Lady of Guadalupe
Who is the Lady of Guadalupe? Were the apparitions of Mary at Guadalupe real?
In Catholicism, Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico, pictured as a woman in a blue mantle. Her hands are folded, her eyes are cast downward, and she is surrounded by a radiant glow. She is standing on a crescent moon supported by an angel underneath. This image is based on a series of five supposed appearances of thhe Virgin Mary in Mexico in the sixteenth century.
There are many different accounts of the Lady of Guadalupe, but what follows are the aspects of the story that appear most consistently. On December 9, 1531, a man named Juan Diego, an Aztec convert to Catholicism, was walking on Tepeyac Hill near Mexico City when he saw an apparition. Before him was a young Aztec girl. In the native Nahuatl language, the girl requested that a church be built on that hill in her honor. According to Diego, the girl was the Virgin Mary. When Diego told his story to the archbishop of Mexico City, Diego was instructed to return to the hill and ask for a sign to prove that she was indeed the Blessed Virgin.
When Diego returned to the place, the same girl appeared again and instructed him to gather flowers from the hill. The hill was normally barren, but at this time Diego found Castilian roses, which are not native to Mexico. The girl took the roses and placed them in Juan Diego’s cloak. When Diego returned to the archbishop and opened his cloak, the flowers fell to the ground. To their amazement, the inside of the cloak bore an image of the girl. Diego claimed he was visited by the girl three more times. She is now known as the Virgin of Guadalupe. The image imprinted in Diego’s cloak is on display now in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
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