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.
Fig. 1: Our Lady of Guadalupe
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.
Fig. 2: Francisco Carden, Juan Diego
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.
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
Fig. 4: Juan Diego and tilma
Fig. 5: The Bishop and Juan Diego
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.
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.
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.
Fig. 7: Father Hidalgo
Fig. 8: Banner ofGuadalupe
La Virgen de Remedios.
Fig. 9: La Virgen de Remedios
Fig. 10: Firing Squad
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).
Fig. 11: Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Fig. 12 The altar area of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
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