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

Christ Seated in the Pretorium ("Pensive Christ")

Christ Seated in the Pretorium ("Pensive Christ"):
This "San Paciencia" is very much like the other one in Teitipac, with cape and trousers of exactly the same color. But the head is uncovered and the figure wears a lei of gold tinsel. The head is finely sculpted and painted, but the hands and feet are rudely carved, roughly finished, and proportionately much larger than one would expect. The big toe of the right foot is missing.

Local Name: San Paciencia

Basis for Identification: Seated, cheek on hand, in white cotton trousers with simple hems, dun cape, blood on the face as if dripping from the forehead. There is no sceptre, crown of thorns, or halo.

Site: Church of San Juan Teitipac.

Location: On the Candelaria altar, along the south wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric clothing. Eyes: painted. Hair: sculpted.

Size: About 1½ feet (45 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Ejutla, Etla, Guelavia, Tamazulapan, Teitipac1, Teposcolula, Tilantongo, Tlacolula, Yanhuitlán.

External Links:
The episode of the scourging and mockery of Jesus in the pretorium is in Mark 15:16-20.
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of the Man of Sorrows.

Next: Along the south wall a statue of St. John the Baptist

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.