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 Juan Teitipac:

Christ carrying the Cross
Christ: Ecce Homo (1)
Christ: Ecce Homo (2)
Christ in a coffin
Christ in the Pretorium ("Pensive Christ") 1
Christ in the Pretorium ("Pensive Christ") 2
Christ resurrected
Crucifix (1)
Crucifix (2)
Crucifix (3)
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Candlemas
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Assumption
Our Lady of the Rosary (1)
Our Lady of the Rosary (2)
Palm Sunday Christ
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Benedict
St. Hyacinth
St. Isidore the Laborer
St. John the Baptist (1)

St. John the Baptist (2)
St. John the Baptist, head of
St. Joseph
St. Nicholas Factor
St. Peter Avril
St. Peter the Apostle (1)
St. Peter the Apostle (2)
St. Simon Stock
Unidentified saint

Other santos not photographed

Our Lady of Candlemas

Our Lady of Candlemas:
Beneath the fabric clothing is a solid and finished dressed figure. The underrobe shows at the right elbow of the Virgin and the clothing of the child is a loose sack made to fit over a solid form. Both figures hold their right hands in the sign-of-the-cross position, and the Virgin's scepter rests in the circle thus formed by her fingers. The santo's festival and procession are on Candlemas, Feb. 2. San José Patriarca is also used on this day. The Virgin's face has deteriorated. Color has flaked away from the forehead, there is some cracking, and the sheen has dulled. Both crowns are tied on.

Local Name: La Virgen del Candelaria.

Basis for Identification: Full crown, crowned Christ child in the left arm, a small scepter (or candlestick?) in the right hand.

Other characteristics: A white dress and red cape on the adult, a blue robe on the child.

Site: Church of San Juan Teitipac.

Location: In a glass case on an altar along the south wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, metal crowns. Eyes: glass. Hair: wigs. Closed mouth.

Size: Life size.

Comparable santo in Oaxaca: Santa Ana del Valle.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of La Virgen de la Candelaria in Mexico
Wikipedia: Virgin of Candelaria
Christian Iconography: La Candelaria

Next: On the same altar, a statue of Christ seated in the pretorium

Previous santo

Introduction to San Juan Teitipac

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.