The following is an edited version of an article from a recent issue of The Remnant Catholic newspaper. Many thanks to Remnant editor Michael J. Matt for allowing me to reprint this material. Click here for subscription information. http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/subscribe.htm
Paganism Rising... The Cult of Santa Muerte
By Anthony Gutierrez
Remnant Editor's Note: Anyone who has traveled to Mexico in recent years (or for that matter to certain parts of the south-western U.S.), is aware of the rapid expansion of the cult of Santa Muerte — a strange mix of Christianity and the occult, which, according to Wikipedia, is "probably a syncretism between Mesoamerican and Catholic beliefs." The name literally translates to "Holy Death" or "Saint Death."
Trappings of the cult of the Santa Muerte appear everywhere in Mexico — gas stations, restaurants, tourist stops, souvenir shops. It is a skeletal figure, clad in a long robe and carrying usually a scythe and a globe. The cult of Santa Muerte dates back to at least the 1960s but was clandestine until recent years, when, according to experts, it went increasingly public, especially in Mexico City. The cult is condemned by the Catholic Church in Mexico but remains firmly entrenched among Mexico's lower and criminal classes. The number of believers in Santa Muerte has grown over the past 10 to 20 years to approximately two million followers and has crossed the border into Mexican American communities in the United States.
We're grateful to Anthony Gutierrez for offering the following Q&A tract for publication in The Remnant, which he wrote to, as he put it in a recent letter to us, "combat the mingling and confusion this cult is spreading among many young Hispanic Catholics." Michael J. Matt
Read more here: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/111121