La Santa Muerte and Her Interventions in Human Affairs: a Theological Discussion

Stefano Bigliardi

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1 Citation (SciVal)


This article focuses upon the popular devotion for la Santa Muerte that emerged in Mexico and is gaining a rapid increase in notoriety in the country and abroad. The first sections reconstruct in detail its protean manifestations, as well as the interpretations contained in extant scholarly investigations, popular Mexican press and other texts. The final section, adopting a fine-grained, theological-epistemological viewpoint argues that la Santa’s interventions in human affairs, essential to explain her popularity, although usually described as ‘miracles’ can be better understood as paros—a term employed by devotees in order to define the end of a situation, usually unpleasant or unfavourable. It is also argued that a careful examination of such paros provides us with deeper insights into the devotion’s success and resiliency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-323
Number of pages21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Religious Studies


  • Death
  • Folk saints
  • Mexico
  • Miracles
  • Santa Muerte
  • Supernatural and preternatural
  • Thomas Aquinas


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