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

St. John the Evangelist

Saint John the Evangelist:
The figure has a finely carved face, but the skin is a sickly green. The head is bald under the wig. The hands have been tied together; the right pinkie is missing and the other fingers have been damaged at the tips. The robe is white, the cape gold.

Local Name: San Juan Evangelista.

Basis for Identification: Hands together as in prayer, eyes upward, moustache, halo.

Other characteristics: White robe, gold cape.

Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.

Location: Right side of the altar in the first bay in the north wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Frame construction. Face and hands are wood, gesso, paint. Fabric garments. Hair: wig.

Size: Life size.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Ejutla, Mitla (Calvary grouping) Ocotlán, Teotitlán, Teposcolula, Tlacolula.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Saint John the Evangelist in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. John the Evangelist
Wikipedia: John the Evangelist
Christian Iconography: Saint John the Evangelist

Next: In the same bay, a statue of St. Isidore the Laborer

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.