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 Mitla:

Calvary group
Christ: Ecce Homo
Christ in a coffin

Christ resurrected
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Assumption (1)
Our Lady of the Assumption (2)
Palm Sunday Christ
St. Anthony of Padua
St. John the Baptist
St. Joseph (1)
St. Joseph (2)
St. Paul (1)
St. Paul (2)
St. Peter
Unidentified saint

Other santos not photographed

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Immaculate Heart of Mary:
The figure has two diadems for crowns. There is a beautiful sheen to the face and hands. Where the left pinkie has broken one can see the wood beneath; we could not make out any gesso at the break. The hands are separately constructed and attached to the arms.

Local Name: Corazón de María.

Basis for Identification: Sunburst diadems, heart in sunburst on chest.

Other characteristics: Lace veil, pink dress, praying hands holding a pink bouquet.

Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.

Location: South wall of the nave, right of the Madre de los Dolores (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric garments, metal diadems and sunburst. Eyes: glass. Hair: wig.

Size: About 4½ feet (135 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Cuilapan, HuitzoTeitipac, Teposcolula, Zaachila, Zimatlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Immaculate Heart of Mary
Catholic Encyclopedia: Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Wikipedia: Immaculate Heart of Mary

Next: To the right of this, a statue of St. Joseph

Previous santo

Introduction to San Pablo Mitla

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.