Despite his canonization in , there is no hard evidence St. Juan Diego ever existed. In fact, at the time of the controversial canonization the abbot of the basilica, Guillermo Schulenberg, resigned, claiming that Juan Diego had never existed and "is only a symbol. Art historians have discovered that depictions of the Virgin's skin color have become progressively darker.
Artistic renditions of Guadalupe became noticeably darker on the heels of the Mexican Revolution , which led to the exaltation of the mixed-race mestizo as the new model of Mexicanness. Mexico's independence from Spain in transformed her into the national patroness.
Independence leader Father Miguel Hidalgo launched the campaign for independence with the battle cry "Death to the Spaniards and long live the Virgin of Guadalupe! La Morena remained relatively unchanged in artistic renditions until as recently as the s. A bare-breasted Guadalupe created by artist Paz Winshtein was the object of considerable controversy when it was displayed at a gallery in Santa Fe, N. The etymology of her name is the subject of considerable debate. Some linguists and historians point to Nahuatl origins while others, more convincingly, remind us that the name "Guadalupe" already existed in Spain, and thus we should look there for its etymological genesis.
There is little doubt that the prefix "Guada" comes from the Arabic "wadi," or river valley. The jury, however, remains out on "lupe," which many assert comes from the Spanish "lobo" "lupus" in Latin , or wolf. Guadalupe was an integral part of the Mexican Revolution Fighting under the slogan "land and liberty," revolutionary peasant leader Emiliano Zapata and his fighters carried the Mestiza Virgin on banners into battle against Mexican oligarchs.
Some Zapatista guerrillas carried on the tradition during their uprising in in the southern state of Chiapas. Two decades later another "expert" not only confirmed the presence of the original bearded man but also claimed to see it in both her eyes. Since then, the "secret of her eyes" has expanded to include images of an entire family supposedly visible in both of her pupils.
For believers, the images are reflections of what Guadalupe saw when she appeared almost five centuries ago to St. Juan Diego. The tilma upon which the Virgin's image is imprinted is held to be miraculous by devotees. Some scientists claim an absence of brush strokes on the cloak while others report that the coloration contains no animal or mineral elements. Perhaps the most spectacular miracle, according to devotees, is the tilma emerging unscathed from a bomb blast.
The blast destroyed a marble rail, twisted a metal crucifix and shattered windows throughout the old basilica but the tilma itself was untouched. Andrew Chesnut is a professor of religious studies and holds the Bishop Walter F. Your source for jobs, books, retreats, and much more. Short Cuts Comments. Our Lady of Guadalupe High School. Feastday: December 12 Patron of the Americas. Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great!
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Services Products and services we offer. Education Learn the Catholic way. Socials Connect with us online. The climax of these ritual killings came in for the dedication of the new, and richly decorated with serpents, temple of Huitzilopochtli, in Tenochtitlan now Mexico City , when in a single ceremony that lasted for four days and four nights, with the constant beating of giant drums made of snakeskin, the Aztec ruler and demon worshiper Tlacaellel presided over the sacrifice of more than 80, men.
Today, the ancient serpent is certainly achieving big hits in its attack upon human life. Millions of unborn children are killed every year around the globe, in procedures that in some countries are not only legal but are also officially supported and financed. This is why Our Lady of Guadalupe has been chosen by the Church as the Protectress of the Unborn, to put an end to abortions. The present Basilica of Guadalupe was constructed on the site of an earlier 16th-century church that was finished in , the Old Basilica.
When this basilica became dangerous, due to the sinking of its foundations, a modern structure called the New Basilica was built nearby, between and ; the original image of the Virgin of Guadalupe is now housed in this New Basilica. An incredible list of miracles, cures, and interventions are attributed to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Yearly, an estimated 10 million visit Her Basilica, making Her Mexico City home the most popular Marian shrine in the world, and the most visited Catholic church in the world next to the Vatican.
He was a gifted member of the Chichimeca people. He devoted himself to hard work in the fields and to manufacturing mats. He owned a piece of land and a small house on it. He was happily married but had no children. Between and , he was converted and baptized, as well as his wife, receiving the Christian name of Juan Diego, and his wife, the name of Maria Lucia. His wife, Maria Lucia, became sick and died in Juan Diego then moved to live with his uncle Juan Bernardino in Tolpetlac, which was closer 9 miles to the church in Tlatelolco-Tenochtitlan.
He walked every Saturday and Sunday many miles to church, departing early in the morning, before dawn, to be on time for Mass and religious-instruction classes. He walked on naked feet, like all the people of his class, the Macehualli. Only the higher social classes of the Aztecs wore cactlis, or sandals, made with vegetal fibres or leather. He used to wear, in those chilly mornings, a coarse-woven cactus cloth as a mantle, a tilma or ayate made with fibres from the maguey cactus.
Cotton was only used by the upper Aztec classes. During one of this walks to Tenochtitlan, which used to take about three-and-a-half hours between villages and mountains, the first Apparition occurred, on December 9, He was 57 years old, certainly an old age in a time and place where the male-life expectancy was barely above After the Miracle of Guadalupe, Juan Diego moved to a room attached to the chapel that housed the sacred image, after having given his business and property to his uncle.
He spent the rest of his life propagating the account of the Apparitions to his countrymen. He died on May 30, , at the age of Juan Diego deeply loved the Holy Eucharist, and by special permission of the Bishop, he received Holy Communion three times a week, a highly unusual occurrence in those times.
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On December 9, , a Saturday, just before dawn, Juan Diego was on his way to pursue divine worship and to engage in his own errands. As he reached the base of the hill known as Tepeyac, the break of day came, and he heard singing atop the hill, resembling the singing of varied beautiful birds. Occasionally the voices of the songsters would cease, and it appeared as if the mount responded.
The song, very mellow and delightful, excelled that of pretty-singing birds. Maybe I am dreaming. Am I awake? Where am I? Am I now in the terrestrial Paradise which our elders had told us about?
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Perhaps I am now in Heaven? He was looking toward the east, on top of the mound, from whence came the precious celestial chant, and then it suddenly ceased, and there was silence. He was not frightened in the least; on the contrary, he was overjoyed! Then he climbed the hill, to see by whom he was being called. When he reached the summit, he saw a Lady, who was standing there, and who told him to come hither. Approaching Her presence, he marveled greatly at Her superhuman grandeur.
Her garments were shining like the sun, the cliff where She rested Her feet, pierced with glitter, resembling an anklet of precious stones, and the earth sparkled like the rainbow. The mezquites, nopales, and other different weeds which grow there appeared like emeralds, their foliage like turquoise, and their branches and thorns glistened like gold. He bowed before Her and heard Her words, tender and courteous, like someone who charms and esteems you highly. I wish that a temple be erected here quickly, so I may therein exhibit and give all My love, compassion, help, and protection, because I am your merciful mother, to you and to all the inhabitants on this land and all the rest who love Me, invoke and confide in Me, to listen there to their lamentations, and remedy all their miseries, afflictions and sorrows.
And to accomplish what My clemency pretends, go to the palace of the Bishop of Mexico, and you will say to him that I manifest My great desire, that here on this plain, a temple be built to Me. You will accurately relate all you have seen and admired, and what you have heard.
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Be assured that I will be most grateful and will reward you, because I will make you happy and worthy of recompense for the effort and fatigue in what you will obtain for what I have entrusted. Behold, you have heard My mandate, My humble son; go and put forth all your effort. Having entered the city, and without delay, Juan Diego went straight to the Bishop's palace, who was the recently arrived prelate named Father Juan de Zumarraga, a Franciscan religious.
On arrival, he endeavored to see him; he pleaded with the servants to announce him; and after a long wait, he was called and advised that the Bishop had ordered his admission. As he entered, he bowed, and on bended knees before him, he then delivered the message from the Lady from Heaven; he also told him all he had admired, seen, and heard. After having heard his chat and message, it seemed incredible.
I will review it from the beginning, and will give thought to the wishes and desires for which you have come. He returned on the same day. He came directly to the top of the hill, met the Lady from Heaven, who was awaiting him, in the same spot where he saw Her the first time. With difficulty I entered the prelate's study. I saw him and exposed Your message, just as You had instructed me. He received me benevolently and listened attentively, but when he replied, it appeared that he did not believe me.
I perfectly understood by the manner in which he replied that he believes it to be an invention of mine — that You wish that a temple be built here to You, and that it is not Your order.