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The origin of the myth of the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe




This is the origin of the myth of the miraculous apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe to Juan Diego, on the Tepeyac Hill on December 12th.


The origin of the Virgin of Guadalupe, part of a story that combines reality and myth, the latter has to do with the belief that the virgin appeared to the indigenous Juan Diego, her messenger, to convince the Franciscans to build a temple in her honor.


The origin of the Virgin of Guadalupe dates back to colonial times, specifically to the period of evangelization, in which the missions sought to make the indigenous people leave aside their pagan beliefs and convert them to Christianity.


The cult to the Virgin of Guadalupe arose when the Franciscan order built a hermitage on the Tepeyac hill, where the Basilica of Nueva Señora de Guadalupe is currently located. Previously, the sanctuary was located on this site, where the Indians venerated the goddess Tonantzin Cihuacóatl.


In the XVI century, in what we now know as the Old Basilica of Guadalupe, the Virgin Mary was venerated, with the intention that the indigenous people changed their devotion to Tonantzin Cihuacóatl, for that of the Virgin.


In this temple, was placed the canvas that is currently in the Basilica of Guadalupe, which on December 12, 2019, was visited by more than 10 million 600 thousand pilgrims from all over Mexico and the world.


The myth of the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe, began in the 17th century, as a legend, which was transmitted by word of mouth.

In 1648, the theologian Miguel Sanchez was the first person to document the myth of the Guadalupe apparition. He related the supposed apparitions of the Virgin to the Apocalypse of St. John.


The myth of the Virgin of Guadalupe, that we know until today, points out that the virgin appeared to an indigenous man, named Juan Diego, in five occasions. This happened on the hill of Tepeyac, where the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is currently located.


Why is the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe celebrated on December 12?

In her first apparitions, the Virgin asked Juan Diego to build her a temple in that place. He told what happened to the bishop Fray Juan de Zumárraga who did not believe him and, to change his mind, he had to bring him proof of the existence of the supposed virgin.

So it was that the virgin told Juan Diego to climb to the top of the hill of Tepeyac, to cut roses of Castile, which he carried in his tilma, and take them to Fray Juan de Zumarraga.

This is how the Virgin told Juan Diego to climb to the top of the hill of Tepeyac, to cut roses of Castile, which he carried in his tilma, and took them to Fray Juan de Zumárraga.

When he arrived with him, he opened the mantle from which the flowers fell, and the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe was stamped on it. The myth tells that this mantle, is the same that until today, is in the Basilica.


It is said that the Virgin of Guadalupe had her first miracle when she appeared to Juan Bernardino, Juan Diego's uncle, and cured him of the plague.

In the XVI century, Francisco de Bustamante, attributed the authorship of the canvas to the Indian Marcos who, according to the researcher, could be the indigenous painter Marcos Cipac Aquino, who learned his trade with the Franciscans.


In the absence of painters, this religious order created a school of arts and crafts to cover the needs of the churches and temples they were founding in New Spain.

Von Wobeser points out that the religious orders asked these artists to create pieces based on references that they themselves provided. In the case of the Virgin of Guadalupe, he based his work on "a 15th century Flemish engraving, known as The Virgin in Glory, dated around 1420", to which he made some modifications, such as black straight hair combed in a middle parting, dark eyes and hands in prayer position.


Since the invasion of the Spanish, their religion and culture has been imposed on the people of Mexico, beginning with the destruction of the culture and beliefs of the indigenous people. Until now, they have begun to reveal the truths that hide these beliefs, such as religion.

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