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Anima Sola

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Anima Sola, the lonely soul, is depicted in a Mexican Folk Catholic religious print, freed from her chains in the flames of Purgatory
Anima Sola, the lonely soul, is depicted in a Mexican Folk Catholic religious print, freed from her chains in the flames of Purgatory

Anima Sola, which literally means "lone soul" or "lonely soul," is an image of a soul in Purgatory, usually depicted as a woman in broken chains standing amidst flames, looking upward with gratitude and relief. Although not a canonized catholic Church Saint, the Anima Sola is closely associated with Our Lady of Mount Carmel, who has promised a speedy release from Purgatory to all who wear the brown scapular. Conventional Catholics view her as an exemplar of those whom The Virgin Mary will succor, but Folk Catholic practitioners and devotees work with this figure as a discrete saint or spirit, offering prayers and petitions to her, and seeking her aid.

Hoodoo conjure doctors and spiritual practitioners who work with the Anima Sola may call on her for help with release from suffering and pain, and for help with shortening the stay of loved ones in Purgatory or in jail.

By a sort of topsy-turvy method of reasoning, she may also be called on by some practitioners to visit suffering on lovers who have betrayed their partners, to bring revenge on enemies, and to condemn to Purgatory those who have died after having committed a mortal sin.

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