Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe. Read who she is and the history of the apparitions of who is also known as the Virgin Mary in Mexico and Latin America.
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Mexico is a country where 83% of the population is catholic, and where Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most important symbol. However, nowadays the figure and symbol of the Virgin are widely extended in whole Latin-America, and in recent years across Canada and the USA.

Why is Our Lady of Guadalupe so important?

Like Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Lourdes represent the Virgin Mary in Portugal and Francia, Our Lady de Guadalupe represents the Virgin Mary in Mexico and Latin América.

Virgen of Guadalupe

However, throughout the years as a manner of showing devotion and love, people have called Our Lady of Guadalupe by different names. The following are some examples:

  • La Virgen María.
  • La Guadalupana.
  • La Virgen Morena.
  • La Virgen del Tepeyac
  • La Patrona de México y de América.
  • Virgen Santa María de Guadalupe.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Story

It is written that the Virgin appeared 4 times between December 9 and 12, 1531. Juan Diego, whose original name was Cuauhtlatoatzin, of Aztec roots, 57 years old, and already converted to Christianity, was chosen by the Guadalupana for her appearances. Consequently, Juan Diego is the only person who physically saw the Virgin Mary.

The Origin of the Name

There are 2 widely accepted beliefs about the origin of the name Guadalupe. The first belief is of Nahuatl origin, and the second is of Spanish origin.

According to the Nahuatl origin, Guadalupe’s name would come from the Nahuatl word “Coatlaxopeuh,” which is pronounced “quatlasupe,” very similar to the word Guadalupe in Spanish. However, it is also believed that the Spanish named it that way to venerate the Virgin Guadalupe, who was already praised in Extremadura Spain at that time.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Apparition

The Virgin appeared on the hill of Tepeyac, hence her name of the Virgin of Tepeyac. The Tepeyac hill is located in the northeastern part of Mexico City, also known as La Villa.

On the hill of Tepeyac, the sanctuary to the Virgin of Guadalupe was built, today is known as the Basilica of Guadalupe or La Villa.

Basilica of Guadalupe, Mexico City.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

The Basilica of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic center in America and the second most visited in the world. The number of visitors received is only exceeded by those who arrive each year at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

December 12, the day of its fourth appearance, is officially a public holiday in Mexico. You don’t work, you don’t go to school, people serenade the Virgen Morena and there are masses and celebrations throughout Mexico.

The Basilica of Guadalupe receives more than 7 million pilgrims between December 11 and 12. Many of them arrive on foot and come from different parts of the Mexican Republic.

It is estimated that more than 20 million faithful from all over the world visits the Basilica of Guadalupe and the Virgen Morena annually. Among the faithful are artists, politicians, athletes and anyone who has something to thank the Virgin.

The president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation brought the World Cup to the Virgin of Guadalupe as a form of gratitude after winning the world championship in 2010.

Scientists, researchers and even people from NASA have tried to decipher the painting technique of the Virgin of Tepeyac.

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