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Virgin of Guadalupe Day - Día de La Virgen de Guadalupe

Virgin of Guadalupe DayVirgin of Guadalupe Day or Día de La Virgen de Guadalupe is Mexico's most popular religious and one of its most famous cultural images. The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12, commemorating traditional accounts of her appearances to Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City from December 9 through December 12, 1531. The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe is a symbol important to Mexican identity and Pope John Paul II declared her "Patroness of the Americas" in Mexico City in 1999.

Traditional account of the apparition

Etching by Jose Guadalupe Posada, depicting St. Juan Diego and the Virgin image miraculous imprinted on the cloth where he collected the roses. Etching by Jose Guadalupe Posada, depicting St. Juan Diego and the Virgin image miraculous imprinted on the cloth where he collected the roses. According to Catholic accounts of the Guadalupan apparition, during a walk from his village to the city on December 9, 1531, Juan Diego saw a vision of a Virgin at the Hill of Tepeyac what is now Mexico City. Speaking in Nahuatl, Our Lady of Guadalupe said to build an abbey on the site, but when Juan Diego spoke to the Spanish bishop, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, the prelate asked for a miraculous sign. So the Virgin told Juan Diego to gather flowers from the hill, even though it was winter, when normally nothing bloomed. He found Spanish roses, gathered them on his tilma, and presented these to the bishop. According to the legend, when he returned to the bishop with his cape filled with roses, both were astonished, because as Juan Diego emptied his cape, an image of the Virgin was left behind. The cape still hangs in the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, built near the spot where the miracles occurred, and on the anniversary of the second miracle, pilgrims converge on the area in a mass celebration.

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