The Rise in Popularity of Saint Death

The Rise in Popularity of Saint Death

This folk saint is gaining a large following in Mexico, with worshipers springing up in U.S. cities as well.

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Thus the seed of Aztlan and Aztechnology is planted.
...Wow, I need to stop reading my Shadowrun sourcebooks.

Well done as usual. It's always interesting to see how people rationalize beliefs and everyday life. It's also interesting how they still consider themselves Catholic when the Vatican has specifically denounced their cult. Thanks for the read.

Devan Sagliani:

no mention of Breaking Bad? i'm pretty sure this is the same saint/altar that the twin brothers were crawling to in the series, where they place the iconic sketch of Walter White.


yep, it was Santa Muerte.

Good god...

Hello, Escapists.Guess I'll have to put my lurking on hold for this...

I may be the one voice of dissent, here, but, as a Mexican, and as Sonoran, to boot, I found this article fairly perplexing. Poorly researched and poorly reasoned, not to mention it failed at properly setting any semblance of cultural background.

BUT, I will say the one good part of the article was this one:

"While the vast majority of followers are engaged in benign practices involving nothing more than making offerings and prayers to 'the Skinny One' this nefarious element has taken up their own form of Santa Muerte worship, reimagining the often maligned saint as a darker icon with an unquenchable thirst for blood."

That is at least ok reasoned. Now, I hate to be the guy, but I guess I'm the guy. I'm sure Devan tried, and I'm not trying to bring him down, or put my outrage hat on, but this really wasn't okay.

Also, this whole "people pray to the dark god asking for assistance," is neither new nor out of the ordinary. People pray to all sorts of crazy things -- a child marrying warlord (Muslims), a resurrected, flying Zombie jew god (christians and catholics), etc. Here it just happens to be a personification of death.

You got questions about this seeming death cult devoted to a dark god. Ask me. I'm not a "specialist" (are there really specialists in Santa Muerte?) but, you know, living IN the area, and being an actual native to the culture helps.

I'm just really reminded of an episode of Lucha Underground

This is old news, but it's interesting to see someone noticing it. I've talked about this before and usually get called a racist, bigot, xenophobe, or worse... frequently with denial that such things even exist. That said going back to the 1990s there were comments about this icon appearing as roadside shrines, and being linked to disappearances. "Sangria" rites (Sangria being the Spanish word for "bloodletting") have been a subject of urban legend, observation, and concern for a long time now.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who will make excuses for it, and I doubt anyone will do anything in the near future, but yeah... I think it's a rising problem. The so called "Saint Of Killers" and it's cults and followers are simply getting big enough where it can't be kept underground anymore.

That said, like anything most people who simply drop the name or have the icon are probably just goofing off because of the idea of it, or doing nothing particularly destructive. I mean heck, I have a wooden statue of this sort in my collectibles. The same way that say a bunch of punk rockers or metal heads might drop the name of the devil or hold a drunken but ultimately harmless "ritual" for lulz. But I think as time goes on the more dangerous aspects of this are becoming more common, and that's why it's leaking out. When I hear about violence taking place around the border with people being kidnapped and gruesomely murdered or forced to fight each other, with no seeming logic behind why someone would do any of this, I tend to think of this cult, and the simple fact that for some it's done for spiritual, not rational, reasons.

That said it's not surprising that there are Catholic connections, a few other religions have similar connections, for example I believe Voodoo respects and acknowledges the power of a lot of Catholic icons and traditions as well.

At the end of the day though I think the bottom line is a lot of the sociopaths who do this kind of stuff are simply latching onto something that justifies their behavior. Given the lifestyles that create them to begin with, if it wasn't "Saint Death" they would likely just latch onto something else for justification and belief in rewards.

Me, I'm a Christian (albeit not a deeply spiritual one) so my interest is minimal. I mostly just heard about it due to my interest in criminal justice, and a more general interest in weird stuff. I expect nobody will take it that seriously until a major group or two are busted. For example few people had really heard of Baphomet in the main stream until some cults got busted. One of the down sides to the way the US practices freedom of religion is people tend to stop talking about this kind of thing to avoid persecution of fringe religions in general. For example what happened with "The Solar Temple" and "The Church Of Claire Prophet" was huge at one time, but today it seems there have been intentional efforts at least in the US to let it drop out of the common memory. For example I'd pretty much guarantee most people on this site will never have heard of "The Solar Temple" or why that should be a big deal.

"Pssst, I know who you are... Hail Sithis."

"Pssst, I know who you are... Hail Sithis."

I was thinking the same thing, but I was ashamed to admit it.

OT: This is the first time I've seen this column. It was interesting to read, but now I have a massive backlog to go through. >:[

Where is your advertising for this at escapist?

It sounds, at least at its extremes, like a cross between voodoo (the culture's older gods by way of Catholicism becoming "saints") and the Thuggee (ritualized and sanctified murder as part of criminal enterprise.)


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