GRAND-RIVIÈRE-DU-NORD, Haiti — A majority of people came bearing bouquets of pink roses as gifts. One woman arrived bearing a stalk of plantains in a kivèt sitting atop her head. In between these two items Wednesday, others also brought an array of everyday essentials and fanciful presents during the procession of offerings at the Sainte Rose de Lima church for the Catholic patron saint’s annual feast in this northern town.

One man who identified himself only as Stevenson was among those in line to give dozens of items to  the church. Holding a bunch of pink flowers, the Vodou practitioner explained that he’s married to the lwa Erzulie Freda, the Vodou counterpart of Sainte-Rose-de-Lima, through a mystical marriage.

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