Our Lady of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe), also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe (Spanish: Virgen de Guadalupe), is a title of the Virgin Mary associated with a celebrated pictorial image housed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in México City.
Official Catholic accounts state that on the morning of December 12, 1531, Juan Diego saw an apparition of a young girl at the Hill of Tepeyac, near Mexico City. Speaking to him in Nahuatl, the girl asked that a church be built at that site in her honor; from her words, Juan Diego recognized the girl as the Virgin Mary.
Diego told his story to the Spanish Archbishop of Mexico City, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, who instructed him to return to Tepeyac Hill, and ask the “lady” for a miraculous sign to prove her identity. The first sign was the Virgin healing Juan’s uncle. The Virgin told Juan Diego to gather flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill.
Although December was very late in the growing season for flowers to bloom, Juan Diego found Castilian roses, not native to Mexico, on the normally barren hilltop. The Virgin arranged these in his peasant cloak or tilma. When Juan Diego opened his cloak before Bishop Zumárraga on December 12, the flowers fell to the floor, and on the fabric was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Juan Diego was canonized in 2002, and his tilma is displayed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the most visited Marian shrine in the world. The representation of the Virgin on the tilma is Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural image, and under this title the Virgin has been acclaimed as “Queen of Mexico“, “Patroness of the Americas“, “Empress of Latin America“, and “Protectress of Unborn Children” (the latter three given by Pope John Paul II in 1999).
|Our Lady of Guadalupe|
|Location||Tepeyac Hill, Mexico City|
|Date||12 December 1531|
|Witness||Saint Juan Diego|
|Holy See approval||25 May 1754, during the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XIV|
|Shrine||Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Tepeyac Hill, Mexico City, Mexico.|
In the earliest account of the apparition, the Nican Mopohua, written in the Nahuatl language around 1556, the Virgin Mary tells Juan Bernardino, the uncle of Juan Diego, that the image left on the tilma is to be known by the name “the Perfect Virgin, Holy Mary of Guadalupe.”
Scholars do not have a consensus as to how the name “Guadalupe” was ascribed to the image. Some believe that the Spanish transcribed or transliterated a Nahuatl name, as the site had long been an important sacred spot. The second is that the Spanish name Guadalupe, like the Spanish Our Lady of Guadalupe, Extremadura, is the original name.
The first theory to promote a Nahuatl origin was that of Luis Becerra Tanco. In his 1675 work Felicidad de Mexico, Becerra Tanco claimed that Juan Bernardino and Juan Diego would not have been able to understand the name Guadalupe because the “d” and “g” sounds do not exist in Nahuatl. He proposed two Nahuatl alternative names that sound similar to “Guadalupe”, Tecuatlanopeuh [tekʷat͡ɬaˈnopeʍ], “she whose origins were in the rocky summit”, and Tecuantlaxopeuh [tekʷant͡ɬaˈʃopeʍ], “she who banishes those who devoured us.”
Ondina and Justo Gonzalez suggest that the name is a Spanish version of the Nahuatl term, Coātlaxopeuh [koaːt͡ɬaˈʃopeʍ], meaning “the one who crushes the serpent,” and that it may be referring to the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl. In addition, Mary was portrayed in European art as crushing the serpent of the Garden of Eden.
The theory promoting the Spanish language origin of the name claims that:
- Juan Diego and Juan Bernardino would have been familiar with the Spanish language “g” and “d” sounds since their baptismal names contain those sounds.
- There is no documentation of any other name for the Virgin during the almost 144 years between the apparition being recorded in 1531 and Becerra Tanco’s proposed theory in 1675.
- Documents written by contemporary Spaniards and Franciscan friars argue that for the name to be changed to a native name, such as Tepeaca or Tepeaquilla, would not make sense if a Nahuatl name were already in use, and suggest the Spanish Guadalupe was the original.
Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12
Missionaries who first came to Mexico with the conquistadors had little success in the beginning. After nearly a generation, only a few hundred Native Mexicans had converted to the Christian faith. Whether they simply did not understand what the missionaries had to offer or whether they resented these people who made them slaves, Christianity was not popular among the native people.
Then in 1531 miracles began to happen. Jesus’ own mother appeared to humble Juan Diego. The signs — of the roses, of the uncle miraculously cured of a deadly illness, and especially of her beautiful image on Juan’s mantle — convinced the people there was something to be considered in Christianity. Within a short time, six million Native Mexicans had themselves baptized as Christians.
The first lesson is that God has chosen Mary to lead us to Jesus. No matter what critics may say of the devotion of Mexicans (and Mexican descendants) to Our Lady of Guadalupe, they owe their Christianity to her influence. If it were not for her, they would not know her son, and so they are eternally grateful. The second lesson we take from Mary herself. Mary appeared to Juan Diego not as a European Madonna but as a beautiful Aztec princess speaking to him in his own Aztec language.
If we want to help someone appreciate the gospel we bring, we must appreciate the culture and the mentality in which they live their lives. By understanding them, we can help them to understand and know Christ. Our Lady of Guadalupe is patron of the Americas.
Symbol of Mexico
Flag carried by Miguel Hidalgo and his insurgent army
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is recognized as a symbol of Catholic Mexicans. Miguel Sánchez, the author of the first Spanish language account of the vision, identified Guadalupe as Revelation’s Woman of the Apocalypse, and said:
“…this New World has been won and conquered by the hand of the Virgin Mary … [who had] prepared, disposed, and contrived her exquisite likeness in this her Mexican land, which was conquered for such a glorious purpose, won that there should appear so Mexican an image.”[page needed]
Throughout the Mexican national history of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Guadalupan name and image have been unifying national symbols; the first President of Mexico (1824–29) changed his name from José Miguel Ramón Adaucto Fernández y Félix to Guadalupe Victoria in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Father Miguel Hidalgo, in the Mexican War of Independence (1810), and Emiliano Zapata, in the Mexican Revolution (1910), led their respective armed forces with Guadalupan flags emblazoned with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Our Lady Of Guadalupe
Uploaded on Mar 22, 2008
in 1531 on December 9 Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego.
Here is the story.
We ALL are ONE!!!