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Santa Muerte is a sacred figure venerated primarily in Mexico and the United States. The name literally translates to “Holy Death” or “Saint Death.”
Mexican culture, from the pre-Columbian era; has maintained a certain reverence towards death. Santa Muerte generally appears as a skeletal figure, clad in a long robe and carrying one or more objects, usually a scythe and a globe. The robe is most often white, but images of the figure vary widely from person to person and according to the rite being performed or the petition of the devotee.
As the worship of Santa Muerte was clandestine until recently, most prayers and other rites are done privately in the home. However, for the past ten years or so, worship has become more public, especially in Mexico City.
The worship is mainly condemned by the Catholic Church in Mexico, but not by the Church world-wide. This worship is firmly entrenched among Mexico’s lower working classes and various levels of the criminal world.