The traveling saints: migrant religiosity through Facebook

Faith, fervor and religious traditions are elements of the culture that people who decide to migrate carry with them. In the case of our countrymen, brothers, friends, cousins ​​and comadres, acquaintances, among others, who they go north with illusions of a better life and a promising future, they do so seeking the blessing and protection of the “little virgin” or the saint of their devotion. This practice addresses both the religiosity of the different communities, in this case, the towns of origin in Jalisco, as well as personal identity processes.

The Virgen del Pueblito, the Lord of the Oak, the Lord of Mercy, the Lord of Teponahusco, Santiago Apóstol, the Miraculous Lord, the Virgin of San Juan Degollado and Santo Toribio Romo (known as the Holy protector of migrants), for mention a few, they are iconic characters of the migratory phenomenon, which, according to the testimonies of travelers, provide them with company on their way, miracles and favors. Once settled in the destination, the migrants are grateful for these favors, either venerating the images or raising funds for the construction or rehabilitation of their churches in their places of origin, for which they make donations and organize raffles, fairs and dances, among other things. events.

Social networks have not escaped the manifestations of migrant religious fervor, on the contrary, have positioned themselves as a showcase for the meeting of heaven on earthon the pages of Facebook Of the different organizations of migrants from Jalisco based in the neighboring country, it is increasingly common to observe the diversity of activities that are carried out around the patron saints or devoted saints.

This practice is significant because it is an indicator of the importance that religion has for the communities on both sides of the border. pages of Facebook like the one of the Jalisciense Federation of the Midwest, which every year publishes the procession in Melrose Park (Illinois) of Our Lady of Mount Carmel; or in the same way, with the image of Santo Toribio Romo, of the Absent Children of the Cofradía de la Luz shows the procession and dances in honor of the Lord of Mercy on the Day of the Absent Children and the page of the Absent Children of Cuquío presents a Eucharistic celebration at the San Juan Bautista Parish in Napa Valley, California, in honor of the Lord of Teponahuasco from Cuquío, Jalisco, whose replica has even been visiting Napa.

in space in Facebook of the Absent Sons of Ameca, you can see how they report on the restoration work that was carried out in the Sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, which had financial support from the migrant community and, in the same way, They also broadcast live the Eucharistic celebrations from the Temple of Santiago Apóstol in Ameca.

On the site of the Absent Sons of Labor of Medina, invitations are published to go and see the image of Señora del Rosario, which travels from San Martín Hidalgo to homes in San Bernardino, California, and on the site of the Club of La Labor Vieja de Chicago, it is reported how Father Noé traveled from Ocotlán to Chicago to live with the native community of this town that resides in those latitudes and, in addition, invitations are published to contribute economic resources that allow to continue with the construction of a temple in the town of origin.

Nevertheless, even though in the spaces in Facebook Of the migrants from Jalisco in the United States, you can find publications that account for many activities of this type, not everything that is around these events has to do with faith and religiousness; it is also possible to identify economic and political components; actions of powerful groups that fight for followers or that seek to gain public space, and of leaders that seek public office or hope to legitimize some of their actions. A) Yes, Facebook It turns out to be a very rich and interesting space for the complex social analysis of the relationships that exist between faith and migrant religiosity.with a wide diversity of elements and analytical dimensions such as economic, social, psychological, political and geographical, among others.

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