This week I started carrying my grandmother's rosary while I teach and organize, and I restarted an old meditation practice of saying Hail Marys like a mantra. I'm praying to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of liberation. Feeling connected to ancestors through the communion of saints is giving me strength to love in the face of death, change, and loss.
I've also been wondering how much the practice of the communion of saints is influenced by indigenous traditions around the world. When Christianity was co-opted into a Roman imperial religion, did some of my ancestors continue their grassroots practices of ancestor veneration in and through saint veneration? I'd like to find out. I've heard indigenous people have continued their traditions mixed with Catholicism in the western hemisphere. In La Frontera, Gloria Anzaldua says veneration of La Virgen de Guadalupe comes from / is an indigenous practice.