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By Frank Graziano

Spanish the US has produced a variety of ''folk saints'' -- honored figures considered as marvelous yet no longer formally well-known via the Catholic Church. a few of these have large nationwide cults with hundreds of thousands -- possibly thousands -- of devotees. during this ebook Frank Graziano offers the 1st evaluate in any language of those saints, delivering in-depth experiences of the ideals, rituals, and devotions surrounding seven consultant figures. those case experiences are illuminated via comparisons to a few hundred extra saints from modern Spanish the US. one of the six basic instances are Difunta Correa, at whose shrines devotees provide bottles of water and used car components in commemoration of her tragic demise within the Argentinean barren region. Gaucho Gil is just one of many gaucho saints, whose attribute narrative comprises political injustice and Robin-Hood crimes on behalf of the exploited humans. The frequent cult of the Mexican saint Nino Fidencio is predicated on religion therapeutic played through devotees who channel his powers. Nino Compadrito is an elegantly dressed skeleton of a kid, whose incredible powers are derived partially from an Andean trust within the energy of the cranium of 1 who has suffered a sad dying. Graziano attracts upon web site visits and broad interviews with devotees, archival fabric, media experiences, and documentaries to supply brilliant snap shots of those interesting well known hobbies. within the technique he sheds new gentle at the frequently fraught dating among orthodox Catholicism and people ideals and on an incredible and little-studied side of the dynamic tradition of up to date Spanish the United States.

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Sample text

He had gone into a three-day trance to recharge his powers, leaving orders that his body was not to be touched, but his adoptive father, Enrique Lo´pez de la Fuente, thought that he had died. In this version as in the first one, doctors were called to do an autopsy or embalm the body, and either by error or by evil intent they killed Fidencio by slitting his throat. ) A photograph of the dead Nin˜o Fidencio circulates widely among devotees, and many relate that the body’s open mouth releases Fidencio’s scream upon being murdered.

The outstanding example, Nin˜o Fidencio, is from northern Mexico, a region that has also produced such curandero saints as Teresa Urrea and Don Pedrito Jaramillo. Pancho Sierra and Madre Marı´a were Argentine curanderos who became folk saints, and there are many others of local importance, such as Pedro Mariscal in Cachi (Salta), and La Finada Chabela in San Pedro (Jujuy). Among Venezuelans are Rosendo Mendoza, Flores Brito, Jacinta Flores, and Marı´a Catalina, as well as Jose´ Gregorio Herna´ndez, a bona fide medical doctor who became a folk saint by virtue of his dedicated care of the poor.

The assimilation of outside influences is particularly evident in the lower courts, which include established and emerging folk saints, heroes of Spanish American independence, and a cast of such imported characters as John F. 22 The racial representation at the summit and in the courts also attests to an egalitarian inclusivity that is characteristic of folk devotions. Everyone is welcome. Race and class are insignificant. Faith is all one needs. Even transvestites, who are stigmatized in Peruvian society at large, move about freely at the biannual Sarita Colonia fiestas, with no apparent prejudicial treatment.

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