The actual tilma (cape-like garment made of woven agave cactus fiber) worn by San Juan Diego in December 1531. The framed tilma hangs over the main altar at the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Mexico City.
Listen as this group sings La Guadalupana, one of the most popular of Mexico's many traditional songs honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe. The lyrics tell the story of her aparition to Juan Diego on the hill called Tepeyac, and also emphasize the honor felt by Mexicans that she appeared here.
The annual feast of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) falls on December 12--in 2013, that's this coming Wednesday. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is Mexico's patron saint, and her image adorns churches and altars, house facades and interiors, taxis, private cars, and buses, bull rings and gambling dens, restaurants and houses of ill repute. The shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, la Basílica, is a place of extraordinary vitality and celebration. On major festival days such as the anniversary of the apparition on December 12th, the atmosphere of devotion created by several million pilgrims is truly electrifying.
The enormous Basílica of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Mexico City is the most visited pilgrimage site in the Western Hemisphere. Its location, on the hill of Tepeyac, was a place of great sanctity long before the arrival of Christianity in the New World. In pre-Hispanic times, Tepeyac had been crowned with a temple dedicated to an earth and fertility goddess called Tonantzin, the Mother of the Gods. Tonantzin was a virgin goddess associated with the moon, like Our Lady of Guadalupe who usurped her shrine.
Read the full story of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe here.
Primitive folk art depiction of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Statue in resin of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Pope John Paul II, who was devoted to her. This image is reproduced as calendars, statues of all sizes, and pictures to hang on the wall. More than 10 years after his death, Mexico continues to feel a deep connection to Pope John Paul II.
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