Last March, in an effort to stem the ever increasing tide of illegal drug commerce, Mexican police destroyed thirty shrines to Jesús Malverde, the so-called “Narco-Saint.” As of yet the definitive picture of Malverde hasn’t really emerged, but we do know that he was either a construction or railway worker before turning to a life of banditry, where, obviously, he did the work of god. He was either hanged from a tree that subsequently died, or shot by a friend for cash and amnesty.
Malverde is seen as a “steal from the rich, give to the poor” type, which makes him pretty popular with the poor, and rather less so with the rich. Visitors to his shrines leave shrimp in formaldehyde-filled bottles, in case their saint should get hungry or need to preserve some snake eggs, candles in the event the electricity in heaven ever goes out, pictures of people they think need the help of a Saint of Banditry, or small plaques telling about miracles Malverde has performed for them. (He is apparently a bit of a trained seal as far as the miracles go.)
There’s even a Malverde beer now, if you want to drink the saint. No report on whether it’s any good or not. One bright spot in Saint Malverde’s future though is that the Catholic Church does not accept him as an official saint, which gives him a bit more street cred. The church has a very strict admittance policy regarding official saints, involving proof of a holy and heroic life and either martyrdom or at least one miracle after death. (Proof first… then faith.) They do admit to not having the exhaustive list, however.
Some saints that did make the cut: Erasmus, saint of abdominal pains, Francis, saint of nice animals, Vitus, saint of mean animals, Joseph, saint of astronauts, Matthew, saint of bankers, (where the hell has this guy been lately?) George, saint of Boy Scouts, Claire, saint of television everywhere except Peru, where it’s Martin, Apollonia, saint of toothaches, Eligius, saint of people who collect medals and those who work at gas stations, Agnes, saint of Girl Scouts, Barbara, saint of gunners, and literally hundreds more.
When I die I want to be the saint of inappropriate comments, pictures of boobies, and butt jokes.