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The Orisha Oyá and Saint Teresa of Jesus: Afro-Cuban religious syncretism

syncretism of Oyá

Oyá She is a Major Orisha of the Yoruba Pantheon and is the Lady of the spark, of the whirlpool, of the rainbow and of the dead.

Its winds help to sustain life and it is the first of the deaths along with its sisters. Obba y Yewa.

who is the goddess Oyá in Santeria?

Oyá Obinidodo

The Yoruba cult refers that Oyá wields a strong power over the Eggunes (spirits) for being the mother of nine of them. Thus, he likes to be at the door of the cemeteries.

She is a warrior and her fury unleashes the strongest storms. She favors storms, strong or hurricane winds and sparkles and symbolizes the violence of nature and impetuosity.

But also the winds of Oyá they carry pollen from different plants from one place to another and provide us with oxygen for the air we breathe.

Yansa, as it is also known, gives us the correct amount of oxygen to keep us alive.

Oyá She is considered a goddess of strong temperament, to whom immense respect must be shown, since legends indicate that she fights alongside men and won the respect of warriors as powerful as the Thunder King Shango and the owner of the iron Oggún.

Syncretism of the Orisha Oyá with a catholic saint

In response to the process of transculturation resulting from the colonialist stage and the African slave trade, the Orisha Oyá It was syncretized in the Catholic religion with Saint Teresa of Jesus, so that, in her figure, the Yorubas could continue to worship the Queen of the Centella.

  • The day to celebrate to the orisha and to the saint is October 15.

Miraculous writer and saint, Teresa of Avila

She is Santa Teresa de Jesús, also known as Santa Teresa de Ávila, one of the Catholic saints who stood out the most for her determined character and her extremely advanced thinking, for a time when women had to abide by family precepts.

Teresa de Jesús gave herself to her religion and enjoyed writing, an element that can be seen in her autobiographical works:

  • Life (written between 1562 and 1565),
  • spiritual relationships,
  • the Book of Foundations (started in 1573 and published in 1610) and
  • its about five hundred letters.

Miracles and visions: History of Santa Teresa de Ávila

Teresa decided very young to take the Carmelite habit against her father's will, so in 1535 she fled her home to go to the convent of the Incarnation.

He wore the habit the following year, and in 1537 he made his profession.

However, Teresa was afflicted from the first years of her life by an illness that would last until 1542.

And it was during those years that, according to her, she learned to trust God without limit and that she began to practice the method of prayer called "recollection."

Since her miraculous recovery, the nun began to be favored with "imaginary" and "intellectual" visions.

According to his memoirs, it was in 1541 that Christ appeared to him in person for the first time and reproached him for his insecurities.

That same year he discovered in a hole in a wall of an oratory of the convent, a statuette of about 18 centimeters: it was an Ecce Homo, an image of Jesus Christ with his body full of sores caused by the lashes that the Roman soldiers gave him before crucify him.

About the discovery he wrote:

"I felt so much about how badly I had appreciated those wounds, that my heart seemed to break, and I threw myself at Him with a great outpouring of tears, begging Him to strengthen me once and for all so as not to offend Him."

From then on, Saint Teresa decided to lead a life of penance, mortification and constant prayer.

Santa Teresa de Jesús, her most important works alreadypostage to the Church

Teresa then decided to dedicate herself to writing and instruction.

To help his nuns to realize their ideal of religious life, he composed Camino de Perfection and Las moradas or Interior Castle.

In 1604 his canonization process began. In 1614 she was declared blessed, and in 1622 she was canonized by Gregory XV.

In 1970 she was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church, as the first woman to receive this distinction.

Miraculous prayer to Saint Teresa of Avila

Holding a candle

We seek the help and blessing of Saint Teresa of Avila when we have difficulty praying and lack faith, if we suffer from unwanted dreams or suffer from insomnia.

She is the protector of nuns in general, urban property agents and those who go through moments of spiritual weakness.

It can also be invoked by those who have started business and are in difficulty.

So we pray to Saint Teresa to guide us:

Lord, our God, who raised up Saint Teresa as a model and teacher.

Teach us to follow his ways. She knew how to make a constant conversion of her life and left us in her writings the steps to take along the path of perfection.

She described to us the transience of life and how our thirst for happiness can only be satisfied by God.

May we learn his lessons and one day we can eternally sing your mercies. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you! Hebeautiful poem of Santa Teresa de Ávila

Let nothing disturb you,
Nothing scares you
Everything passes,
God does not move

It reaches everything;
Who has God
Nothing is missing:
God alone is sufficient.

Elevate the thought,
go up to heaven,
don't worry about anything,
Nothing disturbs you.

Jesus Christ follows
with big chest,
and, whatever comes,
Nothing scares you.

Do you see the glory of the world?

It is vain glory;
nothing is stable,
Everything passes.

Aspire to the celestial,
that always lasts;
faithful and rich in promises,
God does not move.

Love her which she deserves
Immense goodness;
but there is no fine love
Without the patience.

Trust and living faith
keep the soul,
who believes and hopes
It reaches everything.

From hell haunted

even if it looks,
will outwit their fury
Who has God.

Helplessness come to him,
crosses, misfortunes;
being God his treasure,
Nothing is missing.

Go, then, goods of the world;
go, vain sayings,
even if I lose everything,
God alone is sufficient.

Learn more about the African goddess Oyá and its rituals:

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