Babalú Aye revisited

In honor of Saint Lazarus, here is one of my favorite posts from the Babalú archive penned by founding editor and the heart of Babalú, Valentín “El Machete” Prieto.  It’s from early Babalú, make sure you read the comments, as our posts are only half of the story, the rest being from our readers–our partners in the fight to educate others about the real Cuba in all its multifaceted glory.

From the Babalú archive, enjoy.


Today, December 17th, is Babalu Aye day in the Afro-Cuban religion. Babalu Aye is the Orisha name for St. Lazarus, who is commonly referred to as the father of the world.

  Many Cubans hold a vigil starting the night of December 16th. They get together and light candles and make offerings to Babalu Aye and wait for him to arrive at midnight. Come midnight they ask for San Lazaro to watch over them and keep them and their families safe and healthy.

I am not an overtly religious person but one of the two items of jewelry I wear – the other being my wedding ring – is a gold medallion of the image above that my grandfather gave me before he passed away. And to be completely honest, sometimes I really do feel like someone’s watching over me and protecting me. Gracias, Primo.

The song made famous by Desi Arnaz – and the reason for this blog’s name – is actually a tribute to San Lazaro, Babalu Aye.

Gracias, Viejo.

Posted by Val Prieto at December 17, 2004 06:36 AM

4 thoughts on “Babalú Aye revisited”

  1. Honey – You met my father on the NR cruise. He really enjoyed speaking with you. He was one of the two Cubans on the cruise. Bald with a round head from Coral Gables. I hope you had a nice time.

  2. lamayor,
    Yes, I did. What a charming man he is. He would be a perfect ambassador to win over people to the Cuban side. I very much enjoyed meeting him and I have already corresponded with him.

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