GUADALAJARA, MEXICO — A few days after a group of armed men kidnapped her 27-year-old son, María set up a shrine to St. Jude Thaddeus at her home in Guadalajara, western Mexico.
“I keep photos, candles and holy water at the altar,” María said. “That’s where I plead to God and let my emotions out.”
Faced with stiff competition from the cult of Santa Muerte — a heretical saint who personifies death — Mexico’s Catholic Church has seized on the popularity of St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of lost causes and desperate situations.
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