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Santa Muerte: Our Lady of Holy Death
#1
From 2014, would be curious to see current growth rate of the faith ->

Our Lady of the Holy Death Is the World's Fastest Growing Religious Movement

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/4w7pz...harebutton


Quote:She has between 10 and 12 million devotees, and she's only been public for 12 years," said Andrew Chesnut, author of  Devoted to Death, the first English-language book about the cult. Before 2001, Santa Muerte was clandestine, with devotees building personal shrines hidden in their closets. But after a woman named Enriqueta Romero unveiled the first public shrine to the saint in the Mexico City barrio of Tepito, it has spread fiercely throughout Mexico, Central America, and Latino-heavy US cities like Los Angeles and Houston. Chesnut has even tracked the cult's growth to Japan, Australia, and the Philippines. "There's no other new religious movement that can complete with the velocity of that growth," Chesnut said.

Pre-Tepito, Santa Muerte's origin is not entirely clear. Many see it as a combination/bastardization of Spanish colonial Catholicism and Aztec beliefs regarding Mictecacihuatl, the queen of the underworld. The link to Catholicism is easy to understand, seeing as Santa Muerte worship contains many of the same rituals used at the Vatican, while the connection to indigenous beliefs seems tenuous—any number of cultures worship the personification of death in some form. But while the roots are murky, the reason why a cult based around death sprouted up specifically in Mexico isn't particularly hard to understand.



Quote:"I wanted to commit suicide," explained Los Angeles–based devotee Lilian. "My husband beat me up and I couldn't find meaning in life. One day I called a friend and told her I was going to take pills to kill myself, and she talked to me about Santa Muerte." But if the deity helps, she expects something in return. Flowers, prayers, candles, cigars, sometimes money. "You need to keep your promises. If you don't, she punishes you by making it hard to find a job, or money, or illness, stuff like that," Lilian added.
"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

  -Thomas Browne
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#2
Dedicated site to Santa Muerte:

https://skeletonsaint.com/

Here's an interesting one ->

Born in Texas, Complete in Mexico – The Testimony of Warren Robert ‘Hank’ Vine

https://skeletonsaint.com/2017/09/05/bor...hank-vine/

Quote:I tried to catch 4 different taxies, all four did not go as far as Ecatepec, in a moment of frustration, panic, anger and a little fear.. I said a silent prayer to Santa Muerte asking for help and protection. Less than 5 minutes later a black car pulls up, and the gentleman driving asked if I needed help, a bit dumbfounded and apprehensive, I answered, Yes, and took a good look into his eyes and trusted what I saw..

He was not a taxi driver nor an uber driver, just a person. I took the biggest leap of faith ever in my life – I trusted this man, this complete stranger, to get me home safely!

A few minutes into our drive I tossed it out that I was a devotee of Santa Muerte, as it turns out, both he and his girlfriend also were devotees. They attend services at the Santa Muerte International Temple.
We had a great chat and I openly told him I had asked for her help moments before he drove up. He looks at me with this stone cold stare and says:

“Something came upon my heart when I saw you there and I understand now, mi Flakita was telling me to stop!”

It seems to me this would be incredibly dangerous, not sure I would do it (and if I were a woman I'd be even more wary) but it is an interesting tale of spiritual intervention (at least from the devotee's perspective).
"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

  -Thomas Browne
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