most Holy Death or Santa Muerte

I found myself sitting in a garage waiting room today waiting for my car to be given the once over.    Like being at the dentist people were generally quiet and trying to look occupied.  So here was I trying to look interested when I came across a magazine.  Now what caught my attention was a photograph.  At first the significance did not immediately straight me..  However as I read through the article it became apparent that a new cult was rising in Mexico. 

 The cult of the most Holy Death or Santa Muerte’s 

 This unofficial saint has become a growing icon among many. Though not officially recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church, Santa Muerte’s popularity has spread significantly in the last ten years, especially in crime-ridden communities.  That does not mean only the criminal underworld lay claim to her.  There are many among the poor.  Taxi drivers will invoke her powers for safety while out driving at night.  It is believed that even among the upper classes, artists and politicians there is also a following.  Many believe that the rise in popularity is because of the exposure of the paedophile crisis within the Roman Catholic Church

 In one report it says:
In a small shop in one of this city’s largest Mexican neighbourhoods, Laura Martinez scans rows of candles bearing the images of Saint David, Saint Raphael and Saint Jude. But she overlooks those and grabs two candles featuring Santa Muerte — Saint Death. “She’s my patron saint,” says Martinez, 24, who arrived here from a town outside Mexico City about six years ago. “You worship her,” she says of Santa Muerte. “It’s my religion.”
So death has finally become a religion.  Imagine worshipping death?   However it is not death itself that is revered.  Many look to her for miracles and divine intervention.  This idol however grant what many other saints would think unthinkable like causing a person to fall in love with you, damage someone’s property, or even cause harm or death to someone.  Like most idols processions and prayers are said for her. At her alters cigarettes, flowers, fruit, incense, alcoholic beverages, coins, and candies could be found. 
   “Now appearing in New York, Houston and Los Angeles: Santa Muerte. The personage is Mexico’s idolatrous form of the Grim Reaper: a skeleton — sometimes male, sometimes female — covered in a white, black or red cape, carrying a scythe, or a globe. For decades, thousands in some of Mexico’s poorest neighborhoods have prayed to Santa Muerte for life-saving miracles. Or death to enemies. Mexican authorities have linked Santa Muerte’s devotees to prostitution, drugs, kidnappings and homicides. The country’s Catholic church has deemed Santa Muerte’s followers devil-worshiping cultists. Now Santa Muerte has followed the thousands of Mexicans who’ve come to the U.S., where it is presenting a new challenge for American Catholic officials struggling with an increasingly multicultural population.

What is clear, however, is that Santa Muerte developed a large following only in the last quarter century among Mexicans who had become disillusioned with the dominant Church and, in particular, the ability of established Catholic saints to deliver them from poverty. Residents of crime-tossed neighborhoods like Mexico City’s Tepito began revering Santa Muerte more than Jesus Christ, experts say. Some of its devotees eventually split from the Catholic church and began vying for control of Catholic buildings. That’s when Mexico’s Catholic Church declared it a cult.”

The origin of Holy Death still remains a mystery of sorts.  For many of us we will recognise her /him as the angel of death.  To others La Santisima Muerte is a “banned saint,” the Roman Catholic “cover” for an ancient Aztec goddess named Mictecacihuatl, a death goddess and co-ruler, with her husband, of the underworld.  Mictecacihuatl, the wife of the Aztec death god Mictlantecuhtli, is the sister to the Aztec heavenly goddess Tonantzin, who has been syncretized with the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Guadalupe. That’s why Mictecacihuatl became “Most Holy Death, The Virgin Mary as a Skeleton.”   But this is still somewhat conjectured.    


There is without doubt a lot of it within the Roman Catholic Church.  For centuries southern America was the last bastion of Catholicism.  But Catholicism steeped in darkest paganism.  Where icons and saint were carried through the streets revered and worshipped and where superstition was mixed with Catholic mysticism.    The Catholic Church in turn have deemed that those who follow this icon to be devil worshippers and Satanist.  Priests regularly rebuke parishioners that death is not a person.  However I suspect that this message may be landing on more deaf ears that those who are listening. The whole paedophile crisis within the Catholic Church is causing more ripples than  many would like to admit.



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