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
Saint 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. Peter of Verona (Peter Martyr)

Saint Peter of Verona:
The axe has an unusual shape, as if it were something used as a tool in planting. The wood is hollow. The garments have been repainted many times. The neck is full rather than elongated; the face is full and unusually individualized; it has a five o'clock shadow. It has been nicked in places and the gesso shows through. It is conceivable that the garments could be stiffened cloth, because they fall in a natural way, but there is not a clear delineation between the ends of the sleeves and the beginnings of the hands.

Local Name: San Pedro Mártir.

Basis for Identification: Dominican habit and tonsure, axe in head, palm branch in right hand, book held against chest by left hand.

Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.

Location: In a niche on the left as one enters the narthex from outside (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint. Sculpted hair. Real palm branch.

Size: About 5 feet (150 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, Santa Ana del Valle, Coixtlahuaca, Cuilapan, EtlaDiaz Ordaz, Teitipac, Tlacolula, Yanhuitlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of St. Peter of Verona in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Peter of Verona
Wikipedia: Peter of Verona
Christian Iconography: St. Peter Martyr

Next: To the right of the entrance, a statue of a Dominican 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.

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.