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(gwä'dəlo͞op`, Span. gwäthälo͞o`pā), town (1990 pop. 2,652), Cáceres prov., W central Spain, in Extremadura. It is noted for its monastery (formerly Hieronymite, now Franciscan) and the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose cult was transferred in the 16th cent. to Guadalupe HidalgoGuadalupe Hidalgo
, shrine, central Mexico, in the Federal District. The basilica of Guadalupe containing the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe (feast: Dec. 12) is the focal point of the most famous pilgrimage in the Western Hemisphere.
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, Mexico. The area is still a pilgrimage center.


(gwäthälo͞o`pā), city (1990 pop. 535,332), Nuevo León state, NE Mexico, on the Santa Catalina River. Its economy is based on agriculture, especially corn, and livestock raising.
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Guadalupe (Spain)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Guadalupe is a small village in rural Spain that has lent its name to two important sites relative to devotion to the Virgin Mary. Around 1300, a cowherd named Gil Cordero had a vision of what he described as a young lady radiating light who directed him to a cave near his home, where he found a statue of the Virgin. This statue was later identified as the same statue given by the pope to the Cathedral of Seville in the sixth century. That statue had been hidden and then lost following the Muslim invasion of Iberia.

Rather than return the statue to Seville, the Spanish king ordered the building of a church at the cave where the statue had been found, and the statue was renamed Our Lady of Guadalupe. A monastic community grew up at Guadalupe, which helped spread the veneration of the Virgin of Guadalupe throughout Spain and then to Spanish territories in the Americas. The occurrences at Guadalupe set the stage for what occurred in Mexico two centuries later.

By 1531 Spain had largely established itself in authority in Mexico and was attempting to establish Catholicism in place of the Aztec religion. One Aztec center was located at Tepeyac Hill, north of Tenochititlán (now Mexico City), where a shrine to an Aztec goddess had recently been destroyed by Spanish soldiers. As the story goes, on December 9, 1531, a young man had a vision of a woman surrounded by light and speaking to him in his native language. She asked that he carry a message to the local Catholic bishop that a church be built on the hill. The bishop put him off and demanded a sign by which he could be certain the young man spoke the truth.

The young man, Juan Diego, asked the Virgin’s help. He then gathered some roses (not generally blooming in December), which he wrapped in his robe as a gift to the bishop. When he unwrapped the roses, on his robe was a picture of the Virgin as he had described her. Meanwhile, Diego’s uncle reported that he, too, had seen the Virgin andreceived instructions that the image on the robe should be called the Virgin of Guadalupe.

The robe became a popular object of veneration very quickly. Many of the Spanish soldiers were familiar with the Spanish Guadalupe, and many of the Mexicans identified her with the former goddess of the hill. The new Mary cult that arose helped the Catholic Church receive the devotion previously directed toward the now-suppressed Aztec worship. As devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe grew, she was credited with suppressing an outbreak of the plague in 1544 and stopping a flood two years later. The growing popularity of Our Lady of Guadalupe was marked by the building of a large basilica on the site in 1709 and by her being named the patroness of Mexico in 1754, patroness of Latin America in 1910, and Mother of the Americas in 1961.

Pope John Paul II, who became known for his devotion to the Virgin, was the first pope to visit the shrine, in 1979, three years after the dedication of the new cathedral church. He also beatified Juan Diego in 1990 and returned in 2000 to oversee the canonization ceremony. More than one million people a year travel to Guadalupe to view the picture of the Virgin that Juan Diego originally presented to the bishop in 1521. Especially important is December 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Almost every aspect of the story of Juan Diego has been called into question. There are no contemporaneous records of the apparitions and the miraculous cape. For example, Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, upon his return to Spain, presented a detailed account of his work in Mexico, but there is no mention of Juan Diego. It was not until 1648 that a written account of the apparition appeared. Skeptics have suggested that the image is merely a very good painting done by a native craftsman around which a legend later adhered.

In the 1980s the image underwent a variety of tests, which disclosed several unusual features and found nothing to discredit its unique nature. While far from conclusive, the scientists did bring the image and robe into the twentieth century and laid a basis for future discussion of the image from a scientific perspective. The most interesting studies of the cape were the taking of infrared photographs, which, when enhanced by computer, revealed a set of images in the eyes of the Virgin.

In the wake of the Pope’s visits and the canonization of Juan Diego, devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe has become more popular than ever. Copies of the image are ubiquitous throughout the Spanish-speaking community in the Americas and have now permeated even the English-speaking Catholic community. In the United States, shrines replicating the one in Mexico City have been erected in several locations, and similar shrines are now found in Italy and Japan.


Callahan, Philip S. The Tilma under Infra-Red Radiation. Washington: CARA, 1981.
Demarest, Donald, and Coley Taylor. The Dark Virgin: The Book of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Freeport, ME: Coley Taylor, Inc., 1956.
Lee, George, C.S.S. Our Lady of Guadalupe: Patroness of the Americas. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1947.
Smith, Jody Brant. The Image of Guadalupe. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1983.
The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena © 2008 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
It is a sad long list of the names of men, beginning with Manuel Micheltoreno, one time Mexican "Governor, Commander-in-Chief, and Inspector of the Department of the Californias," who deeded ten square leagues of stolen Indian land to Colonel Don Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo for services rendered his country and for moneys paid by him for ten years to his soldiers.
A train of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) reportedly broke down at Guadalupe station, stranding passengers rushing home on Friday evening.
Guadalupe: A path to heaven in daily life !-- -- The servant of God Guadalupe Ortiz de Landazuri will be beatified on May 18 in Madrid.
Please direct questions or comments to: Newsletter, Texas Board of Nursing, 333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-460, Austin, Texas 78701-3944.
Irma Hernandez says Our Lady of Guadalupe brought me to Guatemala 25 years ago.
Commemorative high masses will be celebrated Wednesday, December 12, at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City, in commemoration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the principal patroness of the Philippines, Mexico, and the Americas, and the protector of the unborn.
The Archdiocese of Chicago is holding its 7th annual horseback pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Saturday, Dec.
Jonel Guadalupe, local police chief, a Special Investigation Task Group was created to conduct an in-depth investigation of the case.
In a tale of intertwining fates and the threads of interiority that connect the most disparate souls, Mexico City-based Guadalupe Nettel perfectly explicates the loneliness of expatriation as well as the gravity of a momentary meeting when one longs for love.