From the outset, Cornelius Conover clarifies or amends a somewhat misleading title: this book does not cover all the political uses of the worship of saints in viceregal New Spain and independent Mexico but rather is an important scholarly monograph devoted to Saint Philip of Jesus, the first creole beatified in the New World (then canonized much later, in 1862). In this respect, this book fills a gap, even if the political approach to worship is already well established.

The book, entirely structured around the figure of Saint Philip of Jesus, begins by recalling the paradoxical nature of this first beatified person of the Americas. The son of a merchant engaged in trade with the Philippines, Felipe de las Casas (or Felipe de Jesus, the name he adopted when he became a Franciscan) excelled neither in virtues nor in miracles. In a...

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