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 San Miguel Ejutla:
Christ: Ecce Homo
Christ Mocked in the Pretorium
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Assumption
St. Francis of Assisi
St. John the Evangelist
St. Mary Magdalene
Unidentified Dominican Saint
Unidentified Franciscan Saint (1)
Unidentified Franciscan Saint (2)
Virgin Mary in a coffin

Other santos not photographed

St. Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi:
The figure stands with the right hand over its heart, gazing at the stigmata in the left, which is held up to his face.
The statue is hollow. The robe is stiffened cloth and is chipped where the rosary's crucifix has been removed. The head is also hollow, the gesso construction visible at the decomposing right ear. It has highly detailed teeth and shining eyes with elongated eyebrows dramatically raised. A rosary hangs from the rope cincture.

Local Name: San Francisco de Asís.

Basis for Identification: Tonsure, brown habit, stigmata, cord.

Other characteristics: Rosary, kneeling-figure amulets tied to left index finger and left pinky.

Site: Church of San Miguel Ejutla.

Location: East wall of the chapel in the south wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Hollow construction with gesso, stiffened cloth for the habit, cincture of stiffened rope, black seeds for rosary beads. The stigmata are painted on.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Ejutla, Teotitlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Francis of Assisi in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Francis of Assisi
Wikipedia: Francis of Assisi
Christian Iconography:
St. Francis of Assisi

Next: Our Lady of the Assumption

Previous santo

Introduction to San Miguel Ejutla

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.