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Elena Villa was the most brave of all the women soldiers. That’s why I make this exvoto in your name. God bless you.

Jalisco, 1949

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Maria Jose thanks Saint Francis, saint patron of the animals, because, although Quintilliano died last year, she still enjoys the company of Kokoro, Pepino and Señor.

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I dedicate this memory to my Holy Virgin of the Rosary from Talpa for the great miracle she worked for me by saving my life form the imminent danger when I got under the water of Mexican gulf after our plane fell down. My partner Ancil Neal Womack died and I survived ten distressed days, by the mercy of the waves, without food or water, not to mention other dangers that pursued me.

Matamoros, Tamaulipas
February 19, 1948

Aviator pilot Esteban de Leon Ch.

With this retablo, I’d like to thank Saint Jude Thaddeus for all the times he has saved me from death. I always entrust myself to him because I know I’m a hard case.


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I was gravely ill with my liver, and I was in deadly danger. Then I implored the sky not to let me die and not to leave my poor children unprotected. But I got only worse, and then I died, and my husband went off with my cousin and didn’t want to have anything with my children. I leave this retablo as testimony.

Domitila Ochoa Razo, October 10, 1937

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I was alone and very sick in my bed when I saw the Death in my door. He sent a bunch of skeleton on me. They were joking about me, laughing and dancing around. I implored the Virgin of San Juan, and she appeared shinning. Her brightness scared the Death and the skeletons away, and they left me in peace. I thank because I also got better after this.

January 28, 1982

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Anselmo Barrientos was resting after the work in the field. He was drinking pulque when the bony Death appeared. Anselmo wasn’t a young man, but still he had no desire to die yet. He prayed the Lord of Blue Eye. The Lord scared the Death away, and it left Anselmo in peace.

Texcoco, Mexico, 1923

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Artemio Mendosa brings this retablo thanking the Virgin of San Juan for protecting him from the bullets of a peon and playing a dirty trick on himself instead because he was killed by a venomous viper.

Puebla, 1908

I, a street musician, was walking with my doggies Canico and Capi, when suddenly the bony death appeared dancing to the rhythm of my violin. I was so scared, I implored the Holy Cross, and it disappeared.

Anastacio Valdez

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Saint Rita of Cascia, I offer you this ex-voto thanking you for not giving me diabetes because I got very much frightened when I was passing by drunk and the Death and the Devil himself appeared to me. I ran away to my house because my stomach was bursting. But then I realized it was the Day of the Dead and people dressed up like that to ask for sweets because it’s the tradition of all Mexicans. Viva la Catrina and those who celebrate the Day of the Dead!

Grateful chilango, November 1 and 2, 2014
Mixquic, Mexico City

Holy Virgin, thousand thanks for saving my life in this hellish ride. I saw a woman died run over by a train.

March 21, Arriaga, Chiapas

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When Elisa and I were engaged, she was so jealous that on the day of the wedding, after the banquet, she was on edge and she died of indigestion. Three years later I decided to marry again. I met a nice beautiful girl, and we got married. After our honeymoon, when we were back, Elisa’s ghost began to appear in our bedroom. She was furious and stared at us with anger. I was frightened, I prayed the Virgin of Zapopan for her soul. I even brought a priest and sprinkled holy water. Her soul rested in peace, and now we can sleep with peace.

Ramiro Balbuena, 1960

We all ran from my mother-in-law’s wake because the old lady gave us fright—she was lying down and then stood up. We thank Saint Pancras with this retablo because later she really died and didn’t kill anyone.

Puebla, 1915

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