Buenos días! Happy Guadalupe day!
Today, 12 December is celebrated in Mexico and the southwestern United States as “El día de la Virgin de Guadalupe”. It commemorates a miracle that occurred during the early days of Mexico when the Native Americans were being conquered by the Spanish explorers.
The Spanish were Catholic, while the Indians were primarily agricultural and pagan. This was the source of a clash of cultures, as the Indians worshipped the Earth Mother.
The legend of Guadalupe is of a young Indian boy named Juan Diego who told the priest of the pueblo named Tepeyac, that a woman he met on the way to town had instructed him to have the church built there.
The priest scoffed.
The next day the boy encountered the woman again. She told him to gather flowers from the mountain. Being December he was doubtful, but to his amazement, found the flowers, roses, and gathered them in his Tilma, a simple overgarment of a reed-like cloth.
He carried the roses to the priest, telling him that the woman had black hair and brown skin and looked Middle Eastern.
When The priest opened the cloak he saw the roses and also the image of Mary, the mother of Jesus, imprinted on the inside.
The Priest built the church. He declared it a miracle. Since then, that has become the site of the Basilica of Mexico City.
Guadalupe, Spain, is a town southwest of Madrid in the Extremadura where the conquistador Hernando Cortes was born. It was the location in the 1300s of another miracle.
A humble vaquero named Gíl Cordero was in the mountains searching for a lost cow, when a woman appeared to him. She explained that she was the Virgin Mary, and that near there was a statue of herself, which had been buried there to hide it from the Muslims.
The statue was found and was installed in the church in Guadalupe, and has been celebrated as a miracle since then.
When Juan Diego, another peasant, met the woman in the mountains, she told him that she was the same woman as the one who had appeared to Gíl Cordero in Guadalupe, Spain.
This connection between the maternal principle of Christianity and the Earth Mother of the native Americans served to bring these two cultures together and bring about spiritual unification in the New World.