The José Movement: A new phenomenon in Cuban spiritualism

Maria Isabel Morales, Florida International University


Rather than focus on the Afro-Catholic syncretism in Santeria, which other scholars have explored extensively, this thesis treats a related but relatively obscure area of study: a syncretic religious movement that arose in Havana, Cuba in the second half of the twentieth century. The José Movement revolves around the belief in José, a spirit who communicated with people through an acclaimed medium named Leocadia Pérez. Since Pérez's death in 1962, however, the legacy of José has not only spread to Miami among the exile Cuban community, but it has taken on a new direction in Cuba. Given the scarcity of literary sources that contain references to José or Leocadia, the principal methodology used in this investigation is based on oral accounts of those who met and/or knew the leaders, as well as on field observations of those who continue to venerate the spiritual forces these charismatic figures reflect.

Subject Area

Religion|Folklore|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Morales, Maria Isabel, "The José Movement: A new phenomenon in Cuban spiritualism" (2001). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI1406255.