Prospect-Lefferts

On fire! If votive candles were votes, Liz Warren would win

August 30, 2019 Lore Croghan

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is trending in Brooklyn — as a votive candle.

Sales of $14 candles that depict the Democratic Presidential primary candidate as a Catholic saint are surging at a Prospect Lefferts Gardens gift shop called Awesome Brooklyn. “She came from worst to first,” store owner Vanessa Raptopoulos told the Brooklyn Eagle.

By rising to top-selling “saint” at Awesome Brooklyn, Warren — or her candle, at least — has beaten U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is also featured on a prayer candle.

If votive candles were votes, Elizabeth Warren would win the Democratic Presidential nomination. AP photo/Chris Carlson
If votive candles were votes, Elizabeth Warren would win the Democratic Presidential nomination. AP photo/Chris Carlson

Warren, wearing a smile and her customary frameless glasses, appears on the glass holder of her devotional candle with a crown and halo around her head, wearing a belted robe and a cape. “Saint” Elizabeth points to her heart, which is ringed with a wreath of roses, pierced by a sword, surrounded by rays of light and topped with flames. In Catholic iconography, this is the Immaculate Heart of Mary, an image associated with the mother of Jesus Christ.

Actual prayer candles are a traditional element of Latin American and Caribbean Catholic rituals. The fake ones, depicting politicians, feminists and celebrities, are popular but have led to debate about whether they’re cultural appropriation or parody art.

A votive candle featuring Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren (second from left) is the top-seller among a feminist-friendly lineup of votive candles at gift shop Awesome Brooklyn. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan
A votive candle featuring Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren (second from left) is the top seller among a feminist-friendly lineup of votive candles at gift shop Awesome Brooklyn. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

The Massachusetts senator’s candle has pulled ahead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is featured on two different prayer-candle designs at the Flatbush Avenue store. Warren’s also ahead of candles depicting former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama and talk-show superstar Oprah Winfrey.

Her candle is even more popular than that of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It’s besting one graced by artist Frida Kahlo, who was the subject of a heavily attended exhibition at the nearby Brooklyn Museum earlier this year.

The unscented 8-inch-high candles are made by Illuminidol, a small business based in Austin, Texas.

The Warren campaign did not respond to a request for comment about the popularity of devotional candles bearing her image.

Follow reporter Lore Croghan on Twitter.

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