Legend has it that the Virgin of Guadalupe she was superhumanly beautiful, and wore a dress shining like the sun. Many of her devotees affectionately call her the Mexican "morenita," and her sanctuary in Mexico City is the second most visited Catholic center in the world, only after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Pope Pius X proclaimed the Virgin as "Patron of all Latin America", while Pius XII called her "Empress of the Americas" and John XXIII made her "Celestial Missionary of the New World" and "Mother of the Americas" .
The Virgin of Guadalupe is today venerated in all parts of the American continent, mainly in Mexico, since there is talk of extraordinary miracles granted by the deity to those who put their faith in her image.
Stories of the Virgin of Guadalupe
The cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe dates back to the first years after the Conquest, when Franciscan friars built a hermitage on the Tepeyac hill, north of Mexico City, where a pre-Hispanic sanctuary was formerly located. He worshiped, among other deities, the goddess Tonantzin Cihuacóatl.
There is no information on the moment in which the friars placed the sacred canvas dedicated to the “morenita”, which today is in the Basilica of Guadalupe.
But by the XNUMXth century, the sacred image had numerous devotees, who attributed miraculous powers to it. The painting of the Virgin shows a woman clothed with the sun, an invocation of the Virgin Mary standing on a half moon, surrounded by solar rays and with a crown on her head.
However, the first dated document, in which the sequence of apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe is described is from 1648 and is titled "Image of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God of Guadalupe", and was written by the theologian Miguel Sánchez.
It is said that the Virgin appeared four times, on the Tepeyac hill, to Juan Diego, an indigenous neighbor from Cuautitlán. In the first two apparitions, the Virgin asked Juan Diego to inform the bishop of Mexico, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, that he wanted him to build a church for her at the place of the apparitions, but Zumárraga did not believe in the story, so he asked him proof that what he said was true.
The Virgin then sent Juan Diego to cut roses from Castile in the upper part of the Tepeyac hill so that he could take them to the bishop. Juan Diego obeyed and gathered the flowers in a cotton blanket that was tied around his shoulders. When extended, the flowers fell to the ground and the image of the Virgin was stamped on the fabric.
Then the Virgin appeared to Juan Bernardino, Juan Diego's uncle and performed his first miracle: he cured Bernardino of the plague.
From these writings that recounted the miracles of the Virgin, the cult of the Guadalupana spread throughout the Americas and reached devotees worldwide.
Curiosities regarding the legend of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Despite the fact that the Virgin of Guadalupe is one of the most recognized Marian invocations in the world, and especially in America, many mysteries surround her figure today.
For example, although many believe that the name "Guadalupe" is Mexican, it actually comes from Arabic, it is not indigenous, and it means "River of wolves."
To the Virgin, Mexicans attribute miracles related to solving health problems, employment and finding a partner, however, not much is said about the achievement of these, so they continue as myths protected by society.
Also great legends surround the canvas dedicated to the Virgin and called the «Morenita del Tepeyac». Chemical scientists, NASA researchers, and scholars of the supernatural have tried to decipher the painting technique used on this canvas.
But even today, it has not been possible to explain the origin of the pigments that give color to the image, nor the way in which it was painted and that other silhouettes can be seen in his eyes.
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the day of the Virgin is December 12
This Saturday, December 12, the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, patron saint of the Americas, is celebrated around the world. The Pope will celebrate Holy Mass on the holiday in honor of the Patron Saint of Mexico and Latin America, although due to anti-Covid-19 measures, only a diplomatic representation of the Latin American countries will attend the Holy See.
In the Vatican, prayers will be prayed for intercession in these difficult moments of the pandemic that the people of God are experiencing. The Holy Mass will begin at 11 am and will be preceded by the recitation of the Rosary and accompanied byañaThe celebration will be held by the Choir of the Pontifical Latin American and Brazilian Pio Colleges, as well as the Sistine Chapel Choir.
And it is that, from the middle of the seventeenth century to date, the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe has been in permanent expansion and there are many who join this celebration that has a worldwide character.
Every year, on December 12, millions of devotees arrive in Mexico City to venerate the image of Guadalupe. The pilgrims, coming from many parts of the country and abroad, come to pray to Our Lady on their knees, asking for miracles related to all areas of life and thanking her for her blessings.
In addition, the Virgin of Guadalupe is venerated in numerous churches and altars dedicated to her, both in Mexico and in other parts of the world.
Cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Cuba
In the Havana town of Peñalver, there is a small Cuban church dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Cubans also venerate the Virgin Empress of the Americas, who syncretizes in the Yoruba religion with Oshun Olodi, one of the ways of the Yoruba goddess of love, Oshún.
The parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Peñalver, was built in 1782, although the first procession in honor of the Virgin took place on December 12, 1813. And every December 12, many Cubans who recognize the patron saint of America , they visit the place and dedicate their prayers to him.
On the Island, patron saint festivities are even celebrated to pay homage to him in various locations, such as the traditional Cabbage Festivals.añas, which are celebrated every year on December 12, specifically in the town of Cabañas, part of the municipality of Mariel.
This festival in its beginnings had only a religious character: the customary mass, processions with the Virgin's walk through the main streets of the town and even weddings blessed by the deity who is considered to be the protector of that community.
But now, the traditional parties of Cabañas, unite religious expressions with popular cultural contributions such as music and dance, in a huge party dedicated to the "Morenita".
OPowerful rations a la Guadalupana
The Virgin of Guadalupe is prayed primarily for her protection. In addition, prayers are raised in the most difficult and complex times in the world, such as the one we are experiencing now due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
People flock to the shrines loaded with flowers and candles, to pray to Our Lady for health, prosperity, peace and love, and also to thank her for her eternal grace.
They also place your image in quiet and lonely places in the house, where they can speak to you and pray to you with great faith.
Prayer asking the Virgin of Guadalupe for help
- In this prayer to Saint Guadalupe we are also asking for her eternal protection.
Oh Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church! You, who from this place manifest your mercy and compassion to all who request your protection; listen to the prayer that with filial confidence we address you and present it to your Son Jesus, our only redeemer.
Mother of mercy, Mistress of the hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come out to meet us sinners, we consecrate all our being and all our love to you on this day. We also consecrate our lives, our jobs, our joys, our illnesses and our pains to you.
Give peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; since everything we have and we are put in your care, Madam and our mother.
We want to be totally yours and walk with you the path of full fidelity to Jesus Christ in his Church: do not let go of your loving hand.
Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we ask you for all the bishops, to lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life, love and humble service to God and souls.
Contemplate this immense harvest, and intercede for the Lord to instill hunger for holiness in all the People of God, and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in faith, and jealous dispensers of the mysteries of God.
The miraculous virgin of Guadalupe and her prayer for protection
- With this prayer, we ask the blessing of the Virgin
Most Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of God, Lady and our Mother.
Come here prostrate before your holy image, which you left stamped on Juan Diego's tilma, as a pledge of love, goodness and mercy.
The words you said to Juan with ineffable tenderness still resonate: “My dearest son, Juan, whom I love like a tiny and delicate one,” when radiant with beauty you appeared before his sight on the Tepeyac hill.
Make us deserve to hear those same words deep in our souls. Yes, you are our Mother; the Mother of God is our Mother, the most tender, the most compassionate.
And to be our Mother and shelter us under the mantle of your protection, you stayed in your image of Guadalupe.
Most Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, show that you are our Mother.
Defend us in temptations, comfort us in sadness, and help us in all our needs. In dangers, in illnesses, in persecution, in bitterness, in abandonment, at the hour of our death, look at us with compassionate eyes and never be separated from us.
Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of America. Tend your protection over all the nations of the Continent and renew their fidelity to Christ and to the Church.
It arouses purposes of equity and righteousness in its rulers. Protect Juan Diego's brothers so that they do not suffer discrimination.
Take care of the children. Save the unity of families ...
That from this your Image you always manifest your mercy, your compassion and your protection. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.