Welcome to Madonnas fo Mexico website
Mexico. To most North Americans the word brings to mind one image: Beaches. Miles of them. With turquoise seas, powdery-white sand, and azure-blue skies. To others, it may bring to mind images of archaeological ruins. Mexico is studded with them.
There is one treasure, however, which most tourists miss: the abundance of Marian shrines throughout the country. Mexico is like no other place in the world: It is home to not only the world-renowned Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, it is home to a galaxy of additional NOTEWORTHY shrines as well. Although they are much-visited and beloved by the Mexican people, they are virtually unknown to the English-speaking world. It is these shrines which are the subject of this website.
One pilgrim on a group tour put it this way: “Mexico—it’s like having dozens of Lourdes all in one country.” Lourdes is the famous Marian shrine in France. Several of the shrines—like Lourdes— have outstanding miracles associated with them and all have been approved by the Church. Blessed Pope John Paul ll visited a number of these shrines during his 5 trips to Mexico.
Foremost among the Marian shrines in Mexico, of course, is the Basilica of Our Lady of Gaudalupe in Mexico City. Most travellers to the city are familiar with it. How could they not be? In that city her image is everywhere: on buses, on billboards, in parks, in restaurants, on store-fronts. You cannot miss her! An estimated 20 million pilgrims visit the Basilica every year: It is reputed to be the most-visited Marian shrine in the world.
Ten years after the Spanish conquest of New Spain (present-day Mexico) Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to a newly-baptized Chichimeca Indian named Juan Diego—he was canonized in 2002— and left her miraculous image on his cloak. The year was 1531.
This apparition resulted in the conversion of millions to the Christian faith within a decade. Our Lady of Guadalupe came as a mother: What do you need? Why are you afraid? Am I not here, your mother?… Who can resist such a message?
But what loving mother comes only once to visit her adult children? Our Lady was no exception. She didn’t stop at Guadalupe. She, this “Comfortress of the world” (according to Doctor of the Church, St. Alphonsus Liguori), continued her interventions in this new continent of America. She came to Patzcuaro, to Guadalajara, to Juquila. She came again and again in this new land.
When Pope Benedict XlV was presented with a painting of the Guadalupe image in 1754 he fell to his knees, enchanted. “To no other nation has this been done!” (Psalm 147) he exclaimed with fervour. He could have been speaking of these “other” Marian shrines as well, all of them—in a sense— extensions of Our Lady of Gaudalupe’s apparitions in Mexico. In 1910 Pope Saint Pius X declared Our Lady of Guadalupe the Patroness of the Americas: of Canada, the United States, South America and Latin America. These shrines, then, are part of our heritage and our tradition. And what child doesn’t want to learn as much as possible about its own mother and her history?
Carl Anderson and Msgr. Eduardo Chavez, authors of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love, tell us why she came to Mexico: “She is the loving compassionate mother who guides us to the true God,” they said. She came to lead us to her Son. And always, she exhorts us, “Do whatever He tells you.” John 2: 6 .
ABOUT THIS WEBSITE
Oskar and Mary Hansen have been to Mexico many times and have visited these shrines. Just as St. Luke says in Acts 4:20— It is impossible for us to refrain from speaking of what we have seen and heard— At frequent intervals a different Mexican shrine or church will be featured. Mary Hansen, a former teacher, is now a freelance writer who has written articles for the NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER, ST. ANTHONY MESSENGER, the CANADIAN MESSENGER, THE CATHOLIC REGISTER, CATHOLIC INSIGHT and CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL. She has an M.Div. degree in theology and an M.Ed. in Education. She writes from North Bay, Ontario, Canada.
The first location to be featured is that of Our Lady of Patrocinio in Guadalupe, Zacatecas. A painting of Our Lady of Patrocinio is featured on the main page of this website.
Permission for the painting on the website has been granted by the Museo Virreinal de Guadalupe, Guadalupe, Zacatecas. CONACULTA/INAH
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