Culture

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

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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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A Famous Catholic Priest In Brazil Was Shoved Off The Stage While Delivering A Homily On Live TV

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A Famous Catholic Priest In Brazil Was Shoved Off The Stage While Delivering A Homily On Live TV

Site Famosando / YouTube

In downtown São Paulo, July 14th’s Sunday service didn’t go quite as planned. The Canção Nova Community sponsored a youth conference and invited a celebrity priest to serve the final mass. Brazil’s most famous padre, Father Marcelo Rossi, was giving a homily in front of 50,000 worshippers when a woman suddenly pushed him off stage. The 32-year-old woman’s name has not been released, and she was immediately arrested. The priest is known for being vehemently homophobic and misogynist and had reportedly told the crowd that fat women don’t go to heaven before being pushed off the stage.

A woman pushed a homophobic and misogynistic priest off stage on live national television.

Apparently, the woman was able to sneak past security and get on stage in the middle of his homily. In a few seconds flat, she excitedly shoved the elderly priest off the stage. 

O Dia later reported that “She said that she wanted to come in to talk to him and that she was scared the moment she saw the security guards running after her. It’s her version, but anyone who sees the pictures sees that there is none of it [security guards running after her]. She says she got scared and pushed him at a time when she kind of freaked out, lost control, but she had no intention [of hurting him], she just wanted to talk to him.”

She could be seen smiling after the push, and immediately jumped off the stage.

Credit: Site Famosando / YouTube

Within a few minutes, the priest reportedly stood up and told the crowd, in Portuguese, that “the devil hates him” and “thanked Mary for deliverance.” There have been mixed reports about why she did it, along with mixed reactions.

The young audience watched in shock and then started to scream.

Credit: Site Famosando / YouTube

Minutes after the incident, the priest was back on stage to finish la misa. Almost immediately, President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted out his well wishes for Rossi, saying, “All our solidarity with Father Marcelo Rossi. God looks [over] Brazil.”

The woman told reporters Monday that what happened was “between [Rossi] and I.”

Credit: Site Famosando / YouTube

Her friends told police that she suffers from various mental disorders and that she was being chaperoned when she snuck away from the group. She told police that she has bipolar disorder. Rossi decided not to press charges given that he was protected by the Virgin Mary, and she was released that same night.

Brasileños everywhere were sharing their reactions–from horror to just pure laughter on social media. 

Credit: @rafaelqualquer / Twitter

Just so y’all know, Rossi is a Grammy-nominated “Latin singer,” and mega-producer of Christian music. He’s also a mega-homophobe. In 1998, he said, “A lot of ideas will change the day homosexuality is proven to be an illness.”

Given Rossi’s open, proud homophobia, some folks were applauding the woman’s actions.

Credit: @Sugar_Pockets / Twitter

Just five years ago, he shared misinformation to his millions of followers, saying, “Sex between man causes pain, if something causes pain, it can’t be a good thing.”

We don’t know who said it first, but The Internet estaba chismosando for days about this version of the story.

Credit: @Its_SuNnYzzZ_77 / Twitter

Unfortunately, the reason this rumor started spreading is rooted in body-shaming the mentally unwell woman, and mother of a 3-year-old. While feminist outlets clung to this story and ran, fortunately, Rossi has never said that.

Catholics started clapping back to the chismosas by pointing out the flaws in the story.

Credit: @KorusBarnes / Twitter

Every version of the story we found says the priest said, “las gordas no van al cielo,” which wouldn’t make any sense. Rossi wouldn’t be speaking Spanish on a national broadcast when the vast majority of Brasileños speak Portuguese. This just didn’t happen, basta.

Others who feel spiritually traumatized by the Church felt that Rossi deserved the push.

Credit: @May_2112 / Twitter

Of course, plenty of people from all sexualities, religious belief systems or none at all, came out as unable to condone assault of any kind. They argue that you can believe the Church needs to change to include equal opportunities for women, to stop hating on the LGBTQ+ community, and to stop supporting a culture of pedophilia, and also believe that assault is unacceptable. 

The Church released a statement saying, “The priest is well.”

Credit: @crinternacional / Twitter

“He was attended by the medical staff at the event and presided over the celebration to the end.” Rossi himself said that he felt minor pain, but “that’s normal.” He didn’t break any bones, and will likely continue making religious pop and homophobic statements for a long, long time.

READ: Catholics Are Upset With Pope Francis For Donating Money To Help Migrants In Mexico

The Pope Is On Twitter And He Is Dropping A Lot Of Knowledge On All Of His Devoted Followers

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The Pope Is On Twitter And He Is Dropping A Lot Of Knowledge On All Of His Devoted Followers

@Pontifex / Twitter

So it’s a chill day at work and you’re sitting there scrolling through Twitter…when *gasp* you discover the Pope – yes, that Pope – has a Twitter account. Wait…what?! Is this for real? How did we not know this? Not only does he have a Twitter feed but he’s got like 18 million more followers than you do. Naturally, you start scrolling only to realize the Pope is woke af!

From calling out world leaders for their failure to secure peace in the world or to combat climate change to calling for the protection of the weak and poor among us – the Pope’s Twitter feed is where I go now for some serious feels.

He’s doling out some pretty sage advice.

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

Okay, Pope Francis. I see you trying to get us all to get along. I feel like this is something my mom has said to me a lot when I was a kid. Like, be nice to your primos y hermanos because they are going to be with you in the future.

His tweets are literally things that our tías have been telling us for years.

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

It is like she is writing his tweets or he is getting his inspo from her. I am 100 percent sure my tía told me this just last weekend when we were at dinner.

He basically put Trump on blast for his inhumane treatment of refugees and immigrants.

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

It is known that the Pope and President Trump have a little feud going on. Mainly Trump has a feud and likes to react to things that the Pope says because he might feel like he is in the wrong, but who knows.

He even took a stand on climate change and put the blame on humanity.

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

Our family isn’t in the business of discussing this but if they did, it would sound like this. We all know that our family loves to talk about people and how they aren’t behaving. It is their favorite pastime.

He also channels that one prima we all have…

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

You know the one. She’s always telling you to let Jesus into your heart and trying to get you to go to church with her.

And apparently, Mary was the very first social influencer.

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

There are so many major influencers out there but if the Pope gets behind you and calls you the most influential woman in history then that’s it – you are.

He knows how to help the gente spread the love.

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

When the Pope speaks…people listen.

We can all stand to be reminded of this, am I right?

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

The Pope tries to make peace between all sorts of groups of people and here he is using some of that meta-advice for something simple: listen to your family, friends, partners, co-workers and others. #ListeningSkills

And he throws down for the abuelos.

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

Love you nana!

Mami has got to be following the Pope on Twitter.

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

This is straight out of my mom’s mouth. Pero like how did she know the Pope was on Twitter before me…?

And you know your mom always pulled this out when there’s some family drama.

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

Of course, she would never admit to having drama in our familia but when others came with chisme about theirs, this is totally the type of advice my mom would give to friends. Think Virginia de la Mora from Casa de las Flores.

This is some heavy advice but oh my god so true!

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

Why didn’t I see this Tweet when I needed it most?! My tears irrigate life? Amazing!

Is it just me or is the Pope throwing shade at all the thots on social media?

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

He does not hold back with what he thinks about the people. Honestly, if anyone on this planet should be allowed to judge, it is the man who gave his entire life to the church.

Alright…so maybe the Trump/Pope feud is a real thing?

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

This is definitely some not-so-veiled shade towards the U.S. president and his tendency to lash out at anyone who disagrees with him.

Pretty sure we’re all thinking the same…

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

But like he’s the Pope who leads a community of more than a billion people and can get away with calling out world leaders.

Sometimes you can’t sugarcoat the truth.

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

If he isn’t channeling my mom every time she steps into my room…

If this isn’t mis papas trying to inspire me every time I start doubting what I’m doing with my life.

Credit: @Pontifex / Twitter

Mijo, work hard and you can do anything you want to do!

READ: These 11 Tweets Perfectly Sum Up What Happened When The Pope Met Trump

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