Papa Legba

 Saint Anthony of Padua: Papa Legba

 In Dominican Vodou, Papa Legba is the cosmic gate keeper as he is in Haitian Vodou. He is saluted first, even though he is not a spirit that usually mounts. He is seen as an old man, in the same manner of Haitian Vodou, and usually wears clothes made out of potato sack material. He is the leader of all the divisions.

He is seen as an old man, hunched over when he arrives in possession. He wears a straw hat and is given a cane to help him walk. He will then be given red wine or tafia and a cigar to smoke. Most people will also give him a brown fula. He speaks in a very low voice and usually does not stay for long. This is because he is a great force and thus a human body cannot sustain him for long periods of time.

Papa Legba is associated with Saint Anthony of Padua. His offerings include hot chocolate, rum, tafia, red wine, and bread. He is given keys to open the doors, a macuto to keep his things in and, sometimes, a cross. Some people also occasionally feed him rice and corn.

Papa Legba is also known to bestow protection upon children. He loves children a lot, just look at St. Anthony! In any of his festivities, one will usually find many children in attendance. Some parents choose to baptize their child under his special protection.

He is known to be a great miracle worker! He is the patron of finding lost items, and many call upon him when they have lost something, a job, a loved one, etc. He is known to find them quickly and then will expect his payment. Many individuals will set his statue upside down in order to further motivate him to find something, by giving him a shove, so to speak.

Another thing you will find at his festivities is a lot of food! He loves to eat, and he also loves to see others eat and enjoy. So whenever there is a feast for St. Anthony we always serve a lot of food to the congregation. There is always a lot of food on his offering table as well.

His feast day is June 13th.


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