A Pagan Saint from my Country: Gauchito Gil 🌹

If you make a road trip anywhere in Argentina, you will likely see this in many crossroads or just by the side of the road:

One of the main ways that Gauchito Gil is thanked for his work is by his devotees making public announcements in his honor and letting others know of his great deeds.

Every January 8th more than 300 thousand pilgrims gather in the sanctuary of Corrientes and there are tributes throughout the country. Everything is red: Flags, candles, crosses and headbands that identify the gauchito Gil, our pagan saint.

As a folk saint, he is not recognized by the Catholic Church, even though thousands of followers believe in his miraculous powers. Whether it started as a folk myth, legend or he was a real miracle-worker, he has been venerated for more than one hundred years in his native province and the cult spread to the rest of the country.

Find the full legend of Gauchito Gil in his Wikipedia page.

Traditionally, in order to make a request to the gauchito, we write on a red ribbon what we need and leave it at night on the branch of a tree, a fence or a stick stuck in the ground. You can also light a red candle and, with the ribbon of the same color as a rosary, say a prayer.

:heart: :rose: ❖══:o:══❖ :rose: :heart:

Prayer to Gauchito Gil

“¡Oh! Gauchito Gil. Te ruego humildemente se cumpla por intermedio ante Dios el milagro que te pido y te prometo que cumpliré mi promesa, brindándote mi fiel agradecimiento y demostración de fe en Dios y en vos, GAUCHITO GIL. Amén.”

My translation:

Oh! Gauchito Gil. I humbly pray that the miracle I ask of you is fulfilled through God and I promise you that I will fulfill my promise, offering you my faithful gratitude and demonstration of faith in God and in you, GAUCHITO GIL. Amen.

Offerings to Gauchito Gil:

A burning red candle, red wine and cigarettes are the main offerings. There are those who leave a red ribbon at a public altar and take, as a bracelet, another ribbon that they collect from those previously left by someone else.

People of different ages follow Gauchito and it doesn’t matter if they are Catholic or not. “El Gauchito Gil belongs to the people and makes no distinction for anyone”.

This is one of the main saints worshipped in my home country, along with San la Muerte (another pagan saint) and San Jorge. There are many more folk legends and tales including supernatural entities and forces of Nature. Feel free to share folk tales and legends from your region!

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That’s very interesting. Thank you for sharing! I’ve always been fascinated by the way other cultures worship their Saints and deities because, since I was brought up in the United States, we don’t have much of that here. A lot of the culture and worship that we see in the USA from Catholicism was brought with those practitioners from their cultures. As a white woman, I’m not as connected to my land and culture because, well, I don’t know what it is other than white.

I think that might be a reason I’m very drawn to the Celtic pantheon because, according to my mother’s DNA that she did, most of our family comes from Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Maybe this is my spirit’s way of connecting with my ancestors and culture. I just wish there was an easier way to learn about it since everything is now steeped in Christianity instead of Paganism.

Where I’m from, the most interesting practices are usually indigenous traditions that survived ironically because they sincretized with Catholicism.

I believe in Ireland the same thing happened. I just found an article about Celtic deities that became modern-day Catholic saints.

What is certain is early Christians co-opted a pagan goddess Brigid into what we know as the figure St Brigid today. It is possible they grafted the goddess’ characteristics onto a real life early Christian missionary but there is little historical proof of this.

I think many pagan traditions that are still practiced today by Irish Catholics can be re-shaped back to their original pagan form. But I don’t know much about it. What do you think?

I think it probably could, I just have to dissect it’s parts out from Irish Catholicism and the Christian faiths that took over in Scotland and Wales.

Brighid is actually the Goddess that I worship and will most likely be devoting myself to on Imbolc :fire:

The hard part about trying to dissect these faiths is that all texts are written through a Christian lens and, since the Pagan faiths of those areas were oral, there aren’t many ancient texts left that aren’t written from a differing perspective.

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