Santos in Oaxaca's Ancient Churches

A study of santos in 16th-century and other churches in Oaxaca, Mexico


By Claire and Richard Stracke
Funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

In Santiago Cuilapan:
Christ Carrying the Cross
Christ on Palm Sunday
Christ Resurrected
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows 1
Our Lady of Sorrows 2
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Rosary
Sacred Heart of Jesus
St. James the Moorslayer
St. Joseph
St. Michael the Archangel
Unidentified Dominican
Unidentified Saint
Virgin and Child

Other santos not photographed

Immaculate Heart of Mary
Immaculate Heart of Mary:
The statue has a blue body beneath the clothing. The palms-out position of the hands close to the body suggests movable arms, probably jointed at the shoulder. The face appears to have been retouched: the eyebrows are somewhat heavy and done in a duller, blacker paint that does not match the high sheen of the cheeks. The net veil with a pearl diadem is of the style worn by quinceañeras and often donated to their patron saints. The 7 inch heart (18 cm.) is painted red, in a sunburst of silver metal. A plaster female saint kneels at the foot of the statue.

Local Name: Corazón de María

Basis for Identification: White dress, blue stole, net veil with diadem.

Site: Church of Santiago Cuilapan.

Location: Midway along the south wall of nave, in a glass case (see note).

Size: About 5½ feet (165 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Huitzo, Mitla, Teitipac, Teposcolula, Zaachila, Zimatlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Immaculate Heart of Mary
Catholic Encyclopedia: Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Wikipedia: Immaculate Heart of Mary

Next: Also along the south wall, a statue of St. Michael the Archangel

Previous santo

Introduction to Santiago Cuilapan

Santos Home Page

Note: On this site, references to the cardinal directions always assume that the main altar is at the east end of the church, the narthex or entry area at the west end, and the two walls of the nave on the north and south. (The nave is the long central section.) Actual orientations may differ.

The photo shown here is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. You are free to share or remix it on two conditions: first, that you attribute it to the photographers, Claire and Richard Stracke, without implying any approval of your work on their part; second, that if you alter, transform, or build upon this photo, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.