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 Teposcolula:

Angel 1
Angel 2
Bishops group (two bishops, one monk)

Christ: Ecce Homo

Christ fallen with the cross
Christ in a coffin
Christ in a crown (with crowned infant Christ)
Christ seated in the pretorium ("Pensive Christ")
Crucifix 1 (Calvary group)
Crucifix 2
Crucifix 3
Crucifix case (with Mary, the Magdalene, one other saint)
Crucifixes (two, with two unidentified saints)

Crucifixion Group

Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad) 1
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad) 2
Our Lady of the Rosary (with St. Dominic and a crucifix)
Palm Sunday Christ
Resurrected Christ
Sacred Heart of Jesus
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Isidore the Laborer
St. Mary Magdalene
St. Michael 1
St. Michael 2
St. Michael 3
St. Paul
St. Peter
St. Veronica
Saints Peter and Paul (?)
Unidentified Dominican
Unidentified female saint 1
Unidentified female (?) saint 2
Unidentified Franciscan
Unidentified monk 1
Unidentified monk 2
Unidentified monk 3
Unidentified monk 4
Unidentified priest 1
Unidentified priest 2
Unidentified saint 1
Unidentified saint 2
Unidentified saint 3
Unidentified saint 4
Unidentified saints (two in a cell)
Unidentified saints (three in a cell)
Virgin Mary

Other santos not photographed

Crucifixion Group

Crucifixion group (crucifix with two monks):
The words DESDE ALLI [HA DE] VENIR [A] IUZGAR [A] LOS VIVOS Y A [L]OS MUERTOS, ("from whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead," a phrase from the Apostles' Creed) are written on the cowl of the monk on the right. The cowl on the left also has writing on it, but it is illegible. Judging from the length, it may be the phrase al tercer
día resucitó de entre los muertos, the only long phrase from the Creed that is not found on any of the other santos in the former convento.

Basis for Identification (monks): Tonsures, cowls. The book and chalice of the monk on the right could possibly identify him as St. Hyacinth.

Basis for Identification (crucifix): INRI plaque, streaming blood, loincloth and scutum.

Site: Former convento of San Pedro y San Pablo, Teposcolula.

Location: In a room off the southwest corner of the garden of the convento. (see note).

Comparable santos in the former convento are emblazoned with phrases that form almost the entire Apostles' Creed:
Creo en dios todo poderoso: Kneeling apostle
Criador [sic] del Cielo y de la Tierra: Cell with two santos
[Creo in Jesucristo su] único [hijo Nuestro Señor]: Cell with a monk and two bishops
Que fué concevido por ovra del Espíritu Santo y nació de Santa Maria Virgen:
Cell with a monk and two bishops
Padeció devajo del pod[er de] Pon[cio] Pilato, fué crucificado, muerto, y sepultado: Cell with two santos
Al tercer día resucitó de entre los muertos: (Not found, but see above)
Subió a los cielos y:
(Not seen, may be on the collar preceding the next phrase)
Está sentado a la diestra de Dios padre todo poderoso: Cell with a monk and two bishops
Desde allí [ha de] venir [a] iuzgar [a] los vivos y a [l]os muertos: (See the image above)
Creo en el Espíritu Santo la Santa Iglesia Catolica: Monk with book and church
La comunión de los santos: Unidentified priest
El perdón de los pecados: Monk with one arm
La Resurrección de la carne y la vida perduravle:
Unidentified apostle

Comparable santos in Oaxaca (St. Hyacinth): Huitzo, Teitipac, Teotitlán del Valle.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca (crucifix): Achiutla, Santa Ana del Valle1, Santa Ana del Valle2, Santa Ana del Valle3, Cuilapan, Etla, Guelavia, Mitla, Nochixtlán, Tamazulapan1, Tamazulapan2, Teitipac1, Teitipac2, Teitipac3, Teitipac Our Lady of the Rosary, Teotitlán1, Teotitlán2, Teposcolula1, Teposcolula2, Teposcolula3 (in Rosary case),  Teposcolula Convento1, Teposcolula Convento2, Tilantongo1, Tilantongo2, Tlacolula, Xoxocotlán1, Xoxocotlán2, Xoxocotlán3, Xoxocotlán4, Yanhuitlán1, Yanhuitlán2, Yanhuitlán Convento1, Yanhuitlán Convento2, Yanhuitlán Convento3, Yanhuitlán Convento4, Yanhuitlán Convento5, Yanhuitlán Ayuxi Chapel, Zimatlán.

External Links:
Wikipedia: The Apostles' Creed in Spanish and in English
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Saint Hyacinth in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Hyacinth
Wikipedia: Saint Hyacinth

Next: Other santos not photographed

Previous santo

Introduction to Teposcolula

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.) In the case of the former convento at Teposcolula, directional references align with those of the Teposcolula church. 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.