Thanks for the beautiful reminder ERH,December 12, Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated. That powerful visage of the Virgen de Guadalupe is such a part of the Mexican and Mexican American culture, whether one is Roman Catholic or not.
The poor Indio Juan Diego whose culture was being destroyed by the European invasion of the “New World”, who was being re-educated by his new masters as a pagan idolator of false gods and a heathen whose place on the new social roster was at the bottom, it must have been a near schizophrenic experience for the native Americans until La Virgen de Guadalupe appeared and became the patroness of the downtrodden Mexicans.
Borrowing from this AM’s great “Mex Files” blog that quotes from the great philospher Thomas Merton
” If only North Americans had realized . . . that Latin Americans really existed. That they were really people. That they spoke a different language. That they had a culture. That they had more than something to sell! Money has totally corrupted the brotherhood that should have united all the peoples of America. It has destroyed the sense of relationship, the spiritual community that had already begun to flourish in the years of Bolivar. But no! Most North Americans still don’t know, and don’t care, … that Latin America is by and large culturally superior to the United States, not only on the level of the wealthy minority which has absorbed more of the sophistication of Europe, but also among the desperately poor indigenous cultures, some of which are rooted in a past that has never yet been surpassed on this continent.
So the tourist drinks tequila, and thinks it is no good, and waits for the fiesta he has been told to wait for. How should he realize that the Indian who walks down the street with half a house on his head and a hole in his pants, is Christ? All the tourist thinks is that it is odd for so many Indians to be called Jesús.”
Viva La Virgen!
As I kid I lost the belief in God (or really never had any to begin with) but the story of the Vírgen is one that stuck with me the longest. But most interestingly, as with almost all religions, I have found that the story of Juan Diego cannot be corroborated historically (as with the historical Jesus). There are no records of his existence, and even contemporary accounts by people at the time malign the story as pure conjecture.
Truly, belief in la Vírgen is PURE FAITH. What I find interesting is that so many try to substantiate it with “evidence,” why? Is that not the antithesis of FAITH?
Julio how dare you question the stories of Virgen de Guadalupe and Juan Diego. I just saw an image of the Virgen De Guadalupe on a potato chip which sold on E-Bay. If it’s for sale on E-Bay it has to be true.
dude, i love this picture!
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