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The Vatican Has Deemed La Santa Muerte’s Following As A Cult But It Just Keeps Growing

La Santa Muerte, a religious deity symbolizing death, has built a cult following throughout Latin America. Often depicted as a hooded female skeleton, believers will leave offerings of money, tobacco, and alcohol to Santa Muerte statuettes, hoping to be granted favors in exchange for their gifts.

Andrew Chestnut, a professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and expert on La Santa Muerte, claims that the spiritual figure originated in Europe and arrived in Mexico with Spanish conquistadors who brought Catholicism to the indigenous people of country.

The Vatican and the Catholic church have distanced themselves from the Saint of Holy Death, with some clergy members calling the saint blasphemous.

But that hasn’t stopped La Santa Muerte’s popularity from growing exponentially, with her most famous shrine standing in downtown Mexico City.

La Santa Muerte is a saint your parents probably wouldn’t tell you about.


La Santa Muerte has her own following separate from other religions. According to The Huffington Post, some devotees still actively practice other religions while simultaneously praying to the deity.

Most images of La Santa Muerte are of a skeleton wearing saint-like garments.


While the rate of practicing Catholics continues to decline, La Santa Muerte’s followers are actually growing.

“She has between 10 and 12 million devotees, and she’s only been public for 12 years,” Andrew Chesnut, the author of “Devoted To Death,” told Vice.

You can’t deny that this saint is a bit creepy, with her Grim Reaper-like appearance.


Part of the folklore surrounding La Santa Muerte is that she is the most efficient and fastest-responding saint, but that service comes at a price.

La Santa Muerte will answer your prayers, but only if you make her a promise. Failure to follow through on your end has serious repercussions, like the loss of a loved one.


After decades as a fringe saint, La Santa Muerte is experiencing a revival and has been launched into the mainstream consciousness of Mexicans, South Americans and Catholics the world over.


According to The National Catholic Review, the jump to the mainstream world has the Catholic church so startled that officials are grasping for ways to push La Santa Muerte back into obscurity.

The Catholic church is classifying the devotion to the saint as a Satanic cult.


Enriqueta Romero is heavily credited for bringing La Santa Muerte out of the shadows. According to OZY, Romero is a former homemaker who has become the leading crusader of La Santa Muerte. The first real altar to the saint appeared in front of her home in Mexico City’s Barrio Tepito, notorious for its crime and black market. Romero is joined by Enriqueta Vargas, known as the godmother of La Santa Muerte, as the other leader in the cult of La Santa Muerte.

Romero and Enriqueta Vargas are making sure that the saint is recognized throughout Mexico.

@AndrewChesnut1 / Twitter

That’s right. Two women with the same name have taken a stance against the Catholic church and have helped build the mainstream idolization of the deathly saint. Vargas lives in Tultitlán and performs weddings and baptisms for followers of La Santa Muerte.

Despite a continued campaign against La Santa Muerte, the Catholic church seems to be losing the battle.


“Many people here have a devotion to her and still consider themselves good Catholics,” Chesnut told The Catholic National Review. “And that is a real challenge for the church.”

Romero is not concerned over the continued pressure by the Catholic church to hide La Santa Muerte.

@AndrewChesnut1 / Twitter

“They can just go ahead and do that,” Romero told National Geographic. “But have you seen how empty their churches are?”


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Meet ‘Padre Cheke,’ The Mexican Priest Combining Religion And Tech On TikTok

Culture

Meet ‘Padre Cheke,’ The Mexican Priest Combining Religion And Tech On TikTok

A Mexican priest has turned to social media to meet young people where they are – on TikTok. He’s using the popular social media app to help “bring young people closer to God” and him becoming an actual influencer in the process is just a coincidence. But a very successful one at that.

Known as Padre Cheke, the priest from Puebla already has nearly one million followers on TikTok and has gained millions of likes on his videos. So just what does a Catholic priest upload to TikTok?

Padre Cheke is a massive hit on TikTok for uploading religious content.

Ezequiel Padilla is “Padre Cheke,” a Catholic priest and rector of the Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and San Cayetano in Puebla. He is also a new star of TikTok. He currently has almost 700,000 followers and 3.2 million likes on his platform.

Padre Cheke has become famous for using TikTok trends and using them to give religious messages to his followers and anyone who comes across his videos.

With the onset of the pandemic and confinement, Father Cheke decided to implement new strategies to keep people from turning away from religion. After returning to Mexico following a formation meeting in Italy, the priest became interested in this platform.  “In those days was that I downloaded the application, because I saw some stories on social networks and from there I started to make TikToks. I did not know how but little by little I was learning,” said the TikToker.

At 48 years old, the priest pointed out that when he noticed that one of his videos went viral and went from 60 followers to 10,000 followers in a very short time, he understood the power of social media.

Ezequiel feels that religion is not at odds with daily life and he uses TikTok to share that message.

Father Cheke does it all for TikTok. He dances, sings and interprets his videos with a lot of ease. He also lip synchs to dubbed videos, follows trendy choreography and viral songs, sometimes alone and sometimes with members of his congregation.

I mean who wouldn’t love a padre doing TikTok?!

Due to the great impact of social media, he has become a viral character and even has his own hashtag,#ChekeTokers, which has already been and will probably continue to trend throughout Mexico and, if he has his way, around the world.

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People Are Hoping That Covid Will Give Them Up For Lent This Year

Culture

People Are Hoping That Covid Will Give Them Up For Lent This Year

Covid has changed everything we know about the world for more than a year. As Lent approaches and people make plans to sacrifice to get closer to God, some are hoping Covid does the work instead. We have all given up so much this past year, what more can people sacrifice?

Lent is upon us, which means it is time to make that sacrifice.

Lent is a time when Catholics give something up for 40 days to get close to God. Lent is a six-week period leading up to Easter that is observed by Christians around the world, especially within the Catholic church. The run-up to Easter is a solemn religious practice that is in preparation for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Those who practice a more traditional or orthodox Lent give up meat, fish, eggs, and fats from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. A lot of believers choose instead to give up one item of personal importance to show their devotion to their religion.

The tradition has been around for centuries and believers have been practicing Lent diligently. The sacrifices have evolved over the centuries to include give up social media, going to the gym, or watching TV to further devote their time to their religion.

This year, people are hoping that Covid will give them up for Lent.

How nice would it be if Covid just gave up the fight? After months of isolation, social distancing, and giving up so much, it would be nice if Covid did the work for Lent. It is not a hard argument to make that the past year of sacrificing could make up for Lent.

People are not willing to give up something they love after giving up so much.

People around the world have had to make major sacrifices for the betterment of mankind. Covid has forced people to give up seeing their family, friends, and attending major milestone events. So, with Lent upon us, people on Twitter are bargaining with their religion to justify living in quarantine during Lent.

People are really digging their heels in on not giving up anything for Lent.

There are so few things that bring people joy right now. Eating chocolate, drinking wine, or enjoying a little extra television might be the only things getting people through the pandemic right now. Some people are trying to find any other way to participate in Lent to make sure that they stick to their religion while staying happy.

For some people, there is just nothing left to give up for Lent.

It is a hard choice to make. Some schools are not giving students a Spring Break because of Covid and millions remain in some sort of restriction. It is still possible to participate in Lent without giving anything up. Like so many other religious things, you can partake in a different way to satisfy your religious needs.

READ: Admit It, THIS Is The Most Fun Part Of Ash Wednesday

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