Post on mexico cities saint death protector of those that can’t afford a bulletproof vest or coat. Thanks to BBC’s Andrew Marr’s Megacities.
As ever some of my Blog posts seem to develop from some odd internet searches or even from a discussion or two. This one really surprised me given it was from watching a documentary I wasn’t going to watch at a time when I was meant to be writing something else!
I’m talking about Andrew Marr’s Megacities which was on last Thursday night. An interesting documentary series contrasting and comparing the megacities of our beloved planet. Andrew cleverly draws similarities between the cities by using the very elements they each have to deal with. In this case crime and violence, natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, and sickness. Of course some cities are well prepared using modern technology to aid them, like Tokyo. Others are not so lucky with high numbers of slums.
What caught my paranormal interest was how the less fortunate in Mexico city would worship a saint directly linked to death above the usual more flashy Christian offerings. Simply because in their violent, gang riddled city this Saint Death or Santa Muerte produced results!
Of course the higher classes with the cash had guns, bulletproof jackets and security to protect them. Thus their need for worship was significantly reduced.
However, it got me thinking about how such a negative Saint in appearance can give a community such a positive outlook! More importantly where did she come from?
I won’t go into detail, but it seems this growing cult has origins as far back as the Aztecs. Although the precise origins are some what a matter for debate, one thing is certain death has been personified amongst throughout the years with aspects symbolising the duality of life and death. This has manifested itself in various religious practises becoming almost the norm in Mexico. Lets not forget that they celebrate the day of the dead after all.
Although over the years Christianity attempted to diminish the relationship with death, at times they have also in a way had to embrace it. The ancient ways are still there and the beliefs too.
The cult of Santa Muerte is a more modern one which has developed possibly since the 1940’s in lower-class neighbourhood’s of Mexico City, but has now spread beyond across Mexico and even into the US.
The cult itself has become related more so to those who live on the edge of the law or in fact outside it entirely. With connections to drug dealers, petty thieves, gang members and more, the cult has most definitely been embraced by the criminal world. In a way these kind of people have created their own religion which can reflect their own struggles and life styles, possibly in attempt to better identify with a higher power. After all they don’t seem entirely religious or atheist.
However, the Catholic Church has deemed the followers of Santa Muerte as devil worshipers and Satanists. Stating that she is being used to mislead the desperate and weak.
Cult religions and even religions that are not truly accepted have long existed in our world and Santa Muerte seems no exception to this rule. However, it seems to be growing at an alarming rate giving some hope and even to those that worship her a little protection. Is that such a bad thing, considering the world these people live in?
The claims that Santa Muerte has actually protected or helped individuals in the past are quite interesting though. With any religion we can believe enough to accept that certain events may have occurred as a result of some praying. However, saving a life or protecting someone in a place where gang members die daily, surely that’s a big ask of any religious figure head?
Perhaps this relationship with death and the dead is something for me to further explore, after all as a paranormal investigator that is partly what I do!
If you would like to know more about Santa Muerte check out the Wikipedia entry below.
As ever all comments are welcome.