Latina/o Folk Saints and Marian Devotions: Popular Religiosity and Healing
A cada santo su día-to every saint his day, so the Span-ish proverb goes. Indeed, Latina/o spirituality and religiousness are deeply influenced by the recurring presence of saints and confidence in them is symbolically and ritualistically expressed through images, popular devotions, and pilgrimages (Figueroa-Deck, 1994; Pineda, 2004). The Catholic Church officially venerates and celebrates saints based on ancient traditions and a liturgical calendar. Likewise, in traditional Latina/o communities, saints’ days can be marked with fiestas patronales that involve food, music, ritual, and dancing (Gudeman, 1976; Woodward, 1990).