Today I’ve got a weird guest post from Claire who runs Claire’s Footsteps about one of the weirdest patron saints you’ll ever come across!
Claire is a twenty something year old from London, England, but ever since living in Mexico as a teen, she has had big dreams of travelling the world. She has written about her travels through North and Central America, and is currently gearing up for her next big trip – Asia and Australia, which she will leave for in 2016.
Say hi to Claire on Twitter @clairefootsteps.
Anyway, this post is about one of the most bizarre patron saints that you’ll ever see in the world! And I’m not sure exactly what miracles this one has performed!
And I’ve got a feeling that the Pope didn’t approve this one for the Catholic Church either!
But I reckon he should just so we can all have a bit of fun!
Here it is!
Maximón: The Sinful Patron Saint
During a recent trip to Guatemala, I visited the small town of San Andres Xecul, which is most famous for its bright yellow church.
But behind closed doors lay a deity, worshipped and feared by the town’s Mayan population…
Maximón, or San Simón as he is otherwise called, is represented by an effigy in various Mayan villages in the Guatemalan highlands. Moving house each year, the figure dominates a room with his own throne like chair, bed and wall decorations.
The figure graciously receives many visitors every day, who leave him offerings. But this he is no normal god. People are strongly advised to leave Maximón gifts of cigarettes, alcohol or cold hard cash, so as not to displease him.
Before he achieved his deity status (through means of which nobody is exactly sure) legend tells that he seduced all the wives of the local men while they were out in the fields one day.
It is warned that if you do not leave him the gifts he desires, he may commit a similar atrocity against you.
I missed the BYOB (bring your own booze) memo and don’t smoke, and I was reluctant to leave Maximón my hundred quetzal note, so left without granting the effigy any gifts.
I am still awaiting my misfortune…
(The Travel Tart): Ha ha, looks like you’ve been playing with fire Claire!
I want to go and see Maximon with my own eyes now! But I’ll make sure I’ll bring tonnes of money, beer, and cigarettes!