The basilica is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world, and the world's third most-visited sacred site. Catholic accounts claim that the Virgin Mary appeared four times before Juan Diego and once more before Juan Diego's uncle. According to those Catholic version accounts, the first apparition occurred on the morning of December 9, , when it is said that a native Mexican peasant named Juan Diego experienced a vision of a young woman at a place called the Hill of Tepeyac , which would become part of Villa de Guadalupe , in a suburb of Mexico City. According to the accounts, the woman, speaking to Juan Diego in his native Nahuatl language the language of the Aztec Empire , identified herself as the Virgin Mary , "mother of the very true deity". Not unexpectedly, the bishop did not believe Diego, but on the same day Juan Diego saw the young woman for a second time the second apparition.
Sections U. There they performed many sacrifices in honor of this goddess Brand Publishing. At 18, Salinas was date-raped. Pastoral Visits Pope Francis.
Patty kramer nude. Navigation menu
The theory promoting the Spanish language origin of the name claims that:. It is a day off for the general population, and Virgin de guadalupe controversy and most businesses are closed. On December 26, a procession formed for taking the miraculous image Freed from slavery to Tepeyac where it was installed in a small hastily erected chapel. Her image is deeply etched into the consciousness of the Mexican people; so much so that it has even become a form of kitsch. Reinterpreted by Hernandez, La Virgen is now a symbol of emerging feminist ideas, and d set the path for similar fuadalupe by guadalue Chicana artists. In the 16th century the Franciscans were suspicious that the followers of Guadalupe showed, or controvdrsy susceptible to, elements of syncretismi. Jesus TBA. See below or here. Eventually, this image evolves into the dominant national icon, symbolizing the new mestiza, who was born from both Spanish and indigenous blood. Gabriel Michael Raphael. The report of this inquiry is the most extensive documentation concerning the Virgin of Guadalupe from the 16th century, and significantly, it makes no mention of Juan Virgin de guadalupe controversy, the miraculous apparition, or any other element from the legend.
Sure, her Guadalupe appears half-naked, legs and navel exposed.
- A beautiful dark-skinned brunette stands before you.
- The tradition of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Mexico is one of history's greatest examples of the fusion of religious devotion and national identity.
- The basilica is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world, and the world's third most-visited sacred site.
- You are not currently located in one of our featured cities, you will experience the LatinLife nationwide events.
- Juan Diego in a vision in
- Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is a public holiday.
The basilica is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world, and the world's third most-visited sacred site. Catholic accounts claim that the Virgin Mary appeared four times before Juan Diego and once more before Juan Diego's uncle. According to those Catholic version accounts, the first apparition occurred on the morning of December 9, , when it is said that a native Mexican peasant named Juan Diego experienced a vision of a young woman at a place called the Hill of Tepeyac , which would become part of Villa de Guadalupe , in a suburb of Mexico City.
According to the accounts, the woman, speaking to Juan Diego in his native Nahuatl language the language of the Aztec Empire , identified herself as the Virgin Mary , "mother of the very true deity". Not unexpectedly, the bishop did not believe Diego, but on the same day Juan Diego saw the young woman for a second time the second apparition.
The story continues saying she then asked him to keep insisting. On Sunday, December 10, Juan Diego talked to the archbishop for a second time. The latter instructed him to return to Tepeyac Hill, and to ask the lady for a truly acceptable, miraculous sign to prove her identity. That same day, the third apparition occurred when Diego returned to Tepeyac and encountering the same woman, he reported back to her the bishop's request for a sign; she consented to provide one on the following day December In the very early hours of Tuesday, December 12, Juan Bernardino's condition having deteriorated overnight, Juan Diego set out to Tlatelolco to fetch a Catholic priest to hear Juan Bernardino's confession and help minister to him on his death-bed.
In order to avoid being delayed by the Virgin and ashamed at having failed to meet her on the Monday as agreed, Juan Diego chose another route around the hill, but the Virgin intercepted him and asked where he was going fourth apparition ; Juan Diego explained what had happened and the Virgin gently chided him for not having had recourse to her.
She assured him that Juan Bernardino had now recovered and she told him to gather flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill, which was normally barren, especially in the cold of December. Juan followed her instructions and he found Castilian roses, not native to Mexico, blooming there.
The next day, on December 13, Juan Diego found his uncle fully recovered, as the Virgin had assured him, and Juan Bernardino recounted that he too had seen her, at his bed-side fifth apparition ; that she had instructed him to inform the bishop of this apparition and of his miraculous cure; and he said that she had told him she desired to be known under the title of Guadalupe. The bishop kept Juan Diego's mantle first in his private chapel and then in the church on public display where it attracted great attention.
On December 26, a procession formed for taking the miraculous image back to Tepeyac where it was installed in a small hastily erected chapel.
In great distress, the Indians carried him before the Virgin's image and pleaded for his life. Upon the arrow being withdrawn, the victim made a full and immediate recovery. Juan Diego's tilma has become Mexico's most popular religious and cultural symbol, and has received widespread ecclesiastical and popular support. In the 19th century it became the rallying call of the Spaniards born in America, in what they labeled New Spain. They said they saw the story of the apparition as legitimizing their own indigenous Mexican origin, infused it with an almost messianic sense of mission and identity — thus also legitimizing their armed rebellion against Spain.
Historically the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe did not lack significant Catholic clerical opposition within Mexico and elsewhere, especially in the early years, and in more recent times some Catholic scholars, and even a former abbot of the basilica, Monsignor Guillermo Schulenburg , have even openly doubted the historical existence of Juan Diego, referring to their devotion as merely symbolic, propagated by a sensational cult who were looking to bolster Catholic devotion from amongst the indigenous.
While the image garners much religious devotion and fervent Mexican patriotism, scholarly criticism on the image is also notable, considering the artistic disproportion of the image, the similarity of the image to Spanish pre-colonial artwork closely related to the Aztec colony at the time, the alleged relationship of Marcos Cipac de Aquino in either inventing or amending the tilma cloak, and the public declaration of the abbot of the Guadalupe shrine pertaining to the false existence of the Marian apparitions.
Following the Conquest in —21, the Spanish destroyed a temple of the mother goddess Tonantzin at Tepeyac outside Mexico City, and built a chapel dedicated to the Virgin on the same site.
Tonantzin the beloved mother of the gods was celebrated around each winter solstice    which occurred on different dates, the winter solstice of occurred on December 12, according to the UNAM. What is purported by some to be the earliest mention of the miraculous apparition of the Virgin is a page of parchment the Codex Escalada which was discovered in and, according to investigative analysis, dates from the sixteenth century.
It also contains the glyph of Antonio Valeriano ; and finally, the signature of Fray Bernardino de Sahagun that was authenticated by experts from the Banco de Mexico and Charles E. Scholarly doubts have been cast on the authenticity of the document, however.
A more complete early description of the apparition occurs in a page manuscript called the Nican mopohua , which was acquired by the New York Public Library in , and has been reliably dated in This document, written in Nahuatl, but in Latin script, tells the story of the apparitions and the supernatural origin of the image.
It was probably composed by a native Aztec man, called Antonio Valeriano, who had been educated by Franciscans. The text of this document was later incorporated into a printed pamphlet which was widely circulated in In spite of these documents, there are no written accounts of the Guadalupe vision by Catholic clergymen of the 16th century, as there ought to have been if the event had the Christian importance it is claimed to have had.
The written record that does exist suggests the Catholic clergy in 16th century Mexico were deeply divided as to the orthodoxy of the native beliefs springing up around the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, with the Franciscan order who then had custody of the chapel at Tepeyac being strongly opposed to the outside groups, while the Dominicans supported it. Days later, Fray Francisco de Bustamante, local head of the Franciscan order, delivered a sermon denouncing the native belief and believers.
He expressed concern that the Catholic Archbishop was promoting a superstitious regard for an indigenous image:. The devotion at the chapel At the inquiry, the Franciscans repeated their position that the image encouraged idolatry and superstition, and four witnesses testified to Bustamante's claim that the image was painted by an Indian, with one witness naming him "the Indian painter Marcos".
Cipac may well have had a hand in painting the Image, but only in painting the additions, such as the angel and moon at the Virgin's feet",  claims Prof.
Jody Brant Smith referring to Philip Serna Callahan's examination of the tilma using infrared photography in The report of this inquiry is the most extensive documentation concerning the Virgin of Guadalupe from the 16th century, and significantly, it makes no mention of Juan Diego, the miraculous apparition, or any other element from the legend. At this place [Tepeyac], [the Indians] had a temple dedicated to the mother of the gods, whom they called Tonantzin, which means Our Mother.
There they performed many sacrifices in honor of this goddess And now that a church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is built there, they also called her Tonantzin, being motivated by those preachers who called Our Lady, the Mother of God, Tonantzin.
While it is not known for certain where the beginning of Tonantzin may have originated, but this we know for certain, that, from its first usage, the word refers to the ancient Tonantzin. And it was viewed as something that should be remedied, for their having [native] name of the Mother of God, Holy Mary, instead of Tonantzin, but Dios inantzin.
It appears to be a Satanic invention to cloak idolatry under the confusion of this name, Tonantzin. In the 16th century and probably continuing into the early 17th century, the image was modified by then adding the mandorla -shaped sunburst around the Virgin, the stars on her cloak, the moon under her feet, and the angel with a folded cloth supporting her — as was determined by an infrared and ocular study of the tilma in It also contains the following glosses: " Also in that year of appeared to Cuahtlatoatzin our beloved mother the Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.
Cuahtlatoatzin died worthily" . This tract contains a section called the Nican mopohua "Here it is recounted" , which has been already touched on above. It has been attributed since the late s to Antonio Valeriano ca. Most authorities agree on the dating and on Valeriano's authorship. Two separate accounts, one in Nahuatl from Juan Bautista del Barrio de San Juan from the 16th century,  and the other in Spanish by Servando Teresa de Mier  date the original apparition and native celebration on September 8 of the Julian calendar , but it is also noted that the Spaniards celebrate it on December 12 instead.
The initiative to perform them was made by Francisco de Siles who proposed to ask the Church of Rome, a Mass itself with allusive text to the apparitions and stamping of the image, along with the divine office itself, and the precept of hearing a Catholic Mass on December 12, the last date of the apparitions of the Virgin to Juan Diego as the new date to commemorate the apparitions which until then was on September 8, the birth of the Virgin.
These published documental accounts of the origin of the image already venerated in Tepeya, then increased interest in the identity of Juan Diego, who was the original recipient of the prime vision.
A new Catholic Basilica church was built to house the image. Completed in , it is now known as the Old Basilica. The image had originally featured a point crown on the Virgin's head, but this disappeared in — The change was first noticed on 23 February , when the image was removed to a nearby church.
This may have been motivated by the fact that the gold paint was flaking off of the crown, leaving it looking dilapidated. But according to the historian David Brading , "the decision to remove rather than replace the crown was no doubt inspired by a desire to 'modernize' the image and reinforce its similarity to the nineteenth-century images of the Immaculate Conception which were exhibited at Lourdes and elsewhere What is rarely mentioned is that the frame which surrounded the canvas was adjusted to leave almost no space above the Virgin's head, thereby obscuring the effects of the erasure.
A different crown was installed to the image. During his leadership, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints declared Juan Diego "venerable" in , and the pope himself announced his beatification on 6 May , during a Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, declaring him "protector and advocate of the indigenous peoples," with December 9 established as his feast day.
At that time historians revived doubts as to the quality of the evidence regarding Juan Diego. The record of the ecclesiastical inquiry omitted him, and he was not mentioned in documentation before the midth century. In the year-old abbot of the Basilica of Guadalupe , Guillermo Schulenburg , was forced to resign following an interview published in the Catholic magazine Ixthus, in which he was quoted as saying that Juan Diego was "a symbol, not a reality", and that his canonization would be the "recognition of a cult.
It is not recognition of the physical, real existence of a person. He concluded that Juan Diego had not existed. In , Father Xavier Escalada, a Jesuit whose four volume Guadalupe encyclopedia had just been published, announced the existence of a sheet of parchment known as Codex Escalada , which bore an illustrated account of the vision and some notations in Nahuatl concerning the life and death of Juan Diego. Previously unknown, the document was dated The codex was the subject of an appendix to the Guadalupe encyclopedia, published in Paul's vision of Christ on the road to Damascus , drawn by St.
Luke and signed by St. In the earliest account of the apparition, the Nican Mopohua , the Virgin de Guadalupe, later called as if 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 agree as to how the name "Guadalupe" was ascribed to the image. Others hold that the Spanish name Guadalupe is the original name, and refers to the Spanish Our Lady of Guadalupe, Extremadura , whose cult had been important in Spain in the 16th century and had been brought to the New World with the Spanish conquest.
The first theory to promote a Nahuatl origin was that of Luis Becerra Tanco. In addition, the Virgin Mary was portrayed in European art as crushing the serpent of the Garden of Eden. This appears to be borne out by the fact that this goddess already had a temple dedicated to her on the very Tepeyac Hill where Juan Diego had his vision, the same temple which had recently been destroyed at the behest of the new Spanish Catholic authorities.
In the 16th century the Franciscans were suspicious that the followers of Guadalupe showed, or was susceptible to, elements of syncretism , i. The theory promoting the Spanish language origin of the name claims that:. The portrait was executed on a fabric support of natural material constituted by two pieces originally three joined together. The join is clearly visible as a seam passing from top to bottom, with the Virgin's face and hands and the head of the angel on the left piece.
It passes through the left wrist of the Virgin. The fabric is mounted on a large metal sheet to which it has been glued for some time. At this point, there is a wide gap between the wall and the sanctuary facilitating closer viewing from moving walkways set on the floor beneath the main level of the basilica, carrying people a short distance in either direction.
Viewed from the main body of the basilica, the image is located above and to the right of the altar and is retracted at night into a small vault accessible by steps set into the wall.
The nature of the fabric is discussed below. Neither the fabric "the support" nor the image together, "the tilma" has been analyzed using the full range of resources now available to museum conservationists.
Four technical studies have been conducted so far. Of these, the findings of at least three have been published. Each study required the permission of the custodians of the tilma in the Basilica. However, Callahan's study was taken at the initiative of a third party: the custodians did not know in advance what his research would reveal.
Virgil Elizondo says the image also had layers of meaning for the indigenous people of Mexico who associated her image with their polytheistic deities, which further contributed to her popularity. Morelos adopted the Virgin as the seal of his Congress of Chilpancingo , inscribing her feast day into the Chilpancingo constitution and declaring that Guadalupe was the power behind his victories:.
New Spain puts less faith in its own efforts than in the power of God and the intercession of its Blessed Mother, who appeared within the precincts of Tepeyac as the miraculous image of Guadalupe that had come to comfort us, defend us, visibly be our protection. In , Emiliano Zapata 's peasant army rose out of the south against the government of Francisco Madero.
On December 26, a procession formed for taking the miraculous image back to Tepeyac where it was installed in a small hastily erected chapel. Pius XI. In and photographers claimed to have found a figure reflected in the Virgin's eyes; upon inspection they said that the reflection was tripled in what is called the Purkinje effect , commonly found in human eyes. Over the Friday and Saturday of December 11 to 12, , a record number of 6. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Mexico portal Catholicism portal Christianity portal.
Virgin de guadalupe controversy. Here's a twist: 91% of Americans living in Mexico are "Illegal"
Our Lady of Guadalupe - Wikipedia
Members Portal. Mexico's Virgin of Guadalupe played an important role in the Catholic colonization of the Americas. Filed under Ancient Mysteries , Religion. Skeptoid Podcast April 13, Podcast transcript Subscribe. Today we're going to travel back to the time of the Conquistadors, when Spanish soldiers marched through Aztec jungles and spread Catholicism to the New World.
We're going to examine an object that is central to faith in Mexico: An image called the Virgin of Guadalupe. Both are pieces of fabric, hundreds of years old, on which appears an image said to be miraculous. Both are considered sacred objects. But the Virgin of Guadalupe is a much more powerful icon to many Mexicans. There's hardly anywhere you can go in Mexico and not find a reproduction of the image.
A legend well known in Mexico tells how it came to be. In , the Spanish had been occupying Mexico for about ten years. An indigenous peasant, Juan Diego, was walking in what's now Mexico City when he saw the glowing figure of a teenage girl on a hill called Tepeyac. She identified herself as the Virgin Mary, and asked him to build her a church on that spot. Diego did return, and encountered the apparition again. She told him to climb to the top of the hill and pick some flowers to present to the Bishop.
Although it was winter and no flowers should have been in bloom, Juan Diego found an abundance of flowers of a type he'd never seen before.
The Virgin Mary bundled the flowers into Diego's cloak, woven from common cactus fiber and called a tilma. This actual tilma, preserved since that date and showing the familiar image of the Virgin Mary with her head bowed and hands together in prayer, is the Virgin of Guadalupe. It remains perhaps the most sacred object in all of Mexico. The story is best known from a manuscript written in the Aztecs' native language Nahuatl by the scholar Antonio Valeriano , the Nican Mopohua.
By the European watermark on its paper, it's known to have been written sometime after This was widely published in a larger collection in by the lawyer Luis Laso de la Vega. Not everyone agrees. I found his list to be extraordinarily unconvincing, and I would honestly describe it as really desperate scraping of the bottom of the barrel to find a quote-minable quote.
That sounds great because he mentions an Indian talking to a Catholic figure, but there's no mention of this Indian's name, no mention in the Juan Diego stories of a Brother Toribio that I could find , and no elements of the Juan Diego story included in this single-sentence snippet. The name Juan Diego itself suggests that the story was a fictional invention. It basically translates as John Doe, a generic everyman, whose identity is unimportant. This doesn't prove anything, since there certainly were real people named Juan Diego, but it is an intriguing element.
It is the actual image of Mary itself that tells us the most about its true history. This statue is credited with miraculously helping to expel the Moors from Spain in the Reconquista. One of his promising art students was a young Aztec man with the Christian name Marcos Cipac de Aquino, one of three known prolific Aztec artists of the period.
And so, in , the Aztec artist Marcos Cipac de Aquino painted a portrait of the Virgin Mary, with dark skin, with head slightly bowed and hands together in prayer, on a common cactus-fiber canvas. Although the Extremadura statue was not in this pose, the pose was still one of European tradition.
The most often cited example of Mary in this exact pose is the painting A Lady of Mercy, attributed to Bonanat Zaortiga and on display at the National Art Museum of Catalunya, painted in the 's. Marcos followed more than a century of European tradition. Before the Conquistadors, Tepeyac was home to an Aztec temple, built to honor the Aztecs' own virgin goddess, Tonantzin. This process of using an existing belief system to graft on a new one has been called syncretism.
Understandably, this exploitation of a pagan idol caused discomfort among some of the Franciscans, while many of the Dominicans welcomed the way it helped baptize 8,, Aztecs. The primary corroborating documentation of Marcos' painting is a report from the Church in , when this growing disagreement between the Franciscans and the Dominicans prompted an investigation into the origins of the tilma. Two of the Franciscans submitted sworn statements in which they expressed their concern that worshipping the tilma was leading the Aztecs to return to their traditional pagan ways.
One described the image as "a painting that the Indian painter Marcos had done" while another said it was "painted yesteryear by an Indian". As a result, the construction of a much larger church was authorized at Tepeyac, in which the tilma was mounted and displayed. Significantly, the report is the most extensive documentation concerning the Virgin tilma of its century, and it makes no mention whatsoever of Juan Diego, the miraculous appearance of the image, or any other element from the legend.
If the miracle story did exist at that time, it seems inconceivable that it could have been omitted from this report. This strongly supports the suggestion that the Juan Diego legend had not yet been conceived.
It also supports that Valeriano's Nican Mopohua was written later. The legend did get its first boost of testable evidence in , which in a case of suspiciously fortuitous timing was after Juan Diego's beatification in , while there was still debate over whether he should be canonized he ultimately was, in A Spanish Jesuit named Javier Escalada produced a deerskin which pictorially depicted the Juan Diego legend and has become known as the Codex Escalada.
Basically, it was the Perfect Storm of tailor-made evidence proving that the Juan Diego legend was the accepted history at the time. A little too tailor made though; no serious historians have supported its authenticity. Based on its dubious unveiling, numerous inconsistencies, and other factors, Peralta concludes that it's impossible for the document to be authentic.
If the Virgin tilma is indeed a painting, and not a miraculously produced image, then it should be a simple matter to determine that scientifically.
There are obvious signs that are hard to argue with, notably that the paint is flaking along a vertical seam in the fabric. But a truly scientific examination involving sampling of the material has not been permitted.
The most notable examination was a three hour infrared photographic session by Philip Callahan in , who did note multiple layers of paint covering changes to the hands and crown, but came away with more questions than answers. Callahan found, for example, that most of the entire painting seemed to have been done with a single brush stroke. He recommended a series of more tests, but the only one allowed by the Church was a spectrophotometric examination done by Donald Lynn from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The only result released of his examination was that "nothing unusual" was found. They reported a whole group of figures, including both Aztecs and Franciscans. Why ophthalmologists should be better qualified to identify Aztecs and Franciscans in random blobs of pigment has not been convincingly argued.
Photos taken by another ophthalmologist in have been released , and it's quite obvious that it's simply random noise. I see a dozen or so speckles; if you want to make them into Aztecs, Franciscans, bananas, or Bozo the Clown, then you'll probably also be great at spotting dozens of Bigfoots hiding in any given photograph of a forest.
The Virgin of Guadalupe is yet more one mythical story whose believers are missing out on true facts that are actually more respectful and confer more credit upon them than the myth.
The image on the Virgin tilma was painted by a native Aztec artist; and the painting had not only an important role in Mexico's early history as a nation, but also a staggering impact upon its culture ever since.
Mexicans with Aztec heritage should take pride in the fact that their original culture, specifically the goddess Tonantzin, was a key ingredient in the spread of modern Catholicism.
The Juan Diego myth takes that away, and whitewashes part of Mexican history clean of any Aztec influence. That's a disservice to one of humanity's greatest ancient civilizations, and it's a disservice to history. When we see the Virgin of Guadalupe image today, most people react in one of two ways: They worship it as a miraculous apparition, or they dismiss it as someone else's religious icon. Both reactions miss the much richer true history. The Virgin of Guadalupe stands not only as an invaluable work of ancient art possibly the most popular piece of art ever created , but also as a reminder of how the conquest of Mexico was truly accomplished: Not only its military conquest, but one of history's greatest religious conversions as well.
Please contact us with any corrections or feedback. Cite this article: Dunning, B. Skeptoid Media, 13 Apr Acosta, M. Nichols, D. The Oxford Handbook of the Aztecs. New York: Oxford University Press, Nickell, J. Peralta, A. Sanchez, E. All Rights Reserved. Rights and reuse information.
The Skeptoid weekly science podcast is a free public service from Skeptoid Media, a c 3 educational nonprofit. This show is made possible by financial support from listeners like you. If you like this programming, please become a member. Make this an automatic recurring monthly donation Cancel any time. Shop: Apparel, books, closeouts. Orbs: The Ghost in the Camera.
Deconstructing the Rothschild Conspiracy. Facts and Fiction of the Schumann Resonance. About us Our programming Become a supporter. A STEM-focused c 3 educational nonprofit. What Is Skepticism? Donate Press Room Contact. Live Shows Calendar Information.
Email me about new episodes:. Post a job for free. The Virgin of Guadalupe Public Domain image.