First a prayer:
Oh glorious apostle St. Jude
Pray for me, for I am so miserable,
and use, I pray, that special privilege
granted to you for succor when
there is almost no hope.
Come to my support
in this great need, to provide
consolation and relief of the sky in
all my needs.
And now, a bit of reggaeton:
" I look at you and I imagine making love with clothes "
Across the street, a young guy smokes and chugs his beer. Reggaeton jumps at a good volume from his cell phone and next to it, like one more of his thug friends, is St. Jude.
Sex and religion, smoke and incense, devotion and malice, fashion and Eucharist.
Here you sin first, then pray; fear no moral discomfort while dancing lasciviously in front of the church or while praying that your latest theft, robbery or violence will pay off.
On the 28th of every month, the church of San Hipólito in Mexico 's Federal District smells like vice, hair gel and blush:
At the entrance of a church with two prominent steeples, Mexican men of the lower classes, especially from the Tepito neighborhood, meet to build a bizarre bazaar, a religious bacchanal with flashes of Fashion Week.
Tepichulos is a contraction of the word Tepi (from Tepito) and Chulo (handsome).
Guapiteña, meanwhile is a mash-up of Guapa (beautiful) and Tepiteña (from Tepito ).
Tepichulos and Guapiteñas come dressed in white with basketball sneakers, big earrings and blessed scapulars on the neck who meet to celebrate their life, youth and freedom. Most will pause to ask Saint Jude for a favor or two.
Styled for reggaeton but devoted to St. Jude, this horde of men and women has become a fashion sensation in Mexico and throughout the world, not to mention a new subject for social scholars studying the libidinous relations between street and church.
Prayers are paced to the rhythm of Wisin y Yandel; a statue of this saint of lost causes sticks out of a backpack or dangles from the hand; the church is reinvented a dance floor.