Meet New York City’s Devotees to the Cult of the Holy Death


El Día de los Muertos isn’t the only fiesta celebrating death. On the second Saturday each August, hundreds of devotees to Santa Muerte, or Holy Death, a feminine skeleton figure dressed as a saint, get together in Jamaica, Queens, to venerate what group organizer Arely Gonzalez calls her “bony lady.”

Although this Mexican folk saint is not approved by the Catholic Church, it has grown in popularity in New York City, where many devotees have found in her love and acceptance.