Babalu Aye; Santeria and the Lord of Pestilence
by Raul Canizares
Babalu give his devotees means to survive.
Ulli Beier, a seasoned scholar and poet of Yoruba Culture, Elaborates on this point: "Sakpata (Babalu) is the god of suffering.
He teaches his worshippers to cope with misfortunes (particularly disease). If Sakpata strikes a man with smallpox, it is because he wants to establish a very close relationship with that person.
Only the man who is not mature enough or strong enough will die of the disease.
For the worthy person it is like an initiation: a death and resurrection into a mature, richer life."