in-person lessons.
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