[:en]10 facts you probably don’t know about the Virgin of Guadalupe[:es]10 datos que tal vez no conocías sobre la Virgen de Guadalupe[:]

A pilgrim holds up an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe at the Basilica of Guadalupe during an annual pilgrimage in honor of the Virgin, the patron saint of Mexican Catholics, in Mexico City, Mexico on Dec. 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Henry Romero

[:en]This is an excerpt from an article originally published in “Religious News Service”. Author Andrew Chesnut is a professor of religious studies and holds the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Mexicans will tell you 90 percent of them are Catholic, but 100 percent are Guadalupan.

While the proportion of Catholics in Mexico isn’t accurate anymore, the Virgin of Guadalupe, whose annual feast day is Dec. 12, remains a cherished part of Mexican national identity, reflected in the fact that millions of women and men are named Guadalupe, many going by the nickname “Lupe or Lupita.”

La Virgen Morena (the Brown Virgin) is not only patroness of Mexico but also Empress of the Americas, from Chile to Canada. While other manifestations of Mary claim at most a region or country, Guadalupe is the only one to reign over two continents.

These are 10 fascinating facts about the Virgin who led Mexicans to independence from Spain:

1.) Many Mexicans aren’t aware the original Guadalupe is from Extremadura, Spain.
In fact, Christopher Columbus was a devotee and even named the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in her honor, after she purportedly saved his fleet from a storm at sea. The Spanish Guadalupe is one of several black European virgins, so in her Mexican incarnation she actually became lighter-complexioned as the Virgen Morena.

2.) Prior to Guadalupe’s alleged appearance in 1531, an Aztec goddess had been worshiped at the same site.

The Aztec goddess’s name, Tonantzin, means “Our Mother” in the Aztec language of Nahuatl, so some skeptics contend that the Spanish colonial church concocted the story of Guadalupe appearing to Juan Diego as a way to convert his fellow Aztecs and other indigenous groups to Christianity.

3.) Despite his canonization in 2002, there is no hard evidence St. Juan Diego ever existed.
At the time of the controversial canonization, the abbot of the basilica, Guillermo Schulenberg, resigned, claiming that Juan Diego had never existed and “is only a symbol.” The Aztec peasant was canonized, nonetheless, as part of a strategy to retain indigenous Catholics in Mexico and across Latin America who have been defecting in droves to Protestantism, especially Pentecostalism.


 

cristo-del-atentado-3Perhaps the most spectacular miracle, according to devotees, is the tilma emerging unscrathed from a bomb blast. A metal crucifix resulted damaged instead, and it has been worshipped ever since as “El Cristo del Atentado” (The Christ of the attack).

(Photo: Google)


 

4.) Art historians have discovered that depictions of the Virgin’s skin color have become progressively darker.
Studies on her historical development, such as those by historian Stafford Poole, demonstrate that contrary to legend, it was Mexican creoles (people of Spanish descent born in Mexico), and not indigenous converts, who were the first devotees of Guadalupe and the primary propagators of her cult.

Artistic renditions of Guadalupe became noticeably darker on the heels of the Mexican Revolution (1910-20), which led to the exaltation of the mixed-race mestizo as the new model of Mexicanness.

5.) Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1810 transformed her into the national patroness.

Independence leader Father Miguel Hidalgo launched the campaign for independence with the battle cry “Death to the Spaniards and long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!” The image of the Mexican Virgin emblazoned on flags, banners, and peasant sombreros became the insignia of the armed rebellion against Spanish rule. Spanish troops, on the other hand, were led by the Virgin of Remedies, who was the pre-eminent advocation of Mary in Mexico until eclipsed by Guadalupe.

6.) La Morena remained relatively unchanged in artistic renditions until as recently as the 1980s.
The first artists to experiment with novel depictions of the Empress of the Americas were Mexican-Americans who didn’t feel as culturally and religiously constrained as their Mexican counterparts in exploring new ways of representing her, using all kinds of media.

A bare-breasted Guadalupe created by artist Paz Winshtein was the object of considerable controversy when it was displayed at a gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2014.

A pilgrim holds up an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe at the Basilica of Guadalupe during an annual pilgrimage in honor of the Virgin, the patron saint of Mexican Catholics, in Mexico City, Mexico on Dec. 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Henry Romero
A pilgrim holds up an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe at the Basilica of Guadalupe during an annual pilgrimage in honor of the Virgin, the patron saint of Mexican Catholics, in Mexico City, Mexico on Dec. 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Henry Romero


7.) The etymology of her name is the subject of considerable debate.
Some linguists and historians point to Nahuatl origins, while others, more convincingly, remind us that the name “Guadalupe” already existed in Spain, and thus we should look there for its etymological genesis. There is little doubt that the prefix “Guada” comes from the Arabic “wadi,” or river valley. The jury, however, remains out on “lupe,” which many assert comes from the Spanish “lobo” (“lupus” in Latin), or wolf.

8.) Guadalupe was an integral part of the Mexican Revolution (1910-20).
Fighting under the slogan “land and liberty,” revolutionary peasant leader Emiliano Zapata and his fighters carried the Mestiza Virgin on banners into battle against Mexican oligarchs. Some Zapatista guerrillas carried on the tradition during their uprising in 1994 in the southern state of Chiapas.

9.) In 1929, the official photographer of the basilica discovered an image of a bearded man in her right eye.
Two decades later another “expert” not only confirmed the presence of the original bearded man but also claimed to see it in both her eyes. Since then, the “secret of her eyes” has expanded to include images of an entire family supposedly visible in both of her pupils. For believers, the images are reflections of what Guadalupe saw when she appeared almost five centuries ago to St. Juan Diego.

guadalupe
“Don’t let your heart grieve… Ain’t I here as your mother?” Words of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego (Image: Google)


10.) The tilma upon which the Virgin’s image is imprinted is held to be miraculous by devotees.
Some scientists claim an absence of brush strokes on the cloak, while others report that the coloration contains no animal or mineral elements. Perhaps the most spectacular miracle, according to devotees, is the tilma emerging unscathed from a bomb blast.

In 1921 an anti-clerical radical detonated 29 sticks of dynamite in a pot of roses beneath the cloak. The blast destroyed a marble rail, twisted a metal crucifix, and shattered windows throughout the old basilica — but the tilma itself was untouched.

Source: http://religionnews.com/[:es]

México adora a su patrona. El culto a la Virgen de Guadalupe es una de las festividades más grandes país. La fe moviliza a millones de mexicanos que van a  abrazar a su virgen morena y agradecerle los milagros cumplidos en el año.

Cada 12 de diciembre el increíble escenario de incontables fieles que llegan a la Basílica de Guadalupe en automóvil, en autobuses, a pie o de rodillas se repite al igual que los cantos de las mañanitas para su ‘morenita’.  Además de la fe, del color y de la esperanza renovada, esta celebración también está rodeada de detalles llamativos e históricos que, tal vez, no conocías. Aquí, una lista de 10 datos curiosos.

A pilgrim holds up an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe at the Basilica of Guadalupe during an annual pilgrimage in honor of the Virgin, the patron saint of Mexican Catholics, in Mexico City, Mexico on Dec. 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Henry Romero
A pilgrim holds up an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe at the Basilica of Guadalupe during an annual pilgrimage in honor of the Virgin, the patron saint of Mexican Catholics, in Mexico City, Mexico on Dec. 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Henry Romero

1. La basílica de Guadalupe es el segundo templo católico más visitado del mundo. El primero, por supuesto, es la basílica de San Pedro, en Ciudad del Vaticano.

2. Cuando la Virgen morena se le apareció al nativo Juan Diego en el cerro de Tepeyac, la Virgen de Guadalupe se habría dirigido a él en lenguaje náhuatl y le habría instruido que levante un templo allí mismo. Justamente, ese sitio era utilizado por los indígenas mesoamericanos para venerar a su diosa Tonatzin.

3. Tonatzin significa “nuestra madrecita” (se trata de un diminutivo ‘reverencial’), por lo que la adoración de la Virgen de Guadalupe se encuentra íntimamente entrelazada con la de aquella diosa de los nativos mesoamericanos.

4. El origen del nombre Guadalupe es ambiguo. Hay teorías que sitúan su nacimiento en el mundo árabe que decantó en su variante en español. Podría provenir de ‘wad-al-hub’, (río de amor). El río Guadalupe, en Extremadura habría devenido en el de la patrona de México. La otra posibilidad podría ser en la lengua náhuatl del vocablo ‘coatlallope’)  (aplasta a la serpiente de coatl, ‘serpiente, a, preposición y llope, «aplastar»), con la que Juan Diego se habría referido a la aparición que dijo tener. Existe la posibilidad de que sea una coincidencia, donde ambas etimologías llevaron a la creación de palabras muy similares que se volvieron la mismas con el paso del tiempo.

5. La tilma original de Juan Diego en la que se ve la imagen de la Virgen de Guadalupe data del 12 de diciembre de 1531 (más de 484 años) y se conserva en perfecto estado.

6. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin fue canonizado el  31 de julio de 2002 por el papa Juan Pablo II en una ceremonia que se realizó en la Ciudad de México.

7. ¿Qué crees que es más importante para los mexicanos: la celebración del Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe o la celebración del Bicentenario de la Independencia de México?  Según datos del Gabinete de Comunicación Estratégica (GCE), el 42% de los entrevistados dijo que el día de la Virgen era más importante,  mientras que el 24% se inclinó por el Bicentenario de la Independencia y el 28% dijo que eran iguales en importancia.

8. Según datos que se desprenden de las encuestas del GCE, entre 7 y 8 de cada 10 mexicanos celebran el culto a la Virgen de Guadalupe.

9. En un hecho verdaderamente insólito, en 2003, el periodista Rodrigo Vera (Proceso) comunicó que la imagen de la Virgen de Guadalupe había sido vendida a la empresa Viotran (financiera que mueve dinero entre México y EEUU). Habría sido el rector de la basílica, monseñor Diego Monroy Ponce, quien vendió en 12.5 millones de dólares la exclusividad de la imagen a María Teresa Herrera Fedyk, representante en México de la transnacional. El contrato estipulaba 5 años de usufructo de la imagen en chamarras, estampados, cartelería, aunque se desconoce si se ha renovado luego de ese períoso.

10. Por último, el doctor Enrique Graue, oftalmólogo mexicano reconocido internacionalmente  dijo hace varios años atrás, cuando examinó con el oftalmoscopio los ojos de la Virgen de Guadalupe: “Exploré los ojos con oftalmoscopio de alta potencia y pude ver en ellos la profundidad de un ojo como si estuviera viendo un ojo vivo”.

guadalupeFuente: http://entremujeres.clarin.com/[:]

Leave a Reply