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 Valle:

Christ Child
Christ in a coffin
Christ: Ecce Homo
Crucifix (1)
Crucifix (2)
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Rosary
Palm Sunday Christ
Resurrection of Christ
St. Francis of Assisi
St. Hyacinth
St. John the Baptist
St. John the Evangelist
St. Joseph (?)
St. Mary Madgalene
St. Peter the Apostle (1)
St. Peter the Apostle (2)
St. Sebastian

Unidentified Franciscan saint
Virgin Mary (1)

Virgin Mary (2)

Other santos not photographed

Saint Hyacinth

Saint Hyacinth:
Unlike the Teitipac San Jacinto, this statue seems to have been intended as a San Jacinto from the beginning. The hands are positioned so as to hold the monstrance and Virgin easily. The crown on the Teitipac statue may therefore be less authentic than the halo seen here.

The face is stylized and strangely asymmetrical, with a dull finish. Broad patches of paint have chipped from the beard at the jaw, and from the neck. Smaller pieces of paint have chipped from the brow line. The robe is brown with large flower designs in gold. The cape is black, with roses detailed in gold and a broad gold edging.

Local Name: San Jacinto.

Basis for Identification: Dominican habit, tonsure, horizontal halo on peg, a monstrance in the right hand and a statue of the Virgin and Child standing on a book which rests on the palm of the left hand.

Site: Church of Santa María de la Natividad (Preciosa Sangre de Cristo), Teotitlán del Valle.

Location: On a small altar to the left of the first large altar along the north wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: The main statue is polychrome; the statue of the virgin and child is wood. Eyes: sculpted. Hair: sculpted.

Size: About 4 feet (120 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Huitzo, Teitipac.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Saint Hyacinth in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Hyacinth
Wikipedia: Saint Hyacinth

Next: Near this statue, a statue of Christ in a coffin.

Previous santo

Introduction to Teotitlán del Valle

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.