As Mexican immigrants journey north, devotion to Santa Muerte has grown immensely in Chicago, Los Angeles, Tucson, Ariz., and other urban areas..br “The fact that Santa Muerte is here in Richmond, Virginia, where the Latino population doesn’t exceedÂ six percent, is really significant,” said Andrew Chesnut, an expert on the Santa Muerte movement.
Category: Santa Muerte
Until now there have been no confirmed cases of human sacrifices in Mexico to the saint.
“David Romo is not the Santa Muerte, and not the whole church, and if he made a mistake he should pay for it.”
The “Santa Muerte” cult has become popular among drug traffickers in Mexico, in part because followers believe the skeletal figure of the female “saint” may protect them from death or arrest.
Santa Muerte is not a Catholic saint, and in recent decades her popularity in Mexico, especially among the poor and criminal classes, has led to clashes with church officials and government authorities.
But in and around Los Angeles, where Santa Muerte services are held in at least three storefront shrines, a dash of pop theology and Southern California sunshine seems to have given the movement a mild New Age flavor.
Mexican federal authorities used bulldozers to bring down more than 30 chapels devoted to “Saint Death” – a figure that is worshipped by drug traffickers – in the northern city of Nuevo Laredo, the daily Reforma reported Wednesday.
Although the figure is venerated by people from many walks of life, the saint — Santa Muerte — has been adopted by drug gangs.
Police said they found an altar to the skeletal figure of the “Santa Muerte,” an unofficial patron saint of death, in the home of two men arrested in connection with the slayings, while several scorched spots were discovered in a nearby clearing.
Eduardo Ornelas, a spiritual adviser and owner of the Botanica San Miguel Arcangel, said he tells customers the Roman Catholic Church does not recognize Santa Muerte. Even so, for many in the Mexican community she has emerged as representing a dark, less-traveled path ultimately connected to God.
While a similar shrine to a Catholic saint would likely be a source of pride, many residents are appalled at a 75-foot-tall statue of a skeleton shrouded in black, Santa Muerte (Saint Death).
Although the Santa Muerte icon has existed for decades in working-class Mexican neighborhoods, never has it towered so ominously.
Followers of Mexico’s Santa Muerte death cult replaced their scythe clutching skeleton idol on Sunday with a pale angel in a gold dress in an attempt to make their beliefs more palatable to Christianity.