The Virgin of Guadalupe

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EL PASO, Texas — Ever since 1531 when the image of the Virgin Mary appeared miraculously on the cloth worn by Juan Diego, a humble peasant in Tepeyac, Mexico, the Virgin of Guadalupe has been a sacred symbol of Mexican faith. Today the image of the Virgin can be found almost everywhere on the Borderland, from churches to sidewalks, from candles to tattoos. The photography class at the University of Texas at El Paso was given the assignment to photograph the Virgin wherever she appeared. (Click on the pictures to enlarge.)

Reflection of the Virgin. The mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe is located next to a gas station in the Lower Valley of El Paso. (Cynthia Carol Almodovar/Borderzine.com)

Reflection of the Virgin. The mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe is located next to a gas station in the Lower Valley of El Paso. (Cynthia Carol Almodovar/Borderzine.com)

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23 Comments

  1. Ruth Katherine on

    The beautiful pictures of Our Lady – wish we could one in the middle of Washington,DC – directly facing the White House.

  2. Ruth Katherine on

    Pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe to restore good health to my sister Martha Caza.

  3. gloria patnaude on

    I always wonder why no one ever mentions the satue of the Virigan Mary in the mountains out side of Billings Montana.Someone should go and photo that one , I have to say this is beautiful

  4. Our Lady in this tradion: When I was active in the Respect Life Committee, we opened our meeting with a prayer to her for the Unborn, especially those in unwant or persecution, or danger. Mother of our dear Lord, please intercede to Him for all your children, especially those who are so far away from Him or do not know Him. Thank You.

    The large statue I saw of Mary in the NW, was in Pine Bluff, Wy. It also can be seen from the highway I-80. American Profile.Com has a nice writeup about that one. Our Lady is out there in many forms and always leads us back to her Son. What a blessing we have. Praise God!

  5. Momma Mary comes to us all in various forms only to lead us to her son. These photos are so beautiful. This representation of the Queen of Heaven is one of my favorites.

  6. Rita Sermersheim on

    Can anyone explain to me the meaning of the horns etc. pictured on the bottom of some of those statues. We have one in our church. I have often heard the saga of the happenings of that era but don’t know the meaning as mentioned of the depictions on the bottom. Thanks, Rita

  7. They are not horns Rita. she is standing on the crescent moon. When I was in the monastery our father abbot had been formerly abbot of a monastery in Mexico. So he had a great devotion to la Virgencita. He placed all of us young monks under her mantle and said she would always be there to take us to her Son. those who accuse of idolatry to her totally misunderstand who she is. She is our loving mother who wants us to know and love her Son and our Savior. When I ahve hd the joy of sharing her feast with my Mexican bothers and sisters I have experienced the most totally fulfilling faith experience of my life. I love her and spend time with her & Jesus everyday of my life and know that I am loved. God bless.

  8. Stanley S. Smith

    what a brilliant idea for a project! The photos are wonderful and inspiring; the involvement of the individual photographers and the viewers of their works weave a spiritual web that catches our attention in very important ways.

  9. There are other versions as to the existence of La Virgen Morena and how she came to be. Legend has it that when the Spaniards invaded Mexico, they destroyed every element that constituted the Indigenas’ religion. One temple to which they all congregated was on Tepeyac Hill, where they venerted Tonantzin – Mother Earth. After the Spaniards destroyed that temple, the natives continued to worship at the site.

    To that point, the conquerors were having problems converting the Indians. Many of them preferred death to accepting the new religion. Millions were burned at the stake or suffered other forms of death because they refused to convert. Those who converted were renamed Juan or Juana, or Mario or Maria. After the Temple of Tonantzin was destroyed, the natives continued to go to her site to worship her.

    Legend has it that the Spaniards, never ones to miss a trick, concocted the image of La Virgen Morena on Juan Diego’s mantle. The Natives, seeing that one of their own had become a vision to worship, began to convert in large numbers. This new diety was neither blonde, nor blue-eyed, which made it easier to accept her. She was La Virgen Morena/Tonantzin. Thus, her appearance saved millions of lives, because, now, the natives could convert to Catholicism while worshiping one of their own. That’s why La Virgen Morena is the Patron Saint of Mexico. Albeit, Jesus Christ is also venerated, La Virgen Moreno occupies a bigger space in the hearts of Latinos throughout the Americas. La Virgen Morena is beautiful and sacred in the hearts of many. But, to others, she continues to be Tonantzin.

    Joe Olvera
    El Sin Fin

  10. Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for those who are persecuting your name. May they feel your motherly love and experience your holy presence as mother of Jesus and mother of humanity.

  11. les pido ke oren novio ke lo deportaron y lo tienen detenido les pido ke oren por favor para ke no lo dejen encerrado y lo devuelvan para mty pronto estoy muy deprimida pero tengo mucha fe en mi morenita linda grasias atodos y ke mi virgensita y mi diosito los vendiga

  12. those are not horns on the bottom…they are parts of the CRESCENT MOON. as the sun gives light to the moon, so the Lord gives light and life to Our Lady.

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