Cristo Negro de Otatitlan

Otatitlán, Veracruz

During an assault on Catholicism pursuant to the 1917 Mexican constitution and, particularly, the Law for Reforming the Penal Code (“Calles Law”) of 1926, the Cristo Negro was stolen in 1931 under orders of the governor of Veracruz. The soldiers tried to burn the image but the fire was insufficient to the density of the wood, so finally they sawed off the head. Decades later, in the 1950s, the original head was returned to Otatitlán. Thus began the current dual devotion at the shrine, to the head and to the full image with a new head sculpted by an artist from Mexico City. The last photograph in the following selection shows the site, now a devotional site, where the image was decapitated beside the Papaloapan River. The Cristo Negro de Otatitlán is one of many Black Christs in Mexico and is also known as Señor Santuario and Señor de Otatitlán.

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