Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Catholic and dollar store weirdness.

If you have read my other posts about the crazy/awesome things I find at the dollar store, then you are in for a treat.  I've never seen anything like this, and couldn't wait to share it.

I'm not trying to bash Catholicism.  I actually find it one of the more comforting forms of Christianity, at least what little I know about it.  But I'm not going to pretend I totally understand it, either.  And with that, I saw this at the dollar store and knew I had to bring it home because it was so... weird.

I've seen novena candles before.  They're just as commonly associated with Santeria, Hoodoo, Witchcraft, etc. these days as they are with Catholicism and Christianity.  But the ones I've seen (that don't outright list spell uses) all have pictures of Mary, Jesus, angels, or the saints on them.  So... since when did Catholics start worshiping Death?

Even more bizarre is the prayer to "Saintly Death" on the side of the candle.  it reads:

"Death, dear to my heart, don't abandon me, protect me and from this moment, cover my house, work or business so that you attract white energies of the universe so that it is never absent and that all our needs are covered by the divine power of God the Father.

By the virtues you possess I will overcome all obstacles and not tolerate people who wish me evil, but positive people who only know how to love and respect all human beings who inhabit this planet.

I do not covet riches, but a life without shortcomings and I welcome you to protect me at night and during the day.  So be it and it will.  Amen."

Note how the prayer ends, with "so be it and it will, amen."  Sounds quite a bit like "so mote it be," doesn't it?  But then again, Catholicism has always recognized the need for ritual, and a lot of what passes for prayer in the church could also be considered spellwork.

I like the prayer on the candle as a good all-purpose prayer to whoever, but what I don't get is why you would say it to Death, of all entities.

Also interesting is the way Saintly Death is portrayed.  He looks like a typical Grim Reaper, except his scythe is missing, and he wears the white robe of a saint.  I suppose this is to make him look more like the Angel of Death.  In one hand, he holds the Scales of Justice, and in the other hand is...  what, a crystal ball?  The earth?  He's also glowing against a starry night sky background.  And, I'm pretty sure that what the prayer says about attracting "white energies of the universe" is the reason that the candle color inside the jar is also white.

Has anyone else seen any really strange novena candles?  Now that I've seen this, I suppose there are all sorts of interesting beings being prayed to for various reasons.  The Catholic church literally recognizes thousands of saints, with a whole host of bizarre patronages.  In a quick search, I turned up patron saints for thieves, amputees, natural disasters, pallbearers, excessive rain, television, even things like fear of wasps and protection against moles!  So all things considered, I guess praying to Death isn't that weird after all.

5 comments:

  1. Lucky find!! Santa Muerte is quite the beloved saint. Here is Wiki's info site - well worth the read!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Muerte

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  2. Oh wow! How have I been ignorant of this all this time? Especially considering that I've read up on Day of the Dead pretty extensively, it being my birthday and all. ;)

    I also feel pretty stupid, calling Saintly Death a he, when it's actually a she... which I would have known by reading the "SANTA Muerte" printed plain as day on the front. Oops.

    Thanks for sharing the info. Go check out your local Dollar Tree, and maybe you'll find some of these, too!

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  3. I always find the novena candles at the dollar store and want to snatch them up. I like to either keep the picture the same, or peel off the sticker and print off my own of a deity to stick on. I love them! Have never heard of Santa Muerte either! What an interesting one!

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  4. That is not Catholic. Do not believe everything is Catholic. Satanic churches have been growing since the 60's.

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  5. Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte (Spanish for Our Lady of the Holy Death) or, colloquially, Santa Muerte (Holy Death), is a female deity (or folk saint depending on school of thought) Mexican folk religion, venerated primarily in Mexico and the Southwestern United States. A personification of death, she is associated with healing, protection, and safe delivery to the afterlife by her devotees. Despite condemnation by the Catholic Church, her cult has risen to an unprecedented prominence in the 2000s and 2010s, as a continuation of the Aztec goddess of death Mictecacihuatl (Nahuatl for "Lady of the Dead") clad according to Spanish iconography.

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