By Frank Graziano

ISBN-10: 0195171306

ISBN-13: 9780195171303

ISBN-10: 1435619579

ISBN-13: 9781435619579

Spanish the US has produced a variety of ''folk saints'' -- honored figures considered as fabulous yet now not formally famous by way of the Catholic Church. a few of these have large nationwide cults with hundreds of thousands -- might be hundreds of thousands -- of devotees. during this booklet Frank Graziano offers the 1st evaluation 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 through comparisons to a few hundred extra saints from modern Spanish the United States. one of the six fundamental circumstances are Difunta Correa, at whose shrines devotees provide bottles of water and used car components in commemoration of her tragic dying within the Argentinean desolate tract. Gaucho Gil is just one of many gaucho saints, whose attribute narrative includes political injustice and Robin-Hood crimes on behalf of the exploited humans. The common cult of the Mexican saint Nino Fidencio relies on religion therapeutic played by way of devotees who channel his powers. Nino Compadrito is an elegantly dressed skeleton of a kid, whose wonderful powers are derived partly from an Andean trust within the strength of the cranium of 1 who has suffered a sad loss of life. Graziano attracts upon website visits and vast interviews with devotees, archival fabric, media reviews, and documentaries to provide shiny pics of those attention-grabbing renowned events. within the approach he sheds new gentle at the frequently fraught courting among orthodox Catholicism and people ideals and on a massive and little-studied side of the dynamic tradition of up to date Spanish the USA.

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Example text

Sad, down-and-out, alcoholic, and defeated, La Chavela supported her joyless life by singing for tips—often drinks and cigarettes—in low-life bars. ’’ During this penitential existence she desired neither love nor sexual encounters, and she maintained her dignity by evading the advances of the many men who sought her favors. Those who imposed themselves were frightened off by the red spots that she painted around her pubis to feign a venereal disease. After some ten or fifteen years La Chavela died of her lifestyle, and a collection was taken for her burial.

These folk saints are native to ‘‘our land and our Guaranı´ region,’’ Ramo´n adds, which he sees as the necessary basis for intimacy. ’’ The baroque sculpture and gilded clothing seem not only alien but almost obscene in contexts of devastating poverty. Folk saints are as humble as the folk who venerate them. ’’23 Devotees—humble, marginalized, voiceless—thus feel more comfortable making requests to one of their own. They know that their petitions will not be dismissed as insignificant, that their transgressions (perceived as consequences of their social condition) will be pardoned, and that their humble offerings will be accepted and respected.

Another folk saint known as El Soldadito Desconocido (the Unknown Soldier) is said to have been a poor American who joined the Peruvian army after World War II. One night after curfew, while returning to the barracks from a visit with his girlfriend, he was killed in error by a patrol. As suggested by this last example, the deaths of male folk saints are also embellished with romantic details that intensify the tragedy. No one knows much about Enrique Go´mez, known as Enriquito, save that he was hit by a train (some say a car) when he was fourteen years old.

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Cultures of Devotion: Folk Saints of Spanish America by Frank Graziano

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