Our lady of guadalupe
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Our Lady of Guadalupe. Fig. 1: Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Legend. In December 1531, Juan Diego, a Christianized Aztec, reported to Bishop Zumárragga that he was visited three times by a woman who identified herself as the ever virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Our lady of guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Fig. 1: Our Lady of Guadalupe


The legend

The Legend

In December 1531, Juan Diego, a Christianized Aztec, reported to Bishop Zumrragga that he was visited three times by a woman who identified herself as the ever virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God.

Fig. 2: Francisco Carden, Juan Diego


Our lady of guadalupe

The woman had told Juan, whose Aztec name meant talking eagle, that she was to be called Guadalupe, and that she was the mother of the people of this new land. She would protect them, she assured Juan, and keep them in her shadow.

Unlike the pale Virgin of the Spaniards, this Virgin had dark brown skin; skin as brown as that of the people she vowed to protect.


Our lady of guadalupe

The Bishop did not believe Juan and demanded a sign as proof.

The woman in the visions instructed Juan to take the roses he would find on top of a mountain to the Bishop as a sign that she was the mother of God.

Fig. 3: Guadalupe and Juan


Our lady of guadalupe

When Juan opened his tilma to show the flowers to the Bishop, an image of Guadalupe was revealed.

Fig. 4: Juan Diego and tilma


Our lady of guadalupe

When the Bishop saw the image on the tilma, he fell to his knees in awe and worship. He would later order that a temple to Guadalupe, per her request, be built on Mt. Tepeyac, the site of the visitation.

Fig. 5: The Bishop and Juan Diego


Our lady of guadalupe

Fig. 6: Maximo Cerezo, Pilgrims in Mexico City

Nine million people would convert to Catholicism within seven years of the visions, as they came to claim Guadalupe as their mother and protector.

This is compared to the four million who had converted in the previous twelve years.


Our lady of guadalupe

It is easy to see why the Mexican Episcopate stated that "The Guadalupe Event meant the beginning of evangelization with a vitality that surpassed allexpectations.

Christ's message, through his Mother, took up the central elements of the indigenous culture, purified them and gave them the definitive sense of salvation.


Our lady of guadalupe

Consequently Guadalupe and Juan Diego have a deep ecclesial and missionary meaning and are a model of perfectly inculturated evangelization(Solidarity Institute).


Sons of guadalupe revolution and battling virgins

Sons of Guadalupe, Revolution, and Battling Virgins

Around 1648, Mesitzos and Criollos, those of mixed Spanish and Indigenous blood, who were treated as unequal and severely discriminated against by the Spanish government which controlled Mexico, began to call themselves los hijos de la Virgen de Guadalupe (sons of the Virgin of Guadalupe). They began to demand independence from Spain and to call for revolution.


Our lady of guadalupe

In 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Criollo Catholic priest, would start the first Mexican Revolution with the cry "Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe and death to the gachupines! (a term used to refer to the Spaniards)

Fig. 7: Father Hidalgo


Our lady of guadalupe

He would led the people into battle under the banner of Guadalupe.

Fig. 8: Banner ofGuadalupe


Our lady of guadalupe

The Federal Army would fight under the banner of another version of Mary,

La Virgen de Remedios.

Fig. 9: La Virgen de Remedios


Our lady of guadalupe

At one point in the conflict, the Federal troops even accused Guadalupe of being a traitor and executed her in effigy in front of a firing squad.

Fig. 10: Firing Squad


Our lady of guadalupe

Once the wars were over and independence was achieved, the first president of Mexico, Manuel Felix Fernndez, was installed in April of 1824. After taking office, he officially changed his name to Guadalupe Victoria (Guadalupe is victorious).


Guadalupe s legacy

Guadalupes Legacy

In 1754, Pope Benedict XIV declared that Guadalupe was indeed a unique blessing from God to the Mexican people, and that God has not done in like manner to every nation (Poole 2).


Our lady of guadalupe

In 1945, Pope Pius XII officially declared Our Lady of Guadalupe to be the Patroness of the Americas and mandated that all Catholic Churches in the Americas, from Canada to South America, honor and observe her feast day, December 12th.


Our lady of guadalupe

Today, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City is the second most visited holy site in the world with around 15 million visitors a year. It is second only to the Vatican.

Fig. 11: Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe


Our lady of guadalupe

Each year, on her feast day, between two and three million pilgrims gather to offer prayers and to worship in front of what the Church claims is Juan Diegos actual tilma which hangs behind the pulpit.

Fig. 12 The altar area of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe


Our lady of guadalupe

Fig. 14: Aztec Dancers at the Canonization Ceremony II

On July 31st, 2002, Pope John Paul II canonized Juan Diego in a ceremony that blended aspects of Catholicism and elements of the Indigenous religion.

Fig. 13: Aztec Dancers at the Canonization Ceremony


Our lady of guadalupe

In his speech that day, Pope John Paul II called on Juan Diego, "the talking eagle"! To Show us the way that leads to the "Dark Virgin" of Tepeyac[for] she is the loving, compassionate Mother who guides us to the true God. (Pope John Paul II, Solidarity Institute)


Works cited

Works cited

  • Poole, Stafford, C.M., Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Origins and Sources of a Mexican National Symbol, 1531-1797, (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1996).

  • Pope John Paul, Homily for St. Juan Diego, as quoted in Solidarity Institute, July 1, 2002 <http://www.solidarityinstitute.org/ faith/newsdet.asp?idnews=185>.

  • Solidarity Institute, July 1, 2002 <http://www.solidarityinstitute.org/ faith/newsdet.asp?idnews=185>.


Image credits

Image Credits

  • Fig. 1: Our Lady of Guadalupe. 1 October 2003. <http://www.sancta.org/cgi/ display.nor?image=imagen_pic_300w.jpg>.

  • Fig. 2: Carden, Francisco. Juan Diego. 1777. 5 October 2003. <http://www.proyectoguadalupe.com/iconos2.html>.

  • Fig. 3: Guadalupe and Juan. <http://www.shjolg.com/>.

  • Fig. 4: Juan Diego and tilma. 5 October 2003. <http://www.sancta.org/ cgi/display.nor?image=juandiego.jpg>.

  • Fig. 5: The Bishop and Juan Diego. <http://www.shjolg.com/>.

  • Fig. 6: Cerezo, Maximo. Pilgrims in Mexico City.<http://www.stpaulchgo.org/ diarydec/english/00000003.htm>.

  • Fig. 7: Father Hidalgo: 5 October 2003. <http://www.tareasya.com/ laminarios/Hidalgo-a.gif>.

  • Fig. 8: Banner of Guadalupe: 5 October 2003. <http://www.proyectoguadalupe.com/ iconos2.html>.

  • Fig. 9: La Virgen de Remedios: 1 October 2003. <http://www.cobosdesegovia.com>.


Our lady of guadalupe

  • Fig. 10: Firing Squad. British Military History. 5 October 2003. <http://www.rfc-rnas-raf-register.org.uk/BritishMilitaryUniformIdentificationService.htm>.

  • Figure 11: Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. 5 October 2003. <http:// www.sancta.org/ basilica.html>.

  • Fig. 12: The altar area of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe showing the Mexican flag hung beneath the framed image of Guadalupe. 2 Februrary 2002. <http://www.sancta.org>.

  • Fig. 13: Aztec Dancers at Canonization Ceremony. 3 August 2002. <http://www.sancta.org>.

  • Fig. 14: Aztec Dancers at Canonization Ceremony II. 3 August 2002. <http://www.sancta.org>.


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