Several years ago, I blogged about the adoration of Santa Muerte, St. Death (as in a feminine saint), the hooded skeleton being venerated by Mexican drug lords. But now prayers to this saint and the sale of her images and icons have come into the mainstream, and not just in Hispanic enclaves but throughout the world. You can now find her images in Wal-Mart.
Although the Santa Muerte cult takes the form of the veneration of saints in Roman Catholicism, the Church strongly opposes the practice. Taping dollar bills to her statue and leaving cigarettes and liquor as offerings are thought to cause Santa Muerte to provide good luck and protection. One expert says that worship of “Holy Death” is “the fastest-growing new religious movement.” I suppose it is fitting that a culture of death has a religion of death.