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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
  
  
  
 
Virgin of Guadelupe by tucsonmike on 14 December 2005 2:47am
 
On Arizona Illustrated (a show on our PBS Station), a U of A Professor named Jim Griffith comes on every so often. Turns out, December 12th celebrates the Virgin of Guadelupe. In 1531, an Indian peasant, Juan Diego saw this vision at an old Aztec temple.
 
Re: Virgin of Guadelupe by suzulu on 14 December 2005 11:02am
 
That sounds interesting - must find out more.
 
Re: Virgin of Guadelupe by sighthound on 14 December 2005 9:55pm
 
As the traditional legend goes, in 1531 Juan Diego, a Christian convert, was on his way to Mass when he encountered a vision of a lady who told him she was the Mother of God and she wanted a church built on the hill where she appeared. Juan was told by the vision to collect up some roses blooming nearby in his tilma (a long cape) and take them to the bishop. This was in winter when roses should not have been in bloom. Juan gathered up the roses and went to the bishop, unfurled his cape and, as the roses fell to the floor, revealed an image of the woman in the vision on the cape.

The Our Lady of Guadalupe legend was extremely important in the conversion of Mexican peasants to Catholicism as they were impressed that the lady chose to appear to an Indian, not to the Spanish hierarchy, and the features of the woman on the cape are distinctly Indian. This story captivated the native populace and made conversions much easier. (And, of course, building a church on a site of native religious significance was a traditional Christian method of incorporating facets of native pre-Christian religions to facilitate conversions.)

I have vivid memories from the early 50's when I was a very small child and we visited the church in Mexico City where Juan's cape is enshrined above the altar. The courtyard in front of the church was of very uneven cobblestones and I saw many Indians who had travelled for many miles on their knees to venerate the cape. Their knees had become open sores from their efforts and they left trails of blood on the stones as they made their way across the coutryard.
 
Re: Virgin of Guadelupe by tucsonmike on 14 December 2005 11:21pm
 
Thanks Sight for posting more detail.
 
Re: Virgin of Guadelupe by sighthound on 14 December 2005 11:57pm
 
Seeing those people bleed all over the stones as they continued to walk to the shrine on their knees made an indelible impression on me at age 4. Ironically, it gave me the first focus that enabled me to, much later, throw off the Catholic machochism that I was saturated with since Baptism.
 
Re: Virgin of Guadelupe by suzulu on 15 December 2005 1:40am
 
Thanks,sighthound. I was going to search the internet but haven't got round to it yet.
 
Re: Virgin of Guadelupe by sighthound on 15 December 2005 1:56am
 
What I wrote was an extremely simplified version of an extremely complicated legend that does much to define the essence of Mexico. Further internet searching definitely might prove to be of interest.
 
Re: Virgin of Guadelupe by sighthound on 15 December 2005 2:30am
 
Hey, do we have any Mexican members here? Mexico is such an amazing and infinitely varied country - certainly great fodder for a future Palin series.

I have been totally captivated by and have collected art from Oaxaca since I was a small child - first the bark paintings and later all the amazing carved beasts.

Only in the last decade did I discover the amazing art and world view of the Huichols (spelling is variable but is pronounced "Whee' chul".) I have only one piece of Huichol art - an amazing beaded iguana on a clay seashell - but I really hope to get back to this part of Mexico to investigate further.
 
Re: Virgin of Guadelupe by tucsonmike on 15 December 2005 3:13pm
 
That's it, Mexico is an hour drive from where I live. There is frequent bus service. In colonial times and under Mexican rule, there was no such "unit" as Arizona. It was part of the neighborhing Mexican state of Sonora.
Mexico is extremely varied. The uniting touch goes back to the Aztecs. In reality, Mexico is an Indian country with a Spanish overlay. Very much, a yin and yang.
Yes, it is true. The legend of the Virgin is a great deal of the essence of Mexico, along with Cortes, Montezuma, Cuactohemoc (sp) and La Malinche.

The Official Website of the State of Sonora

http://www.sonora-mexico.com/
It has an English translation.
 
Re: Virgin of Guadelupe by suzulu on 15 December 2005 5:26pm
 
It looks beautiful - another place added to my list of future places to visit!
 



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