Two weeks after baptizing her at a Catholic church, baby Adriana’s parents put her in a white gown again for a second sacrament: This time, with Mexico’s skeletal “Death Saint.”

As they held the sleepy three-month-old child, a priestess sprinkled holy water infused with rose petals on her in front of 300 people under a 22-meter (72-foot) statue of the Grim Reaper-like “Santa Muerte” in a Mexico City suburb.

When Pope Francis arrives in Mexico for a five-day visit on Friday, he will find a country where devotion to Santa Muerte is growing fast despite the Vatican’s rejection of the figure as blasphemous.

Every Sunday, a big crowd comes to Enriqueta Vargas’ outdoor temple in Tultitlan to pray in front of the black fiber-glass statue, which was erected in 2007 in a lot and can be seen from a busy boulevard.

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