[quote="Holly3278, post:1, topic:301499"]
Hey everyone. I found a Catholic prayer candle at a grocery store where they sell some Mexican goods and it was one that I had never seen before but I thought it was interesting so I buoght it. On the front it says "The Powerful Hand" and in Spanish below it says "La Mano Poderosa". On the back it has one prayer in Spanish and one in English. Here is the English prayer:
Lord Jesus, you have extended your powerful hand to the blind and the deaf, to the crippled and to lepers, and those who were considered to be sinners. I call on you to extend your hand to me and to all those for whom I pray. Streams of blood flowed from the wound in your hand to wash away the sins of human kind. May your merciful hand forgive my sins and guide me as I journey in faith. May your powerful hand lead me to the Glory of God.
So, does anyone have any information about this devotion? I am really confused. I've never heard of it before.
AFAIK it's a Mexican folk devotion to, well, the Hand of God. And of quite some vintage: I've seen retablo from I believe the 19th century of the image (hand with stigmata, Holy Family). A bit odd as it may sound to many of us, I don't think that it's too different from the veneration of, say, the Sacred Heart or the Holy Face or any other of Jesus' body parts or items like the Crown of Thorns or the Cross (as someone had pointed out).
Yes, the image is used often in folk magic or occultic stuff, but as Lily had said, just because something sacred is co-opted for questionable purposes does not necessarily make it evil. Santeria and Vodou identify Christian icons with African deities in a syncretistic sort of way, but that doesn't mean we should stop using images or venerating the saints. Are we to reject Mary just because Our Lady of Czestochowa is identified with Erzulie Dantor? Seriously, this is just the same old 'pagans used X, therefore X is evil' argument (a staple of anti-Catholic rhetoric) in a different set of clothes. I don't see why we couldn't 'reclaim' this image in true Catholic fashion. :shrug:
P.S. I actually have a small picture of it in my room. Not really a devotee of this particular devotion per se, but I like the image's symbolism. ;)