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

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus:
The skin tones are very life-like. The lips are slightly parted. Only the tips of the fingers can be seen. The hands hang limply at the sides. The cape is red velvet embroidered in gold; the robe is white and gold brocade. A double-stranded rosary hangs from the neck.

Local Name: El Sagrado Corazón de Jesús.

Basis for Identification: Standing Christ, silver heart in sunburst at breast, cruciform halo. The hands are covered by the cuffs, so one cannot tell whether they bear the nail marks from the Crucifixion, as Sacred Heart images often do.

Other characteristics: White robe, red cape.

Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.

Location: In a glass case on the center of the third altar along the north wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric gaments, pearl rosary. Eyes: glass, with lashes. Hair: wig.

Size: Life size.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, CuilapanTamazulapan, Teposcolula, Yanhuitlán, Zimatlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Wikipedia: Sacred Heart

Next: Moving to the next altar along the north wall, a statue of the Virgin and Child

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.