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 Teotitlán del
| Teotitlán del Valle
| Our informants at Teotitlán were Sr. Luís Mendoza and Sr.
Silvestre Lázaro Mendoza. The former explained the
ceremonies taking place on the day of our visit, which he
said was the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the first
Wednesday of July. Other sources say that the first
Wednesday in July is celebrated in Teotitlán as the
feast of the Preciosa
Sangre de Cristo, the Precious Blood of Christ.
On the day of our visit, the church was filled with thousands of gladioli which had been purchased by a comité of 13 men, each of whom had set aside 10,000 pesos a week (at the time equivalent to about US$3.40) throughout the previous year. Everyone in the area was then welcome to come and use the flowers in blessing themselves and their families. Usually this was observed to involve breaking some blossoms from a stalk, rubbing them on a statue or glass case, and then taking home the rest of the stalk. Most people would take just three stalks.
Our informants referred to the church as Santa María de la Natividad. The Natividad in the name is the birth of Mary herself, which Teotitlán celebrates with a fiesta each September 8th. Many online sources also use this name, but the name Preciosa Sangre de Cristo is applied to the church – and the July fiesta – by some other sites, including one posted by the Mexican government.
Our tour begins with El Señor de
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