Popular religiosity is the set of beliefs, practices and doctrines that are transmitted from generation to generation. If you want to know everything related to popular religiosity, what is it? how is it expressed in our culture? and much more, continue reading this article.
Popular Religiosity is having the freedom to practice the religion that we consider most convenient according to our beliefs and desires.
Normally, we adopt and practice the religion of our parents, and we transmit these beliefs, doctrines and practices to our children, and these, to their children, and so on, passing from generation to generation, also promoting important human values.
We can say then that popular religiosity is the free expression of our religiosity, and collectively, it is how the people express their relationship with God or with the divinity.
This popular religiosity is tolerated or accepted because it promotes and keeps alive the sense of God, allowing his people to follow him and continue increasing the number of believers or faithful.
Popular religiosity maintains an interested relationship with the divinity, what moves its relationship with society day by day is the danger, the need, the desires and the anguish that daily life brings with it.
These feelings are also what lead people to perform certain cultural acts.
Popular religiosity expects the divinity to grant miracles in exchange for punishment or suffering as a kind of “exchange”. Processions, prayers and novenas are the most common practices to receive favors in return, such as curing an illness, obtaining a benefit or protection against danger.
Religiousness comes to or requests the intercession or intervention of the angels, Saints, spirits and the souls of their ancestors, in order to feel that they have something to cling to and stay strong despite the falls and difficulties of life.
Popular religiosity is the same feeling of an entire people towards their faith and towards God. The people have understood since very remote times that we only worship one God, and that is Christ.
Some of these beliefs or manifestations according to the people, can be considered simple superstitions by the Magisterium of the Church. One of the biggest differences between official religiosity and popular religiosity is that the former is taught in institutions.
For example: Churches, catechesis, Sunday school, among others, while the second, is taught by the same town for their families, is more “internal”, to put it in some way.
Popular religiosity cannot be judged by anyone, not even by the Church itself, since it is intimately linked to the personal beliefs of each individual, therefore, they must be respected.
This popular religiosity is the way that the people and each human being has to be able to express the religion that they practice in a genuine way, regardless of whether this is considered a lack of the doctrine promoted by the Church.
As spiritual beings, we need to be connected with our Father, otherwise our soul will not find peace until we enjoy eternal life with the Father and his kingdom here on earth.
How then did this popular religiosity begin ? Since ever. And it is reflected in their culture, traditions and customs of each town.
How is popular religiosity reflected through culture?
Before explaining this point, we consider it important to define what is culture? Culture is everything we learn within our home, examples, behaviors, beliefs and practices in our family.
For example, the evangelization brought by the conquerors was adopted as part of popular culture, thus generating popular religiosity for the new world.
So, this religiosity is manifested in the foreground in the home, our first school and Church. All our values and principles come from our ancestors. Hispanic culture is a clear example of this.
Actually, everything revolves around religion: birthdays, whether we celebrate a marriage anniversary or a loved one who has passed away, a graduation or a family event, or any other, religiosity is always present. The simplest and most popular way to thank God is by celebrating a mass.
In these current times the Catholic Church is becoming more and more aware of how important it is to cultivate Christian values from the base of every society, that is, the family.
The Church has also begun to recognize the importance of popular religiosity for Christian families and the people of God in general.
People need to feel that they have the freedom not only to follow doctrines dictated by the Magisterium of the Church, but also to form their own beliefs, internally, from home.
Having your own beliefs and practices within the family is extremely positive, since devotion, faith, love and union not only as a family, but for God is manifested and strengthened every day.
In the past, popular religiosity was considered primitive, a “less pure” faith, to put it in some way, however, over the years, the religious guidance of the home has gained so much strength that its importance can only grow with each passing day. day a little more.
It has even gained so much popularity that popular religiosity is now promoted by the religious themselves. In fact, the Magisterium of the Church has been developing since that Second Vatican Council a deep and great reflection on this subject.
Popular religiosity is not and does not have to be an enemy of the Church, on the contrary, priests have begun to take advantage of this resource in their favor, becoming rather a very powerful tool for evangelization.
Each family represents a domestic Church, so important change can be generated at the societal level. Obviously, the Church cannot be present in every home, or at least not at the same time.
Therefore, if each family internally becomes a multiplier of the values, practices and traditions offered by the Magisterium of the Church, and also adds its own values and beliefs, the experience becomes much more enriching.
When we learn in our home to love God the Father through our own parents, the desire to know him, fall in love with him, glorify him and evangelize become part of our lives. Talking about God with a heart overflowing with love and joy becomes easy.
The intention in promoting popular religiosity is that families and the people of God reflect sincerely and deeply on religiosity in their lives and acquire a new value in them, generating a true conversion from the will and free will.
We can say that popular religiosity is the way in which the people of God seek to know him, to fall in love with him, to follow his example and his path, but voluntarily and not by the imposition of religious or the Church.
Loving God from the will and free will is the most beautiful way of loving him, because it is born from our hearts and moves us, inspires us, to follow him, obey him and glorify him every day until we exhale our last breath.
Religion is taking a new path, it is evolving with society and it is beginning to recognize the problems that the family faces today. He has begun to behave more flexibly, although obviously, there are still issues on which he is firm.
The religiosity of the people, in general terms, is an expression of their faith, it is that search and that need for God, based, of course, on their history, traditions, beliefs and idiosyncrasies of the region.
This popular religiosity begins at home and becomes part of our culture and connects and becomes stronger every time we constantly reinforce these beliefs, every time we go to mass, we all pray as a family, among others.
The active participation of the people in the creation of their own culture, is what reinforces faith in a certain way, through sharing, meeting other people who also profess values and principles equal or similar to mine, it is in that “ create together” that we are strengthening and inspiring each day to love God more and prepare ourselves to serve them.
Every time the people come together with the purpose of creating, sharing their experience with others, generating joint projects for the benefit of their respective communities, the result is wonderful and the evangelization process becomes simpler and more enjoyable.
As human beings we are social beings and wanting to be part of something is a necessity. We like to feel that we contribute our grain of sand from that space or that project that we have created with others and of which we are a part, that is something that undoubtedly moves us.
That is why popular religiosity is like a snowball that grows more and more every day and is born from that desire to be with God, to enjoy eternal life with him, typical of human feeling.
Even Pope Paul VI himself wrote that popular religiosity is the way to express that search for intimacy with God, that thirst and that hunger for God, of wanting to be, to know, to know him more every day. To never get tired of him, on the contrary, to follow him and feel happy to have him in our lives.
The poor and the humble of heart are the ones who seek God the most, because their lives are less fortunate and they need something to cling to in order to stay alive day by day.
As human beings, the divine, the sacred, has great value for us, not only on a spiritual level, but also on a sentimental level, and each one of us can express it in the best way as we see fit.
The popular religiosity of each people has marked and deep Christian roots, which are expressed with attitudes and beliefs of each family and the faith, devotion and love that they show to God every day.
From the beginning, the religiosity expressed by an entire people could be said to be a public expression and a manifestation of the Christian faith and through this, humble-hearted people express their intimate relationship with God, the beloved Virgin Mary and the Saints to those who have faith in them.
The worship of God corresponds mainly to their own experiences and personal, cultural, spiritual experiences, beliefs, traditions and learned customs, among others.
As the catechism of the Church has explained, especially the Catholic Church, the feeling of the religious people can become as diverse as it is rich, because it brings its peculiar and family value, its own traditions and customs, transforming itself is an experience of personal and spiritual growth.
For example, there are people who venerate images or statuettes of God, the Virgin, or various Saints (their own or those of the Church), others prefer to attend mass and worship the saints and Christ the Redeemer, others go on pilgrimage, pray the rosary Among them, however, each one expresses his way of loving God.
We can then say that popular religiosity has a personal perspective and experience, and a more communal one. The personal point of view involves how we relate intimately with the divine, how we express our devotion, faith and love for God.
From a more community perspective, it is more about how we behave within society, it is rather helping others, creating common projects for the well-being of all, preaching the word and following God’s path of service.
The members of each community then become the protagonists of these stories, of the conversion of other members of their own community and it is there, where the Church begins to gain strength and “manifest” itself in each home simultaneously.
Since its own members facilitate this task and are rather active members of evangelization. The Church and its devotees can continue to grow around the world and become the center of the Christian faith.
Let us not forget or ignore the role played by religious, lay faithful and priests within the communities, since they represent a base for their people, who listen carefully, request their support when required.
These religious leaders are in charge of representing God on earth, of being his voice, his eyes and ears and they teach us to see the world from a different perspective, through the loving eyes of God, to serve others with joy. and to practice what we preach.
Popular religiosity goes far beyond the symbolic or a rational discourse, it has its own language and particular ways of expressing itself, it is rather, somewhat intuitive if you will.
Frequently, it also includes rites, body language, images or more visible signs, always involving its faithful, and expressing a particular language: a language that comes rather from the heart.
Through this unique language, the love of God can enter the hearts of men and become part of their hearts, destroying all armor that could have “hardened it like stone”, and inviting us to include in our customs, values and ways of be and act.
When we allow God to dwell in our hearts, love and joy seem to overflow our soul and make us act in a helpful way, to love all our brothers, and improve every day not only individually but also as a group.
Popular piety, for example, has become a great patrimony of the Catholic Church, and our faith has become the blood and flesh of Christ.
One of the most authentic ways in which this popular piety is manifested is as a fruit of the Holy Spirit and the active presence of the Spirit of God. It is, a reality, evolution, transcendence of our being.
Cultures, as well as our reality, the problems that we face in these modern times have changed, so the Church and religiosity have also begun to change with us, to be a little more flexible.
In the past it would have been impossible to listen to a bishop, for example, inviting parents to talk about sexuality with their children, or to the Church, discussing the family and how to help us face this new reality.
The world is changing, there is no doubt about that, and we have two options, change with it or be forgotten. The Church, for its part, has been integrating with the communities in a more humane way.
It even calls on its religious representatives to be the ones to approach their communities and show the people that they are also one of us, and suffer the same difficulties as us.
In the past and for many years, the Church had shown itself to be more of a kind of exclusive elite, where they lived very different realities from those of their communities and peoples.
Today, the Church is getting more and more involved and in a more humane and supportive way with its communities and peoples, and this has begun to be attractive to people who kept away not from God, but from the Church for this reason. same theme of showing itself as something exclusive.
Pope Francis has come to represent new lights for families, for couples, young people and each person, because even though he is the highest authority in the Church, he has shown compassion.
He has always listened to God, and will continue to do so, but he has given us new perspectives and ways of facing life from simplicity, always keeping us humble and seeking God in the face of any difficulty.
It continues to be the same message if you will, but it allows us to feel more connected and motivated to act and develop ourselves through the Holy Spirit, who is the protagonist of our profound transformations.
Pope Francis once said that popular religiosity must be kept in constant development, where we invite the Holy Spirit to enter our lives and transform them completely and entirely. Let us then declare ourselves servants and instruments of the Lord.
Today the uncontrolled growth of religious sects has stained and adapted to their own beliefs what is the Church and the truths of God. That message, which was unique, has been distorted and adapted not according to God’s mandates, but to man’s personal desires.
While it is true that we must act based on our own beliefs, they must be an addition to serving God, following his word and his path and not generating other cultures or cults that generate confusion and approach to more “exciting” religions. ”.
We must stay attached to God and his commandments and obey him, we must not worship false and pagan gods, nor sin in any way. We must keep our foundations firm and this can only be achieved by strengthening ourselves in the word of God.
The traditions and the moral heritage that has been built over the years, runs the risk of being affected by these new sects and it is our duty as Christians to bet on and defend the legacy that God has given us.
Let us then become evangelizers, let us announce God, his word, his works, so that others can know him and follow him, love him and adore him. Let us attest to our testimony, let us share how our transformation process has been.
Let us share with happiness and joy how God has come into our lives and how he has given us a new heart, and we have no longer felt bitter, alone or empty, but kind, generous and willing to serve.
Evangelization is the way in which we can rescue our values, beliefs and Christian roots, it is the way in which we have to ensure growth and maintenance not only of faith, but of a deep and “pure” faith.
There is a document called “Instrumentum laboris”, which offers us various references about popular religiosity and its importance, as well as, in document number 83, it expresses and underlines the importance of the Church in continuing to remain at the head of the “domestic churches”.
It is not a need for control, but rather to stay on the path of God, to lead ourselves between so much malice and personal desires of men to obtain recognition and believe that he is more powerful than God.
Paul VI said that although popular religiosity is important, also as a Church, it is its duty to establish certain limits so that we do not lose our north and customs, to avoid confusion.
Blessed Pope John Paul II once expressed that popular religiosity is more than a faith rooted in our culture, it is our roots that are born from the depths of our hearts and connect with our ideas.
The expressions of popular religiosity in our land
For its part, the expressions of this popular religiosity there is a predominance of sensible devotion, for example: generating new spaces where the people themselves can create “sacred spaces”, visit relics or have images of God, the Virgin or the saints of your choice.
The images, the symbols, among others, allow the people that communion and intimate communication with God. They also allow you to strengthen your faith and “feel God closer”, always present in a more visual way.
These objects, statuettes and other symbols, represent a way of expression for God. Attending festivals or special activities proposed by the Church is also a way to stay connected with God and aspire to our own evolution and holiness.
Popular religiosity is a reality, if you like, “alive”, which is manifested through each one of us and which has been showing great growth and impact above all, in recent years.
Its importance has been reflected in its rapid growth, but also in the experience it can offer us. It also has a quantitative characteristic since it impacts and involves a significant number of people.
At the same time, it is also significant, since, as we have mentioned on several occasions, it can be perceived as an expression of our culture, which manifests our feelings as a people, as individuals and as a group.
In each region, we can appreciate the diversity of these manifestations of popular religiosity , among them we can mention or highlight the following:
In each town there are various festivities that we can celebrate to honor and glorify God, the Virgin Mary and other Saints recognized by the Church. These times are experienced as a time of coexistence, celebration and much joy and happiness.
Devotion, in these festivities can be breathed in the air, since they are intimately related to some religious tradition, which allows us to express ourselves and have presence and participation as God’s people.
The patron saint festivities, for example, offer us living experiences of faith, music and fire are essential elements in these celebrations, as they represent joy and religiosity.
b.- Other celebrations
The main objective or destination of these celebrations is God and the different mysteries that occurred in his life from his birth, to his passion, death, and finally, his resurrection.
It is a time full of intensity, emotions, love and a lot of union, but also of sharing and reflecting on everything we have achieved throughout that year.
Christmas is a time where internal, deep and sincere reflection with ourselves should not be lacking, as well as, we must keep in mind our faith in that God who decided to come to this world as a man.
This time is also accompanied by beautiful Christmas carols, nativity scenes, customs, parade of kings (in some regions), typical foods of the time, among others.
Celebration of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ
It is a very important time and celebration, especially, it gains more strength and meaning during Holy Week and Lent, which, we must emphasize, is celebrated in a particular way in each town, but always with an intention, to strengthen our faith and generate a deep and genuine renewal and transformation of our hearts.
The towns, in these celebrations venerate Jesus Christ, through prayers such as “Our Father Jesus” or with other more particular ones such as the “Holy face” or the “holy chalice”.
The resurrection is also linked to the celebration of this tradition and is also integrated with the celebration of the Virgin Mary, for the joy that Easter brings us.
Processions are frequent during Easter, as they reflect the joy of having the risen Jesus before us, demonstrating his power that can defeat even death itself. This day, traditional and typical meals of each town are also prepared.
Devotion to the Eucharist is also something very popular, but at the same time, very much ours (Venezuela). The people of God celebrate Corpus Christi with great joy.
In certain regions, processions with the Blessed Sacrament on their shoulders are held on Easter morning. On this Easter day, Communion is also offered to the sick.
c.- Devotion to our beloved Mother Mary
Mother María “Mare de Déu”, always tender and loving, to whom we owe so much, especially for that fiat in which she agreed to be God’s deer and to use her as an instrument to fulfill his will.
Beloved Mother Mary and devotion to her grows more every day, so certain celebrations are also held in honor of her and she is also invoked by the people of God.
The festivities and other Marian celebrations are extremely intense: novenas, joys, hymns, processions, among other representations, are held in honor of our beloved Virgin Mary.
d.- Angels and Saints
The Angels and Saints (recognized by the Catholic Churches), especially those who lived in our towns, shared with our people and are now considered patrons, are the ones who are venerated in a special way.
The ways of venerating these Saints are varied, among them: novenas, stamps, relics, images, songs or joys, pious books or processions. All these are ways to achieve an increase in the devotion of their faithful.
e.- Holy Places
Religiosity is sometimes linked to some places considered holy or sacred. There are regions that are populated with hermitages and sanctuaries and are considered by their inhabitants to be genuine spaces of devotion, piety and faith.
Some of the monasteries are also places of pilgrimage, where people from all over the world attend that place as a sign of their devotion or to request a favor. Among these places, we can mention:
- Basilica of Santa Teresa (Caracas)
- Sanctuary of the Virgin of Betania.
- Minor Basilica National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe del Carrizal.
- Minor Basilica National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Coromoto.
- Sanctuary of the Divine Child (Caracas)
- Sanctuary of Peace (Barquisimeto)
- Shrine of Mother Mary of Saint Joseph
- Basilica of Santa Rosa (Barquisimeto)
- Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico City
- The Vatican and Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome
- Tomb of the Great Imam Reza, in Mashad, Iran
- Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes of the Kii Mountain Range, Japan
- Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
- Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Montmartre, Paris
- Sabarimala Temple, Kerala, India
- North Aparecida, Brazil
- Sanctuary of Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy
- Cologne Cathedral, Germany
- Lourdes, France
- Tomb of Imam Hussein, Kerbala, Iraq
- Mount Tai, Shandong, China
- Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Italy
- Jasna Gora Sanctuary, Czestochowa, Poland
- Sanctuary of Fatima, Portugal
- Meiji Jingu Temple, Tokyo, Japan
- Mecca, Saudi Arabia
- Jerusalem, Israel
- Varanasi, India
f.- Religious Practices
Many of these popular religious practices are also linked to praying for the dead. For example: visiting cemeteries, celebrating masses for the anniversary of the death of a relative, prayers, or suffrages, are the most popular and practiced by the people of God.
Many people show their devotion or live their religiosity in a different way, that is, they include elements such as candles, flowers, incense, among others, as an offering or thanks to God, the Virgin Mary or their saints for the favors received.
Also, these offerings can be for a promise made, as well as pilgrimage to one of these sacred places to ask or give thanks.
From a more personal or community point of view, the faithful gather to pray the holy rosary or represent the way of the cross.
Those who promote this type of activity belong to brotherhoods, fraternities, associations or religious movements, and of course, the faithful greatly enjoy this type of activity. Some members even participate in the organization.
The manifestations of popular religiosity are and must continue to be a treasure that we must preserve. Some of them are also recognized for having a historical and tourist character, they are even considered intangible heritage of humanity.
Above all, they are manifestations or expressions of the feelings, devotion and faith of a people. It is important to know them and if we share this feeling, practice them.
Part of the task is to value this popular religiosity and promote all those practices that encourage and invite the members of their community and the faithful to follow God, purify themselves, stay always renewed and serve others.
As they say, among all it is simpler, always establishing limits and being clear that the ultimate goal is and must be to follow God’s path, to love ourselves and our neighbor with all our intelligence and heart.
Follow the example of God’s life, cling to and find comfort and strength in his word. Perform actions and think thoughts that honor and glorify him. Serving and helping others is our way of helping God and collaborating in his divine plan.
Popular religiosity must be an instrument for collective evangelization, so that others who do not know God, know him, and those who have strayed from his path return, the Father always forgives us and welcomes us with open arms.
Popular religiosity as a meeting place with Jesus Christ
Pope Francis in his exhortation Evangelii Gaudium offers us a valuable message: We must live our faith as a good shepherd, that is, without judging others and loving without expecting anything in return.
Our attitude towards religiosity must be pious, especially with those less fortunate. Faith, love and devotion towards God and our brothers must be the basis of our religion.
The Catholic Church does not intend to impose itself as the only truth, however, it must establish certain limits so that we do not lose the north and the faith is not affected or influenced by external cults and where pagan gods are worshipped.
However, the Church sometimes makes the mistake of judging with its thousands of prejudices made in favor of the supposed “purity of the faith” and does not consider that popular religiosity is also a reality, although perhaps a little differently, however, It is born as a consequence of the conversion that the Holy Spirit grants us.
Rather, it is important to maintain a balance between the faith of popular culture and the church, obviously following a guideline and seeking to protect those spaces where we can connect and converse with God. Some of the values of popular religiosity are:
- It must be an enriching experience. Faith does not have a right or wrong way, since it is about feeling, which becomes a way of living. This experience has nothing to do with symbols or “aesthetics.”
- It offers us a different perspective of the sacred, the divine and the transcendent.
- Unconditional love and mercy.
- It is born as a product of the history not only of a person, but of the history of an entire people.
- It must be inspired by the life, work and word of God.
- Faithfulness and devotion to God. Some demonstrate it using crucifixes, candles, rosaries, images, among others, in difficult moments, for example, the illness of a child or the death of a relative.
- The magisterium of the Church promotes values and virtues such as: patience, always trusting in God, accepting our daily “crosses” just as Jesus did, assuming our responsibilities, being supportive, pleasing God with our words, thoughts and deeds. Knowing how to ask God for forgiveness and do penance for our sins. Charity, true friendship and family union.
Since popular religiosity is an encounter and intimate communication with God the Father, Pope Paul VI tells us that this religiosity, if oriented in the right way, can represent an enriching experience and a true encounter with God.
The evangelizing force of popular religiosity
Popular piety must be the way in which the people spontaneously feel like spontaneously evangelizing and acting as missionaries. This also constitutes the starting point in the maturation of the Christian people. Some of the values of this evangelizing force are:
This popular religiosity can be a time to meet others and socialize, create joint projects, generate new experiences, get involved with an association, among others.
On the other hand, faith must be an experience full of joy, love and devotion to God. Everything that allows us to unite as a community in order to grow and benefit us all, serve others, must be announced as part of our Christian faith.
Popular religiosity has developed a series of symbolisms that allow faith to be transmitted and, in turn, better understand the impact it generates in our lives. Education through the word and the search for God must be key in our daily lives.
It connects us. Every time we share strong experiences such as: failures, losses, achievements, gratitude, anguish, weakness, doubts, among others, it offers us comfort, since it makes us aware that we are not the only ones going through or have faced such a situation.
It is like a kind of support, where we all listen to each other, motivate us to continue improving and inspire us to also achieve it. It is this shared and enriching experience that gives a new meaning and new perspectives to our lives.
It leads us to think about many things, but especially if until now we have lived the way we wanted, and more importantly, if that has made us happy and fills us with joy. When this does not happen, then we look for that transforming experience, that transcendence and holiness.
The evangelizing force also shows us and guides us on those important experiences of our life, for example, pregnancy, marriage, how to face difficult moments and even death itself.
As human beings, we thirst for God, for that divine source that can do everything, that transcends and goes beyond our understanding; That we live fully and happily is God’s greatest wish for us.
Religiosity is based on songs, images and narrations with a religious character to transmit the teachings of Jesus and reinforce our faith. These are also ways to celebrate and consecrate our faith to God.
Values such as generosity, forgiveness, sacrifice, service to our brothers, learning to be silent and connect with ourselves, sharing, genuine friendship, among others, are promoted.
Religiosity in general terms is also an authentic catechesis, where the service and the Church are for everyone. Through it, we learn about the life, work and word of God, and this inspires us to continue knowing him and invites us to become instruments of God.
The Saints and martyrs have shown us for many years that life on earth as human beings is not simple at all, but with God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit on our side, there is no test from which we cannot be victorious. .
With God as our guide, the loads become lighter and the challenges more bearable. And if we also add the support of the Church, the result is wonderful, a life based on faith.
Popular religiosity is an invitation for each people to reconnect with their religious roots and traditions, and then manifest from the heart.
John Paul II expressed that a faith that is not adopted as part of the culture of a people cannot be called a faith, because it is not accepted as one’s own, much less lived, instead, when it is adopted by the people, it begins to take root and grow in each of the hearts of its faithful.
Popular religiosity integrates the liturgy, faith and ignorance, as well as the conscience, arts, traditions and customs of each people. These are created between the people and the religious representatives of God on earth, the latter considered irreplaceable in this “renewed evangelization.”
In general, lay people organize themselves together with institutions, brotherhoods or societies to serve their people and create spaces where both the religious community and their faithful people participate actively, all united by the same feeling: love and service. goodbye.
While it is true that the manifestation of our faith and love for God are mostly private, in the intimacy of our homes, it is also important that they be expressed publicly, since they strengthen our faith.
Popular religiosity is used on various occasions as a means or a tool that allows us to preserve our own traditions and customs, but also to transmit the teachings of God, strengthen our faith, and invite us to a true conversion.
Expressing and sharing our testimony with others really facilitates the process of evangelization and conversion of our brothers, whether it be those who do not know God or who for various reasons have decided to move away from his path.
When we hear stories from the faithful with great emotion, a kind of shock wave is generated, which results in a massive call to continue listening to more stories and sharing so much joy and happiness.
Their joy is contagious, and in most cases, thousands of hearts can be touched, uniting with the same purpose, sharing the same feelings and communicating the same message: the love of God.
God’s love is so great that it can destroy even the apparently hardest shell, and make us feel the greatest love and devotion for our God the Father. Let us then become missionaries and promote this service in every possible way.
Evangelize popular religion
Although popular religiosity must have limits, it is a clearly authentic act, in which distorted information requires evangelization.
Developing a deep evangelization, which is maintained through the years and generations, is the duty to be as good Christians: to manifest ourselves as God’s people.
Arouse the experience of faith
The origin of religiosity is undoubtedly the experience that faith offers us, which is why we must be careful with our attitudes both internal and external to the Church, careful with our words and deeds and ensure that what we profess is the same that we practice
The manifestation of this popular religiosity has different aspects: cultural, ethical, folkloric, historical, artistic and even aesthetic, that is why we must protect, and even perhaps, guard our traditions, our message as a people, with some suspicion, because these they represent our origins, and in turn, the feeling of what we know as popular piety.
feel with the church
What we know or experience as faith, arises within the very heart of the Church, however, through popular religiosity some aspects of said experience can be overvalued, for example: emotions, tastes or feelings.
To have a true encounter with God we do not need a symbol, a temple, images, or any other, only the disposition of our hearts and our faith and devotion towards God.
The Church, together with the word of God and the sacraments, become signs or samples of faith in these modern times. Serving others should always be part of our daily lives. Do good and do it from the heart.
It is important to promote all those actions that invite us to actively participate in our communities as well as in our churches and serve the poor and less fortunate.
What activities can arise from this sense of belonging to the ecclesial community?
Integrate and couple religiosity in the active life of the parishes to then have a marked ecclesial presence in the community and the people.
It is not only about listening or sharing the word with our brothers but also about putting into practice and applying all these values and principles to our daily lives.
The Christian life is generating new dialogues, as well as knowing how to listen, carry out activities or projects where generosity, celebrations and worship of God are present at all times.
Speaking of popular religiosity, we must highlight and promote relationships between the various houses of God, avoiding sectorization and promoting the union of the faithful in a single Church: the Church of God.
We must always bet on generating brotherhood, that is, that the faithful can join or participate actively with associations or the Church, transforming various spaces into places that allow us to meet, talk and worship God.
The brotherhoods are not cultural or philanthropic groups or societies as is mistakenly believed, on the contrary, they are made up of a number of Christian faithful who fervently desire to live in communion with the Church.
It is important to involve these brotherhoods in the parishes that make up life in our communities, since it is a way of being able to involve the community and make them participate in the sharing of positive and enriching experiences for all, for example, charitable activities.
Life and faith go hand in hand and play an important role in popular religiosity . Christianity should not be a theory but a practice, an experience that allows us to grow personally and spiritually.
It is a commitment that we acquire as Christians with our lives and in the search to work to always please God.
A missionary spirit must be part of popular religiosity and this generates a great impact on the people and on their faith, however, there is a risk of losing the north and focusing more on service, aesthetics or tourism.
Dialogue with believers and non-believers
Dialogue is extremely important within this religiosity, because beyond being believers or not, many interesting debates can be generated, as well as spaces where we all feel involved in one way or another.
Opening our spaces to people who even practice a religion different from ours can be the first step to unite us as a single people of God, in addition to the fact that we can learn from each other and the experience becomes much more enriching.
Respecting diverse opinions, accepting those who think differently or those who have not yet received the gift of faith, is an important first step that we must take together to become a plural and multicultural society.
The need to pastorally accompany popular religiosity
The task of accompanying others, although not easy, must be carried out from the perspective of a shepherd towards his flock, that is, from love and respect, with great patience, being tolerant, and acting with love in our heart.
Just like a shepherd, he must be soft, docile, act with intelligence and not by brute force, in order to get his flock to follow him and not push them. The shepherd is a guide, who with her sweetness leads us to the place she wants.
The shepherds, on some occasions, have abandoned their flock, not from a bad sense, but rejecting popular religiosity and affirming that this is nothing more than an impure and immature expression of faith.
It is there where dialogue must come into play, listening to the other, practicing patience and being humble. When the pastors join their people, they will better understand this whole issue and how important it is for their faithful.
The true work of a pastor is not to change practices or customs of a people, but rather to give them a true meaning, accompany and educate from faith. Feed and strengthen our faith, involve the people of God. This is achieved through charity, liturgy and the word of God.
education in the faith
Although popular religiosity is an authentic manifestation of the faith, it needs to be educated and limits to be established, not to determine the “correct” way to live our faith (since this does not exist), but to avoid lack of awareness, syncretism, excessive subjectivism, among others.
Whether through systematic catechesis, permanent formation, occasional or initiation, the most important thing is that a comprehensive formation is offered that allows the individual to grow not only on a personal level, but also on a spiritual level.
A Christian life implies living according to certain values and virtues, so this type of training turns out to be extremely enriching. Beyond being a pastoral or theoretical formation, it must also be spiritual and experiential, that promotes and invites a true deep and genuine transformation.
Popular religiosity is a catechesis in itself for its faithful and the people of God, however, it is important to make this catechesis participatory, dynamic and motivating, where we freely express our faith. It is, in a certain way, leading us little by little, with patience and love towards a much more mature faith.
On some occasions, popular religiosity can be contaminated or distorted with various elements that have nothing to do with what Catholic doctrine promotes. It is in these cases where little by little and in an unimposed way, we must work on its purification.
It is at this point where patience and prudence must play an important role and exercise their attentive and respectful function of catechesis, eliminating any radical inconsistency that may affect the doctrines offered by the Magisterium of the Church.
Although many people have been baptized, this is not a guarantee that throughout their lives they will remain faithful to God or enjoy following his path, these people may also have lost faith, or face hard times, which have made them your faith is tested.
So they need that something that makes them believe again and find the way back to their Father, to their origin and to themselves, where the center of their life is once again God.
The Bible should be part of every Christian home, because it represents the guide to follow God’s path, too, where we find comfort and strength through God.
Holy Scripture should be a guide that shows us how we should live to please God, to follow his path, and inspire others to follow him.
Popular piety and liturgy
Between popular piety and the liturgy there must be a completely harmonious relationship, where one exists and complements itself through the other and vice versa.
The directory for popular piety and the liturgy must include certain indications and establish certain basic principles, among them, we can highlight:
The Sacred Liturgy cannot be equaled by anything, since it represents a source of life and a path for the Christian. While the sacramental actions are vital to be able to live and follow the path that God has traced for us. Popular piety refers to the experiential, to the experience as such that this path or way of living can generate for us.
We must understand that although popular piety and the liturgy are related and even complement each other, they are different concepts and we must learn to differentiate one from the other.
Both popular piety and liturgy are part of Christian culture, however, they should not be confused, but rather maintain a harmony between them.
The liturgy, for its part, should be that point that allows us to clearly understand the importance of prayer, faith and a life given to God that are related to popular piety.
For its part, popular piety is more like a symbol of expression and the liturgy can bring great dynamism to it so that once and for all the culture of the Church is integrated with the culture generated by the different peoples.
In view of all this, certain actions are proposed, including:
a.- Exercises of Piety
Popular religiosity is often expressed through “exercises of piety”, that is, glorifying God and following his example, in order to enjoy a fully Christian life, to the fullest extent of the word.
Said exercises should, as far as possible, be adjusted to the liturgy and sacred writing, and of course, it is important to respect the languages that are used, as this is a way of respecting the culture of the people you are addressing.
We must continually renew these exercises of piety, harmoniously and authentically, from the heart.
b.- Live authentically
Popular religiosity is something that must be lived with total authenticity, avoiding the utilitarianism offered by religious piety. We must not only express that we love God and he has converted us, but rather demonstrate it with actions being consistent between what we think, say and the way we act.
c.- Strengthening of consciousness
It is important to constantly strengthen our consciousness, nourishing it with the word of God and believing in him, in his promises, resurrection and soon coming to earth.
Popular piety is extremely sensitive to the Father’s love that God offers us, sometimes we mistakenly believe that loving him and talking with him is enough, but in reality, he wants us to show him maturely and clearly our love, our devotion, our dedication. and service.
If the Holy Spirit has worked in us, then let us show humility, surrender, disposition. Let’s help our less fortunate brothers; let us express ourselves with loving, kind and merciful language.
Jesus gave his life for us, but just as he suffered and we suffer with him, we must also celebrate his power, his resurrection and his glory. Let us feel joy because God defeated death.
As faithful and Christians, we must always have a balance between the mysteries of the life of Jesus, the Marian commemoration and celebrations, and our Saints. Our love is infinite, let’s give it to him in a fair way, let’s respect the hierarchy of the mysteries.
Easter should represent our center, our balance, our sadness, but also our joy. Let us celebrate with all the strength of our hearts the resurrection of the Son of God, that glorious moment, where God shows the greatness of his power.
e.- Reconciliation and the Eucharist
The sacraments must motivate us to a conversion from the depths of our being, as well as to reconcile us with the body and blood of Christ Jesus.
The devotion we feel towards God the Father should lead us to receive the Eucharist with full awareness, understanding all that it means and offers us in an apparently symbolic act.
f.- Artistic Expression
Popular piety has a very particular nature, therefore, it needs an artistic expression, that is, that the shepherds invite their people to praise God through rituals, songs, music, expressions, art, among others, which, In turn, they keep our religious culture in good health.
The charity service
Part of the evangelizing mission of the Church is to work and welcome all those who want to know and love God, including those less fortunate, it is their duty as religious and guides of the people of God to be supportive and attentive to the needs of their people.
Religiosity is much more than rituals and prayers, it is also serving others and inspiring more people every day to love God and their brothers.
When faith is manifested but we forget the social mission, then there is no authentic form of popular piety. That is why the Church considers it important to invite her people to participate in the activities not only of the Church, but also of those organized as communities.
Religiosity is much more than knowing all the prayers, rituals, or participating in the celebration of mass, it is being willing to serve others, showing solidarity with those less fortunate, with those who are sick, feel alone or have been abandoned.
The best traditions are those where associations and brotherhoods promote not only the word of God, but also charity and service, love for God, but also love for our brothers. It is important then:
Promote religiosity accompanied by action and social service.
It should be encouraged that popular religiosity has nothing to do with luxuries or material goods, religiosity must be an expression of our hearts, keep us humble, divest ourselves of everything that generates unhealthy ambitions, let us live like Christ, a simple life.
We must sensitize God’s representatives on earth and train them to understand the importance of religiosity accompanied by popular piety.
God constantly invites us to express our faith, both privately and publicly, but the most important thing is not to express our conversion with words, but with deeds, serving him through the help of his people.
Evangelizing others and joyfully sharing the joy of living in a Christian way, in a simple and humble way, just as God did. Let us live our religiosity accompanied by charity, popular piety, community service, giving from the heart.
Let’s take care of our traditions and customs, because they have represented us and manifest our essence.
Hello! Let me enthusiastically introduce myself as a dedicated blogger fueled by an intense passion for meticulously crafting insightful and well-researched blogs. My mission revolves around providing you, dear readers, with a veritable treasure trove of invaluable information.