Folk Saints in Latin America

Although Latin America is considered to be a stronghold of Roman Catholicism, folk religious practices often differ from the official teachings of the Church. People are devoted to their saintly protectors or to one of the many apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Moreover, to cope with their problems, many Latin Americans have adopted their own folk saints or animas milagrosas (miraculous souls), who were never officially beatified or sanctified. Until the 12th century, most saints were freely chosen by the people in this way, but today sanctification is a serious process of the Sacra Rota (Vatican Court) in Rome.

Latin American animas usually died a violent death in an accident or were killed in action. In life, they may have been doctors or folk healers, humble ...

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