The actual tilma (cape-like garment made of woven maguey cactus fiber) worn by San Juan Diego in December 1531. The image is imprinted on the fabric; no science has been able to determine the source of the image. 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 apparition to Juan Diego on the now-Mexico City 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 2016, that's this coming Monday. 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. Yes, several million go to "echarle una visita a la Morenita" (pay a visit to the little brown virgin) during the 24 hours of her feast day. On ordinary days, Masses are offered nearly every hour to the assembled faithful.
The enormous Basílica of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Mexico City is the second most visited pilgrimage site in the Western Hemisphere--second only to the Vatican. 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.
Art casket, Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Basílica.
A late 18th or early 19th century tiny painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in its original metal frame. It measures approximately 2" by 1.5" and is part of Mexico Cooks!' small collection of art related to her.
Modern but primitive folk art depiction of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
This wall art, advertising for a Los Angeles, California kitchen cabinet business, shows Our Lady of Guadalupe embracing Pope John Paul II, who was devoted to her. This image is reproduced as wall art, advertising, calendars, statues of all sizes, and pictures to hang on the wall. Nearly 15 years after his death, Mexico continues to feel a deep connection to Pope John Paul II. Photo courtesy OnBeing.org.
A late 19th/early 20th century tip tray, drilled at the top to hang on a wall. The tray measures approximately 6" high.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, hand embroidered on silk with pearlized tiny beads, roses, and sequins. Her face and hands, and the cherub at her feet, are hand-painted celluloid. This piece was originally the ceremonial capote de paseo (shoulder piece) of a bullfighter's traje de luces (suit of lights). It is the vestige of an 18th century long cape worn during the bullfighter's promenade into the ring. When worn, this curved item fit over the bullfighter's left shoulder as a sort of epaulet. This particular piece was sewn into an inverted cone for display.
In 1810, Padre Miguel Hidalgo carried this banner to lead the struggle for Mexico's independence from Spain.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, lovely image painted on a cement wall in Morelia, Michoacán.
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) is truly the heart and soul of Mexico. When you visit Mexico City, the Básilica is a must-see. Let me know when you'll be here and I'll go with you.
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