Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

Introduction by Nicole Duran

Description by Dr. Shelley Armitage

The National shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe is located at the Basilica church in the Tepeyac Hill, North of Mexico City. The site attracts millions of pilgrims each year and is the number one most visited sanctuary in Mexico. The shrine marks the locations where a converted indigenous named Juan Diego, claimed to have had a vision of the Virgin Mary asking him to build a church in her honor. When Diego had relied the information to the bishop, he asked Diego to provide proof. He returned to the area where he first had the vision in hopes of contacting the Virgin Mary. The Blessed Virgin told Diego to pick the out-of-season blooming Castilian roses and instructed him to give to the bishop.

When Diego open his tilma, an apron filled with the roses, an image of Mary appeared imprinted on the cloth, becoming the illustration that is often associated with the Lady of Guadalupe. The Virgin Mary became popular in Mesoamerica because of this apparition and has been a sign of God’s grace to the natives. Contemporary views of Our Lady of Guadalupe consider her to be the Patron of the Americas. December 12th is the most popular day to for pilgrims from all over the world to visit the sanctuary to reaffirm their devotion and provide offerings as remnants of their faith. The sanctuary itself is embellished with the two sculptures in the form of angel figures surrounded the sacred cloth. Most of the shrine’s services are in the new basilica, but pilgrims can climb the Tepecay Hill where Juan Diego encountered the Virgin Mary.

Ex-Voto Figure 1.

Lord of the Mount and the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe/

El Señor del Monte y la Sma Virgen de Guadalupe

Attributed: Hipolito Bielmas G. Jocotepec, Jalisco. August 2, 1949

Oil on tin. 7 ¼ x 8 ¾” NMSU Art Gallery Collection # 1966.5.143

Donor:  Mr. C. Andrew Sutherland


Angela Alonso and her family give thanks to the Lord of the Monte and the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe for the healing of her husband. The composition features both the Lord of the Mount and the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe. Both occupy the upper third of the composition against an ethereal blue background. White clouds surround each one accentuating the spiritual realm. Below, the family gives gratitude to the Lord and Our Lady as the supplicants kneel on the ground before Him. The text in black occupies the whole lower width of the retablo.

Transcription and Translation:

[Angela Alonso y su familia dan gracias al Sr. Del] [Monte y a la Sma Virgen de Guadalupe por haver] [sanado a su esposo Benito Gutierrez] [Jocotepec Jal 2 agosto de 1949.]

Angela Alonso and her family give thanks to the Lord of the Mount and to the blessed Virgin of Guadalupe for having healed her husband, Benito Gutierrez. Jocotepec, Jal.  [Jalisco] August 2, 1949.