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. 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
Saint Hyacinth
Unidentified female saint
Unidentified saint
Virgin and Child

Other santos not photographed

Saint Hyacinth

Saint Hyacinth:
The statue has been often repainted. The sleeves have shrunk back from the wrists, leaving cracks which suggest that sleeves may have been formed of stiffened cloth rather than sculpted from the same wood as the hands. The face has a five o'clock shadow. The neck is full rather than elongated and the face looks as if it were a portrait of a specific individual.

Local Name: San Jacinto

Basis for Identification: Dominican habit, tonsure. The figure holds a ciborium in the right hand; the left hand holds a wooden stand with a wooden spike, which presumably supported a now-lost statue of the Virgin and Child. Such a statue, along with a ciborium or a monstrance, are St. Hyacinth's attributes.

Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.

Location: On the right as one enters the narthex from outside (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint. Eyes: painted. Hair: sculpted.

Size: About 5 feet (150 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Teitipac, Teotitlán del Valle.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons:
Statues of Saint Hyacinth in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Hyacinth
Wikipedia: Saint Hyacinth

Next: We go inside to the first bay in the north wall of the nave, where we find a statue of Christ in a coffin.

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.

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.