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by an admirer
Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 at 5:42 PM
Guadalupe is seen and honored everywhere especiallly in LA, as everyone noticed. Most dont know the stories that are connected to her but can still relate and experience Guadalupe as a symbol of natural life forces, indigenous ones that emanate and connect us to earth. She is not a Cathoic nor a religious symbol or representative tho that has been co-opted via majority religious practices.
you may read all this story or parts that suit you.. My wish is to share what I have learned vs. the over-simplified, inaccurately-presented, or falsely-implicated versions that abound in ordinary culture and media.
WeI honor the images of Guadalupe as the more accessible, natural, humble and feminine & indigenous [more original] version of a symbol of the Life Forces that love and protect us on this, earth.
[pix] shows an altar in a market in Mexico City, showing no Catholic rituals in this more natural, indigenous sacred space created by ordinary people.
But who is this special woman, the Guadalupe, the same iconic image seen everywhere else also in LA ? In murals, on shirts, on tattoos, on gold pendants and silver trinkets, She appears. And is treasured as a FEMALE who protects, loves, and retains her own quiet powers, which she then shares with all who ‘know’ or recognize her.
Olvera street, historical LA church there, has an honoring of multitudes coming to appreciate a tiled exterior image on the * Our Lady Queen of Angels church by Olvera Street on Main St downtown. December 12 is her celebrated day.
The story is essentially told like this = that a special devotion to Guadalupe started 583 years ago when the image of a beautiful brown-skinned woman to an Indian, Juan Diego, on Tepeyac hill near Mexico City. The site had long been a sacred indigenous spot. That was about year 1531. Long, long ago, and still she remains so important to most Mexicans and Latinas as ‘their own’ special female – adored – their allyclosest-to-the-All-mighty-Forces, that some call God. Being akin to Mary, the Mother of another religious person in further far lands, the intertwining of her female mother images are powerful, maternally loving - and not vengeful nor violent - gives Guadalupe special ineffable powers and her continual attraction.
The native Mexicans identified the dark Virgin who spoke in Nahuatl with the goddess Tonantzin [which is said to mean “our mother” in that language] and most in those lands have since then celebrated her with indigenous rites - as well as Catholic ones.
While she has never been officially declared a “saint” by the church, tho there are often implications of her being within the Catholic realms,commonly again making claim to the indigenous sacred people, their icons and holy sites - as is so often done when Spanish or other conquests continue to rule for centuries later. Various popes have labeled her as “patroness, queen, mother … of the Americas” but not a saint nor acknowledged her actual story as often told,
or her various stated presences.
She is prayed to for intercession, for favors, for safety, for everything. She is the one that is close and real and understands her people and all indigenous peoples, and those who also recognize her strengths and visual-image-mysterious allure. She does not dominate, she does not command, she offers communal and natural reassurance and assistance, in her own feminine ways.
Many can “see” her emergences in images and feel the spiritual attractions – to all - though whom she appears ‘to be’ as repeatedly displayed in the many artifacts and art displays of her humble standing in human worlds - is not far from any one of us.
Although it was December, the apparition, [later named ] "Guadalupe", told Juan Diego ** to take the Castilian roses she produced right there for him -- those roses which were out of season and not found in those arid dry lands in the cold winter. She told him to gather the beautifully blooming flowers in his cloak and to present them to the reigning high Catholic bishop, to show them to him as a sign of her presence. She also requested that a temple be built in her name by the Spanish Catholics who were dominating the local ethnic religious countryside.
Juan Diego had to return to the Spanish Bishop 3 times before he was given any credence. Then, finally, when the poor humble Indian unfolded his cactus-fiber cloak, the actual beautiful roses fell out and at the same time, miraculously, Guadalupe's image was emblazoned on his “tilma” - shirt -- and there, showing the dark-skinned Aztec princess, was Guadalupe standing in front of the sun and on top of a crescent moon.
In Spain, a different image of “our lady of Guadalupe” is displayed and is one of the 3 black madonnas in what was Castile, now in Caseres province there, to be from the 1300’s. It was part of the victory over the Moors in those times, and differently presented and honored than in Mexico’s version of similar name. ***
Juan Diego has often been depicted as just one plain and humble man from the native population, and who were seen by their Spanish lighter-skinned rulers as being obviously ignorant peasants - just being just devout, submissive people who were only there only to repeatedly carry outthe rulers’ / owners’ orders.
He was just allowed to deliver a message man-to-man to the ruling conquerors. The [presumably] Aztec princess apparently did not appear or make herself known directly to those who claimed and now ruled these Mexican lands.
The Catholic version likes to claim that seven years after Guadalupe's apparition, some “8 million Indians” were converted to their Catholicreligion, perhaps by using her image as a lure and for ethnic confirmation that all should ally with the few non-Mexican ruling usurpers.
It is commonly known that Conversion may be the most important aspect of one religious group appropriating another, by using that group's icons, sacred spaces, and using apparitions - as thru a visual dream or revelation, having an unusual visitation – to convince them of the powers they claim that belongs… now… to the major rulers of that land.
Invaders - but having weaponry and military to take control over the peasants and their communities and lands. The apparent actualization of a venerated figure, especially, now a female Indian of high status producing a miracle, was a good attraction, used to lure more poor people of color to be acquiescent to the lighter-whiter-male-dominant Christian conquerors of these lands.
Many people now still pray to her as a miracle worker no matter what they think about the formal Church where she has been appropriated. They will pray to Guadalupe even when they ostensibly must also pray to a grey-bearded God.
Many mix their own traditional beliefs with the overlaid dominant Christian versions of who [all] rules the earth and heavens. Mexican revolutionaries and heroes have often used Guadalupe’s image on their banners. She is also a symbol that unites the disparate tribes/races/peoples that divide people in Mexico’s vast lands.
In 1754, 200 years after her noted sighting, Pope Benedict XIV declared that Our Lady of Guadalupe then patron of what was then called New Spain. Much later, in 1946, Our Lady of Guadalupe was also decreed as the Patroness of the Americas by the Catholic all-male hierarchy. In 2002, Juan Diego was canonized in the Basilica in Mexico City. Not as saint.
It is not clear if Guadalupe was ever herself actually canonized, or made a 'saint' instead of her messenger. However, she has obviously been fully appropriated as if she is a saint or part of the religious iconography. How else could you explain the churches that incorporate her images and utilize the veneration given to her in their masses and prayers?
Some assume she must be the Virgin Mary of European depiction which seems to give more credence to the taking what was not actually Christian at all as theirs. Who now is to say who Guadalupe actually is or was?” Some claim the name “Guadalupe” came from Spain’s“Lady of Guadalupe, Extremadura”.
- - - - - - - --
other sites to see:
* Our Lady Queen of Angels - La Placita www.laplacita.org/
downtownla.com : Olvera Street Holiday Celebrations
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe for more information on her
** Many theories abound. None can be confirmed. Wikipedia contributors have written that many in Catholic circles disclaim the story told as not true, preferring to insert their own versions of ‘what happened’ and who was involved in her being envisioned and also limit her relevance. Tho these arguments are expected, no verifications of any long-past-stories or events can be found as ‘hard evidence’ to confirm any claims on Guadalupe, except by those whose faith or recognition of her images, stories as they personally connect with those who have such experiences.
This is Spain’s different depiction 2 centuries before of the same name to Mexico’s. Columbus is said to have visited her monastery there. and
The people of the Phillipinesin Loboc also honor the Mexican version of Guadalupe on a different date.
https://www.google.com/#q=guadalupe+images for more images there.
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