Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Image of grace Our Lady of Guadalupe
One of the earliest evidence of veneration is the copperplate engraving by the Flemish artist Samuel Stradanus in the motif of a letter of indulgence depicting the Virgin of Guadalupe and the miracles she wrought (1622)

Our Lady of Guadalupe (Spanish Virgen de Guadalupe , "Virgin of Guadalupe") is a miraculous image of Mary . From December 9 to 12, 1531, according to tradition, a beautiful woman appeared four times in the Guadalupe district on the northern outskirts of Mexico City , according to tradition, to the Indian Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474–1548), who presented herself as “Mary, mother of the only true God [ …], By which life is, the creator of men, the Lord ”signified. She commissioned Juan Diego to convey to the local bishop that a chapel should be built on the mountain of this apparition , she wanted to show the people there her love as a compassionate mother. The bishop doubted the report and asked for a sign. When the next day the Indian spread his cloak in front of the bishop, in which he had collected blooming, fragrant flowers at the behest of his client in the middle of winter, and the miraculous image of Mary appeared on the cloak, the bishop recognized the authenticity of the apparition and fulfilled the wish of the supplicant.

At the place of the apparition a chapel was first built, in 1709 the first basilica was consecrated , which was later converted into a museum. In 1974 the new basilica was consecrated. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most important Marian shrine in Mexico and is one of the most famous images of grace in the world. The pilgrimage site of Villa de Guadalupe is a neighborhood of Mexico City and is located on Mount Tepeyac .

Historical background

Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico City

Before Christopher Columbus set out on a voyage of discovery, he is said to have asked for protection and assistance in front of the image of the Black Madonna in the Spanish monastery of Guadalupe . To thank him for the successful trip, he has already named an island in the Atlantic Ocean , which he was the first European to set foot on, after the Marian shrine in Extremadura Guadalupe .

The Central American miraculous image of Our Lady, later also named after the Blessed Mother of Guadalupe in Spain, was created in the context of the foundation of the Mexican colonial empire New Spain . In 1521, Spanish troops under the conquistador Hernán Cortés had conquered the Aztec empire . Although the exercise was the Aztec state religion , the daily human sacrifices included, stopped by, but the population had converted only a small part to Christianity, including those provoked especially since some reservations about the cruel conquerors against their religion. After the appearance of the Mother of God to Juan Diego - who with his family had already accepted Jesus Christ as Savior - and in view of the miraculously created image of grace, millions of Indians converted to Christianity within a few years.


In the original Nican mopohua, part of the religious treatise Huei tlamahuiçoltica, the apparition of Mary on Nahuatl is told.


Notre-Dame-de-Guadalupe chapel in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

In 1576 Pope Gregory XIII. a perfect indulgence to the pilgrims to the sanctuary , Pope Benedict XIV declared Our Lady of Guadalupe to be the patron saint of Mexico, Pope Leo XIII. introduced the celebration of the commemoration of her apparition on December 12th across Latin America . Pope John XXIII proclaimed a Marian year in honor of Our Lady from December 12, 1960 to December 12, 1961 .

Pope John Paul II placed North and South America under the protection of Mary, wrote a consecration prayer in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe , established the holiness of Juan Diego in 2002 and made December 12th the memorial day of Our Lady in Guadalupe for the whole Church . The center of the pilgrimage is the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe near the place of apparition. Other churches with the patricinium are the basilicas in San Salvador and Rome . In Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris , a chapel is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The miraculous image

Altar of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the
Xochimilco flower market

The miraculous image shows Mary as a young woman in a pink dress and a blue-green cloak studded with stars. A carved Madonna figure in the monastery of Guadalupe in the Spanish province of Cáceres is very similar to this image, but depicts the Mother of God with a child. Both images represent one Crescent Madonna .

According to some interpretations, the image is aimed at the indigenous population of Mexico by taking up the imagery of the pre-Christian religion. The blue-green cloak is the color that the divine couple Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl wore . The belt is interpreted as a sign of pregnancy, the cross-shaped sash is supposed to symbolize the cosmos .

See also


  • Paul Badde: Mary of Guadalupe. How the appearance of the Virgin wrote world history. Ullstein, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-550-07581-2 .
  • Juan Manuel Contreras Colín: The “Nican mopohua”, critical expression of indigenous thought. Ethical and political reading . Diss., University of Philosophy, Munich, 2010.
  • Virgil Elizondo: Guadalupe. Mother of a New Creation. Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York 1997.
  • José Carlos Espriella Godínez, "Our Lady of Guadalupe (II). A divine message from Tepeyac for the world", in: Frontier areas of science 66 (2017) 2, pp. 99– ​​125 ( https://www.imagomundi.biz/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Espriella_Guadalupe2.pdf )
  • Wilhelm Maria Havers: Maria de Guadalupe. Our Lady of Mexico . Adveniat, Essen, 3rd edition 1992.
  • Francis Johnston: He didn't do that to any people . Christiana, Stein am Rhein, 3rd edition 1998.
  • Jacques Lafaye: Quetzacoatl and Guadalupe. The Formation of Mexican National Consciousness, 1531-1813. University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1976 (with a foreword by Octavio Paz).
  • Miguel Leon-Portilla , Antonio Valeriano: Tonantzin Guadalupe: pensamiento náhuatl y mensaje cristiano en el "NICAN Mopohua" . 2000, Colegio Nacional Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económico. ISBN 9681662091 .
  • Xavier Noguez: Documentos guadalupanos, a studio sobre las fuentes de información tempranas en torno a las mariofanías en el Tepeyac. El Coleguo Mexiquense, Toluca 1993, ISBN 968-16-4206-6 .
  • Stafford Poole: Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Origins and Sources of a Mexican National Symbol, 1531-1797. University of Arizona Press, Tucson 1995.

Web links

Commons : Our Lady of Guadalupe  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. German version of the Nican mopohua , 26, accessed on December 28, 2014. See the chapter on tradition and the references.
  2. German version of the Nican Mopohua , accessed December 12, 2014.
  3. kath-info.de on the miraculous image of Guadalupe , accessed on December 12, 2014.
  4. Miguel León-Portilla, Antonio Valeriano: Tonantzin Guadalupe: pensamiento náhuatl y mensaje cristiano en el "Nicān mopōhua" . 2000, Colegio Nacional Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económico. See references.
  5. German version of the Nican Mopohua , accessed on August 17, 2011th
  6. Magnificat. The Book of Hours, (12) 2014. Publishing house Butzon & Bercker, Kevelaer.
  7. ^ A short history of Tonantzin, Our Lady of Guadalupe. Retrieved March 4, 2019 (UK English).
  8. cf. the review by Felix Hinz