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 Pablo Huitzo:

Christ at the Pillar
Christ Child
Christ Fallen with the Cross
Christ in a Coffin
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Sacred Heart of Jesus
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Hyacinth
St. Isidore the Laborer
St. John the Baptist
St. John the Evangelist

St. Mary Magdalene
St. Michael the Archangel
St. Paul
St. Peter of Verona
St. Peter the Apostle
Unidentified female saint
Unidentified saint
Virgin and Child

Other santos not photographed

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Our Lady of Mount Carmel:
The hands are joined to the arms at the wrists and the arms are crudely painted in blue. The feet are of a piece with the legs, but are finished only to just above the ankles. The child has ruddy, chubby cheeks and a small nose. Both have very small mouths.

Local Name: La Virgen del Carmen.

Basis for Identification: Holding Christ Child, brown robe and bib, scapulars for both figures, full crowns.

Other characteristics: White cape and white lace veil for Virgin, white lace cape for child.

Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.

Location: In the sanctuary, left of the main altar (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric garments, metal crowns with glass jewels. Eyes: glass for both, with lashes for Virgin. Hair: wig.

Size: About feet (137 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Coixtlahuaca main altar, Cuilapan, Ejutla, Etla, Guelavia, Teitipac, Teposcolula, Tlaxiaco, Xoxocotlán, Zaachila, Zimatlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Nuestra Señora del Carmen in Mexico
Wikipedia: Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
Virgen del Carmen (in Spanish).
Christian Iconography: Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Next: Also left of the altar, an unidentified saint

Previous santo

Introduction to San Pablo Huitzo

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. In Catholic churches, the term "sanctuary" refers to the area demarcated for the main altar.

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.