Dia de Guadalupe in Mexico - Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe
December 12th, 2013 is the 482nd celebration Dia de Guadalupe, a legendary event that bonded the people of Mexico and the Catholic Church in the days of the Spanish conquest.
The Virgin of Guadalupe is the most famous and celebrated of all saints and she is also known as the “Virgen Morena” and is the patron saint of Mexico. Supposedly she was first encountered by an Aztec Indian, San Juan Diego, on the hill of Tepeyac now known as modern day Mexico City, in 1531, shortly after the conquest by the Spanish Conquistadors.
As the story goes he was on his way to a monastery and when passing the hill of Tepeyac he heard signing as the sky turned brilliant and at the end of the singing he heard a call from a woman. As he knelt before her she iidentified herself as the “consummate virgin Saint Mary, mother of the true deity , God, the giver of Life, the creator of all, the ever present lord of heaven and earth”. Then she then asked for a temple to be built on the so that she could attend to the “weeping, sorrows and prayers” of all the people of the land.
\Diego told his story to the Archbishop of Mexico City, who instructed him to return to Tepeyac Hill, and ask the "lady" for a miraculous sign to prove her identity, a rather bold and doubtful move by the clergy. The Virgin told Juan Diego to gather flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill. Juan Diego found Castilian roses on the normally barren hilltop. The Virgin arranged these in his peasant cloak or tilma. When Juan Diego opened his cloak before Bishop Zumárraga on December 12, the flowers fell to the floor, and on the fabric was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Dia de Guadalupe is more important for many Mexicans that Easter or Christmas and is celebrated with parades, pilgrimages and fiestas throughout much of Mexico and most of Latin America. In 1737 she was recognized as the patron Saint of Mexico City and eventually by 1946 to include all of the Americas. This day is to celebrate the love we give to the Virign de Guadalupe and is known to many as the day of Love (Amor).
In 2002 Juan Diego was canonized, but in the same year a scientific study, permitted by the Church, cast doubt on the origins of the now iconic relic. Evidence of paints not of the period, significant retouching and the fact that the fabric had been unevenly primed in a non-miracle fashion, much as any other painting of that period. The original tilma of Saint Juan Diego, which hangs above the altar of the Guadalupe Basilica, Mexico City. It is protected by bulletproof glass and low-oxygen atmosphere.
With this day is also the beginning of the Christmas Posadas and holidays all over Mexico and Latin America.