Culture

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
CREDIT: @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
CREDIT: @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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Pope Francis Comes Out In Support Of Civil Unions For Same-Sex Couples

Culture

Pope Francis Comes Out In Support Of Civil Unions For Same-Sex Couples

Franco Origlia / Getty Images

In a historic move, Pope Francis comes out in favor of same-sex civil unions. The announcement is being heard by Catholics around the world. The Catholic church has been notorious for its anti-LGBTQ+ views and Pope Francis continues to push the Catholic church into the 21st century more and more.

Pope Francis called on the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples in a documentary.

“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Pope Francis said in the film.

The pope’s declaration is a clear departure from the Vatican’s long held anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs. The Catholic church has long demonized and ostracized LGBTQ+ people because of who they are and Pope Francis has done a lot of work to change that rhetoric from within.

Pope Francis has advocated for rights for several marginalized groups during his time as pope.

Pope Francis became the first pope from Latin America when he was chosen in March 2013. In the past seven years, Pope Francis has called for compassion for migrants fleeing violence in their countries, advanced LGBTQ+ acceptance in the Catholic faith, among other things.

“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the pope said in the documentary “Francesco,” which debuted at the Rome Film Festival. “I stood up for that.”

The importance of the statement is not what he said but who he is to say it.

Popes before Pope Francis have long upheld the archaic views against the LGBTQ+ community. Pope Francis is the first pope to speak directly to the Catholic people in favor of humanizing and protecting LGBTQ+ people and their dignity. The pope has called on the church and Catholics to welcome LGBTQ+ people and took the stance that homosexuality is not an illness. Pope Francis’ papacy is a welcomed change for LGBTQ+ rights activists.

Catholic politicians are praising the pope for modernizing the church bit by bit.

The declaration is not only historical, it is moving Catholics closer to accepting and embracing LGBTQ+ people in society. The pope holds a lot of power in moving the Catholic church and its followers. With declarations like this, the pope is pushing the church to reckon with its own teachings and take steps into the 21st century.

Some are wondering what this will mean for devout Catholics in government, like potential Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Coney Barrett has been tied to vehemently anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups. While she claims that she doesn’t know that the organizations hold these views, as a devout Catholics the word of the pope holds weight. Many are curious to see if the pope’s words break through and resonate with the judge.

You can watch the trailer for the documentary below.

READ: Pope Francis Condemns Capitalism and Populism in New Official Church Document

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The Top Latina Muslim Instagramers To Follow Especially If You’re Observing Ramadan This Month

Fierce

The Top Latina Muslim Instagramers To Follow Especially If You’re Observing Ramadan This Month

amilahvilchez | anamidence_ / Instagram

Updated May 5, 2020

Society makes a lot of assumptions about Latinas. Many assume that we’re loud, we’re “fiery,” temperamental and Catholic. Too often our strength, brilliance, compassion, and range go underestimated and under-appreciated. We are women of so many colors, shades, belief systems, backgrounds, and talents, not even ROYGBIV could hold a candle to the beauty that comes with our diversity. This month, we’re tipping our hats off to Latinas observing Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

As Muslims worldwide take part in a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community we’re looking at top Latina Muslim Instagram accounts that actively debunk any stereotypes you or others might have around Latinas and Muslims by embracing their cultura and faith.

glowrious._

This linda of Mexican descent has an Instagram page laced with all the makeup and style inspirations you probably didn’t even realize you were missing. The model’s account has a nearly 9K following, plenty of style inspirations for the chica rocking a hijab and with captions that read “I don’t need a castle to know I’m a queen and hijab is my crown,” all of the enlightened Latina slay musings you’ll ever need on Instagram.

aamilahvilchez

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The garden is my happy place. 🌺

A post shared by Aamilah Vilchez (@aamilahvilchez) on

Have a hankering for natural healing remedies and in need of a fix? Vilchez is the brilliant Latina behind an Instagram account bursting with food pics so appetizing in appearance you can practically smell her cilantro and Goya concoctions as they sizzle in pans through your iPhone. The Muslim Latina’s account focuses on all things wellness and health, with various posts highlighting the benefits of plants like Tumeric (according to her, it’s a natural anti-depressant) and oils that come from Tea Tree (perfect for zits!).

Follow her here.

Nebulanabila

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Beautiful profound, healing words from my fly poetic soul sistah @sukina_pilgrim! #WCW #FollowHer 🕊 • . There are some Who are waiting For the perfect moment To see you fall. They want to be there So they can witness everything. They are waiting for you to slip Waiting for a crack Any opportunity To prove you unworthy. There are some Who are waiting For a reason to hate you. Right now they tolerate you But give them a chance And they will overlook All the goodness All the laughter The sweet memories And sacred moments To make you The enemy. There are some Who will never cover your flaws Or make excuses for you Won’t give you the benefit Of the doubt Won’t hear you out Or stand up for you If your name is being spread In hushed tones In a darkened room Upon bitter lips. The worst ones Are those who smile with you Greet you with open arms Their words are warm But their eyes are cold The envy and jealousy Cancelling out the beauty Inviting the ugly To sit on their face And rest awhile. They wear masks Thinking you can’t see through Thinking you can’t feel truth And all their dark intentions. . There are some Who will never be pleased for you Will never celebrate with you Will never cheer for you Never stand at the finish line To witness your victory. The higher you fly The more they despise And they don’t even Know the reason why. They’d prefer it If you were never in the light Never recognised Never victorious. Do they think my shine Will dim their own? That me spreading my wings Will take up too much space In the sky? The thing is though – I am only just starting To embody my brilliance To honour my talents To accept my beauty To believe that I’m worthy – And walk towards the stars With no fear of the darkness. If they hate me now They’ll hate me more tomorrow Because I’m not going Anywhere. The mission Is upwards From here Friend. The sad Thing is Who they Really hate Is themselves. 📷 @mohammedyahya

A post shared by Nebulosity 🌠 (@nebulanabila) on

Afro-Latina power abounds in this Instagram account helmed by a Latina ready to put anyone wanting to strip Black Latinas of their identity by defining them as “half” in their place. Her posts are a reminder to her 2K plus followers that bigotry isn’t beautiful, and everyone needs a little faith, whether it’s in themselves or something greater. Check out her account for some killer tips on how to pair sunnies with your hijabs, quotes from Malcom X and celebration of la cultura.

Follow her here.

latina_mtl

Paty Maryam describes herself as a “MUSULMANA” by way of Peru and Chile on her Instagram account infused with beauty, health, and wellness tips. On her Instagram shop, @almastoura_shop, she boasts being “the first Hijab Multi-Brand Store in Montreal.” While Maryam’s shop has quite the collection of stunning hijab’s it’s really her personal Instagram account where it’s at. Watch her travel, string together beautiful and inspiring words in her captions and get a daily dose of encouragement all on her feed.

Follow her here.

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